5 Facts About The Masters Golf Tournament On Its 89th Birthday

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On March 22, 1934, the very first Masters golf tournament was played.

The Masters is officially 89 years old today, and we are celebrating by sharing five facts about the tournament.

1. Ralph Stonehouse Hit The First Ball At The Inaugural Masters

At 9:34 AM on Thursday, March 22, 1934, Ralph Stonehouse drove the first ball from the first hole to open the tournament.

The first hole at that time was today’s 10th hole.

2. Horton Smith Was The First Masters Champion

25-year-old Horton Smith won the first Masters tournament.

He followed it up with a second Masters win in 1936.

These were the only major tournaments he won in his career.

3. Jack Nicklaus Has The Most Green Jackets

Jack Nicklaus holds the record for most Masters wins with six in a 23-year span: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, and 1986.

His unbelievable final Masters’ win in 1986 at 42 years of age is considered one of the best moments in tournament history.

He won by one stroke.

4. Fred Couples 1992 Win Was Memorable For College Roommate Jim Nantz

Masters broadcaster Jim Nantz and Fred Couples were roommates at the University of Houston.

Nantz recalled how the two talked about their dream of him calling the tournament and  Couples winning it.

That dream came true in 1992 with Couples winning the only major tournament in his career at Augusta.

5. Tiger Woods Added A Lot Of Excitement

This generation of golf fans can identify with Tiger Woods wearing his signature red shirt in the last round and producing exciting Masters wins.

The first one was when he was 21 years old and beat the field by 12 strokes in 1997.

It was the first of his five Masters victories spanning 22 years.


The tradition and pageantry associated with the Masters’ tournament are unchanging.

Even the food concessions remain largely unchanged.

Perhaps that is comforting in an ever-changing world that fans know in early April, they can expect to see the beautiful greens at Augusta National and one golfer who will earn a life and career-changing green jacket in a ceremony involving the previous year’s champion on Sunday evening to close the tournament.

Watch the tradition continue; the Masters’ tournament coverage begins on April 6 and concludes on April 9.

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