The official name for the champions dinner at The Masters Tournament is “Masters club”. Every year the Augusta National Golf Club hosts a dinner party for past tournament champions. The defending champion serves his favourite dishes, which can lead to interesting culinary experiences. The champions dinner is held every Tuesday during the Masters week.
The first Champions Dinner at the Masters Tournament
The first champions dinner was initiated by Ben Hogan in 1952. Since then the event is one of the traditions of the US Masters. With the exception of some important personalities like Bobby Jones, Clifford Roberts and the presidents of the Augusta National Golf Club only past winners of The Masters are invited to the dinner.
The defending Champion decides the Champions Dinner’s Menu
To celebrate his admission to the Masters Club the defending champion has the honor of choosing the menu of that years’ dinner, but he also has to pay the check. In the past dishes like sushi or haggis, a scottish speciality were served. When Tiger Woods won the US Masters Tournament in 1998 at the age of 22 he decided to serve cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and milkshakes.
Winning for the third time in 2002, his 2003 menu consisted of steak, chicken and sushi. Furthermore there was sashimi, crab cake, asparagus, mashed potatoes and chocolate truffle tart.
Champions can order à la carte
Other champions choose a more dignified selection. In 2012, Charl Schwartzel choose a seefood bar with shrimp, lobster, prawns and oysters. It was accompanied by Braai, a South African barbeque dish, in addition to leg of lamb, steaks and African sausages. The menu was completed by salad, a selection of cheese and other side dishes. For dessert vanilla ice cream was served.
Bernhard Langer choose regional specialities. He won two times at Augusta (1985 and 1993), serving sauerbraten as main dish in ‘86 and Black Forest gateau for dessert in ‘94.
Should a former Masters champions dislike the chosen menu he always has the option to order from the club restaurant’s full menu.