The Masters Tournament, commonly referred to as The Masters, is one of the most prestigious events in professional golf.
The first of the sport's four major tournaments to be played each year, the Masters is held every April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta. Started by investment banker Clifford Jones and legendary golfer Bobby Jones, the Masters is rife with tradition.
Among the more notable traditions is the awarding of the green jacket to the tournament champion. The green jacket has been awarded to the tournament champion since 1949, and it remains one of the more recognizable awards or trophies in all of professional sports.
Another tradition of the Masters is the Champions Dinner, which takes place the Tuesday before each tournament. Only past Masters champions and a select group of Augusta National board members are eligible to attend the dinner.
Though the Masters is one of the most popular sporting events in the world, controversy surrounding Augusta National Golf Club arose in 2002 when Martha Burk, then the chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, accused the club of sexism due to the club's refusal to offer membership to females. Though the Masters Tournament itself had little to do with the controversy, corporate sponsors shied away from the 2003 and 2004 tournaments, which were ultimately broadcast commercial-free. A decade after Burk's protests began, the board at Augusta National finally offered membership to two women.