The Tradition of the Masters Dinner
A look at one of the most coveted dinners amongst athletes.
Back in 1952, nine time major winner Ben Hogan started the tradition to host the Champions Dinner in the clubhouse the Tuesday night prior to the Masters tournament. The menu would be selected by the previous years champ for members and champions of past and present to eat.
While the champion from the prior year gets to select the menu, he also has to foot the bill for the Champions Dinner. Dinners have ranged from cheeseburgers to sushi, even haggis.
But, if a previous champ isn’t interested in what is being served, they can order off of the Masters menu which offers seafood, steak, and chicken variations.
For this years Champions Dinner, last years champ Dustin Johnson served pigs in a blanket with lobster fritters as an appetizer, followed by filet Mignon and miso-marinated sea bass for dinner. He topped off the evening with peach cobbler and apple pie for dessert.
Now, if I had to pick a dinner I would attend it would probably be the 1998 Champions Dinner hosted by the GOAT, Tiger Woods. His menu was simple but definitely a choice that the higher ups at Augusta National probably weren’t expecting.
Tiger served cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fires, and milkshakes. That sounds awesome! Imagine sitting down next to legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer while you drink a chocolate shake. Or even eating a cheeseburger with Fuzzy Zoeller! That sounds amazing.
The only dinner that would make me possibly change my mind was when the Aussie, Adam Scott hosted after winning in 2013. He started the dinner off with artichoke and arugula salad along with calamari.
His choice for the main course only gets better. A surf n’ turf specialty of Australian Wagyu beef New York strip and Moreton Bay lobster paired with mashed potatoes and spinach. He finished the night off with Anzac biscuit and vanilla ice cream sundaes.
Doesn’t get much better than that!
There are a few dinners that would probably make me plug my nose or order off of the Masters menu, like the 1989 dinner hosted by golf legend Sandy Lyle. The Scottish champ offered a dinner of haggis, mashed turnips, and potatoes.
All respect to Mr. Lyles but I think I’ll take a nice filet with mashed potatoes and broccoli from the Masters menu.
When Mike Weir won in 2003 and hosted in 2004, he dropped a very intriguing and interesting menu on the former champions. The Canuck golfer offered elk, wild boar, Arctic char, and some good ole Canadian beer.
I have never eaten elk, never eaten boar, never had char, or Canadian beer but I would actually look forward to trying everything off of that menu.
While I may not be the biggest fan of seafood, I would have loved to be in attendance for the 2012 Champions Dinner hosted by Charl Schwartzel. He opened the dinner with an extravagant chilled seafood bar of shrimp, lobster, crabmeat, crab legs, and oysters.
He then switches from seafood into South African barbecue, and one thing I do know is that I can HOUSE some barbecue. Schwartzel offered steaks and lamb chops as far as they eye could see.
Like I mentioned before, the Champions Dinner is one of the most coveted meals to ever be in attendance for and I would give my left and maybe consider giving my right nut to be at one of these dinners along side legends like Tiger Woods, Sir Nick Faldo, and José María Olazábal.