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Augusta’s Green Jackets: For Winners, Members (and Buyers) Only

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Court records show the case ended with a settlement that included Augusta taking possession of the jacket with a handoff in New York City on Halloween in 2013.

Augusta turned to similarly aggressive tactics later in the decade, when it sued Green Jacket Auctions in Federal District Court over its plans to sell three blazers. (The club also objected to an auction that would “release its proprietary silverware into the stream of commerce.”)

That case was also settled on undisclosed terms. Green Jacket Auctions, now known as Golden Age Golf Auctions, cited “certain relationships and arrangements we’ve made” when it declined to comment for this article.

From time to time, though, Augusta National effectively assented to the jackets not remaining behind its gates, particularly if a blazer was in the possession of a former Masters winner.

Player, a three-time champion, recalled this year that he had rushed to the airport with the jacket after his victory in 1961. After his second-place finish the next year and with his blazer unreturned, Clifford Roberts, Augusta National’s co-founder and longtime chairman, called to ask after the jacket and, ultimately, to tell Player that it was supposed to be back at the club.

“With tongue in cheek, I suggested if he wanted it back he would have to personally come and get it in South Africa,” Player said in an email. “We had a good relationship, and he laughed and simply asked that I don’t wear it out in public, which I never did.”

But, he acknowledged, “I did host several dinners in my home wearing it with great pride.”

Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1980, forgot to bring his back to the United States from his home in Spain the following year. Ballesteros died in 2011, and his children regard their father’s jacket as a fixture there.

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