Club Chairman, Clifford Roberts, refused to accede to presidential requests to have the tree removed. Known for decades thereafter as the Eisenhower Tree, it finally succumbed to an ice storm in 2014. There’s one thing that will never change, though: the tradition of the Green Jacket. This item of clothing is a mark of distinction at the Masters, and Club members in green are easily identified during Tournament week. But the jacket, which is otherwise only worn by Masters champions, is subject to special terms and conditions. “I’m allowed to wear it as long as I’m attending the Tournament and within the grounds,” explains Langer. It is one of many traditions at Augusta National.
Not even Masters winners can flout the etiquette and conventions of this Club, where golf has been played since 1932. This is the only tournament where caddies are asked to dress in white jumpsuits, for example, and where coaches are denied access to the fairways even during practice rounds. Thanks to the Masters rulebook, Langer – as a former winner – is automatically invited back every year. Erstwhile champions traditionally introduce newcomers to the course. Martin Kaymer, for example, has taken his practice rounds with Langer at almost all his Masters appearances. The Club is unique in allowing Masters participants to take a guest onto the course with them on the Sunday before the start of Tournament week: “That has given me the opportunity to play with close friends or family members, which you can’t do at any other major,” says Langer.