How the iconic Masters green jacket is made and other fun facts


Those driving by the nondescript Cincinnati building would have no way of knowing what has been made inside.

But it's there that one of the most iconic trophies in sports is designed. It doesn't feature the gold of an Olympic medal, the silver of the Stanley Cup or any of the metallic material typically awarded to a champion.

It's made of wool. It's tailored into a classic three-button style, single-breasted jacket. It's placed on a hanger until it reaches the shoulders of the most recent winner of the Masters Tournament.

It's the “Green Jacket.”

The making of the iconic jacket is somewhat shrouded in mystery, its secrecy maintained as strictly as the rules obeyed by golfers who own them.  

Phone calls placed to the Hamilton Tailoring Co., the company that has made a majority of the green jackets since 1967, go unanswered. Full disclosure: the call was made one day before the Masters began.

But golf’s best-kept secret has been protected for decades, adding to the mystique of the jacket.  

“We can’t talk about it,” late company chairman Ed Heimann told The Cincinnati Enquirer in 2016. “I wish I could tell you more. It would be good for our business, but I can’t.”

The jackets were first made in 1937 by Brooks Uniform Company, which was based in New York City. Members found the material to be thick and uncomfortable, according to, so Augusta found a new supplier.

Heimann – an avid golfer who, according to his obituary in the Cincinnati Enquirer, beat Jack Nicklaus at a young age – ran his family tailoring business and had celebrity clientele that included Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Bob Hope and golfers like Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman. In 1967, Heimann reached a deal to begin manufacturing the green jackets.  

The tropical wool fabric is produced at Victor Forstmann Inc. mill in Dublin, Georgia. Each jacket requires about 2 ½ yards of wool, the color of which is called "Pantone 342" – better known as "Masters Green."

According to The Augusta Chronicle, Heimann purchased a 500-yard roll of the wool fabric in 1990, a cut of which presumably was used seven years later to make a jacket for 21-year-old Tiger Woods after he won his first Masters.

The jacket is adorned with three brass buttons embossed with the Augusta National logo, which are made by the Waterbury Co. of Connecticut, and a breast-pocket logo patch, made by A&B Emblem Co. in Weaverville, N.C.

It takes roughly a month to make a jacket for a new Masters champion, the name of whom is stitched into the inside label.

As for the jacket placed on the winner’s shoulders by the defending champion during the presentation ceremony at the Masters Tournament, that belongs to someone else.

Here’s more on that and other fun facts about the green jacket.   

How did the green jacket tradition begin?

Long before Masters champions began receiving green jackets, they were given to Augusta National members.

That began in 1937, three years after the club opened. But there are two versions of the green jacket’s origin story, per

One suggests that Augusta National co-founder Bobby Jones attended a dinner in Liverpool, noticed club captains wearing matching jackets and was inspired to bring the concept to Georgia. 

Another says fellow co-founder Clifford Roberts started giving the easily recognizable jackets to Augusta club members so they'd stand out as "reliable sources of information" for visiting non-members during the Tournament and, per, “let waiters know who got the check at dinner.”

Who won the first green jacket?

Sam Snead was the first Masters champion to go green.

He was presented with a green jacket after winning the 1949 Masters. Augusta National then retroactively awarded a jacket to each previous winner.  

How much does it cost to make a green jacket?

According to, it's been reported that it costs an estimated $250 to make the jacket, but that figure has not been confirmed by Augusta National or Hamilton Tailoring Co.

How much is a green jacket worth?

A lot more than $250.

A company formerly called Green Jacket Auctions sold the green jacket that belonged to Horton Smith, winner of the first Masters in 1934, for $682,229. That was one of three green jackets given to champions that the company sold before being sued by Augusta National in 2017, according to the Associated Press.

Doug Ford’s jacket for his 1957 win sold for $62,000 and Art Wall Jr.’s jacket for his 1959 win sold for $63,000, per Bleacher Report.

When does the Masters champion get fitted for a green jacket?

Not until after winning the Masters.

The jacket first placed on the champion’s shoulders at Augusta’s Butler’s Cabin and then on the course’s green is not the jacket they keep. That jacket was selected by tournament officials who monitor the leaderboard in the final round and select an Augusta member with a similar build to borrow from.

Sometimes, the wrong size is picked. After Jack Nicklaus won his first Masters in 1963, he was given a far-too-big 46-long, which he said, "looked like an overcoat." A green overcoat.   

The winner is later measured for his custom-tailored jacket, which takes roughly a month to make. While most jackets have come from Hamilton Tailoring, winners have the option of having Augusta National send raw materials to their personal tailor to make their green jacket. Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo had his jacket custom-made at Nordstrom’s, per Bleacher Report.

Who puts the green jacket on a repeat winner?

The defending Masters champion placing the green jacket on the newly crowned champion is one of the great traditions in sports.

But what happens when the defending champ and new champ are the same person after winning back-to-back Masters? Does the champion put the jacket on himself?

Jack Nicklaus did just that in 1966 after becoming the first golfer to win in consecutive years. It was later determined that, should the dilemma arise, the Augusta National chairman would step in for the jacket ceremony. The only others to win back-to-back Masters are Nick Faldo (1989, 1990), who was helped into his jacket by Hord Hardin, and Tiger Woods (2001, 2002), by Hootie Johnson.

Do you get a green jacket for every Masters win?

Jack Nicklaus does not have a closet full of green jackets.

Nicklaus has won the Masters Tournament six times, the most of any golfer in history. But even he has just one green jacket.

Augusta National awards only one green jacket to a Masters champion, and for each subsequent victory in the tournament, the golfer is presented with the same jacket. There have been 17 golfers to win the Masters Tournament on more than one occasion. Each has one jacket.

Do Masters champions take their green jacket home?

Only the current champion … and only for one year. 

Once that victory tour is over, it must be returned to Augusta National Golf Club, where it will forever remain. 

No other member or former Masters champion is permitted to remove their jacket from the grounds of Augusta National. Former champions wear their jackets during the tournament and its festivities, but at the conclusion of Masters week, club rule states that the jackets must remain in a cedar closet on the lower floor of the clubhouse, per Bleacher Report.  

Augusta National has said that it owns the jackets, and the champions have “possessory rights” when they’re on the premises. 

Has a Masters champion ever lost their green jacket?

Gary Player won the 1961 Masters, becoming the tournament’s first international winner. He took the jacket home to South Africa. And forgot it there.

He was reminded by Augusta National Director Clifford Roberts that the jacket needed to remain at the club, per

“Well, Mr. Roberts, if you want it, why don’t you come and fetch it?" Player told him.

Roberts compromised with Player, who agreed to never wear the jacket in public.

The rule prohibiting the removal of green jackers from Augusta National was not always in place, which is why some former champions and members managed to auction theirs off.

Billy Casper, the 1970s Masters champion, refused to part with his. So much so that he literally took it to the grave with him. When he died in 2015, his wife asked for and received permission from Augusta National to bury Casper in his green jacket.

Can I buy a green jacket?

You can buy just about anything on Etsy and Amazon.

But you can’t buy an official green jacket from Augusta National Golf Club, which does not sell them, or Hamilton Tailoring Co., which does not accept orders from the public for sport’s most famous wardrobe.

Try calling them. See how much they’ll tell you about the green jacket. 

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