The Masters Club: A Dinner of Champions

Updated 04/04/18: A photo of the 2018 Masters Champions dinner attendees, held in honor of the 2017 Masters champion, Sergio Garcia. Click here for a glimpse at this years' 2018 Champions Dinner.

On Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Sergio Garcia will take a victory lap around Augusta National, where he'll sport a fresh green jacket and bask in the afterglow of the greatest win of his career. And as the defending champion, he'll also serve, or rather host, a dinner unlike any other. Of all the traditions at the Masters, the Tuesday night champions' dinner rates as high as any, unlike any other. If every surviving past winner attends this year's annual Champions Dinner, staged Tuesday night of tournament week, there will be 33 guests ranging in age from 24 (Jordan Spieth) to 95 (Doug Ford).

The Masters Champions Dinner, as it is has come to be known, began in 1952 by Ben Hogan, that year’s defending champion. It started when he decided to host a dinner for all the past champions and proposed forming the "Masters Club" in which membership is limited to only those who have won green jackets (along with the Augusta National club chairman, Billy Payne). Honorary memberships were also extended to Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, Bill Lane, Hord Hardin, Jack Stephens, and Hootie Johnson. The defending Masters champion picks the Masters Club menu, which often consists of fare from his homeland or just his favorite foods. As a certificate of membership to the club, the defending champ receives a gold locket in the form of the club emblem.

Menus from Previous Masters Champions Dinner

Here is a sampling of Champions Dinner fare from previously held Champions’ dinners, so you too can have a taste of some of those unforgettable dinners.

Danny Willett, 2017: The Englishman chose a traditional British meal. Willett's menu started with mini cottage pies (similar to shepherd's pie but made with beef rather than lamb). The entree: a traditional "Sunday roast" (prime rib, roasted potatoes and vegetables, Yorkshire pudding). For dessert, apple crumble and vanilla custard, and finishing with coffee and tea with English cheese and biscuits, plus a selection of wines.

2016 Champions Dinner MenuJordan Spieth, 2016: Salad of local greens; main course of Texas barbecue (beef brisket, smoked half chicken, pork ribs); sides of BBQ baked beans, bacon and chive potato salad, sautéed green beans, grilled zucchini, roasted yellow squash; dessert of warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla ice cream.

Bubba Watson, 2015: Watson served the same menu that he did in 2013.

bay-bugsAdam Scott, 2014: Surf-and-turf on the grill, including Moreton Bay 'bugs' (lobster), and started with an appetizer of artichoke and arugula salad with calamari. The main course of Australian Wagyu beef New York Strip steak, served with Moreton Bay lobster, sautéed spinach, onion cream mashed potatoes. Desserts of strawberry and passion fruit pavlova, Anzac biscuit and vanilla sundae.

Bubba Watson, 2013: Traditional caesar salad to start. Entree of grilled chicken breast with sides of green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni, and cheese, served with cornbread. Dessert of confetti cake and vanilla ice cream.

Charl Schwartzel, 2012: An opening course consisting of a chilled seafood bar, which includes shrimp, lobster, crab meat, crab legs, and oysters. The main course is a "braai," a South African barbecue, which includes lamb chops, steaks, and South African sausages. Dessert of vanilla ice cream sundae. Also in the mix were salads, cheeses, plus sides such as sautéed sweet corn, green beans, and Dauphinoise potatoes.

David G. Kelly/Getty Images
David G. Kelly/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson, 2011: A Spanish-themed menu with seafood paella and machango-topped filet mignon as the entrees. Also includes a salad course, asparagus, and tortillas as sides, plus ice cream-topped apple empanada for dessert.

Angel Cabrera, 2010: An Argentine asado, a multicourse barbecue featuring chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and mollejas (the thymus gland, aka sweetbreads).

Trevor Immelman, 2009: Bobotie (a spiced minced meat pie with an egg topping), sosaties ( a type of chicken skewer), spinach salad, milk tart and South African wines.

Zach Johnson, 2008: Iowa beef, Florida shrimp.

Phil Mickelson, 2007: Barbecued ribs, chicken, sausage and pulled pork, with cole slaw.

Tiger Woods, 2006: Stuffed jalapeno and quesadilla appetizers with salsa and guacamole; green salad; steak fajitas, chicken fajitas, Mexican rice, refried beans; apple pie and ice cream for dessert.

Phil Mickelson, 2005: Lobster ravioli in tomato cream sauce, Caesar's salad, garlic bread.

Elk, wild boar: sf_foodphoto/Getty Images

Mike Weir, 2004: Elk, wild boar, Arctic char (that's a fish), and a selection of Canadian beer. As the only Canadian to win a major championship, he served plenty of big game from the Great White North.  There was also fried chicken and filet mignon for the less adventurous.

Tiger Woods, 2003: Tiger brought back the porterhouse steak, chicken, and sushi from his 2002 menu. Also on the menu were sashimi, salads, crab cakes, asparagus, mashed potatoes and a chocolate truffle cake.

Tiger Woods, 2002: Porterhouse steak and chicken with a sushi appetizer.

Vijay Singh, 2001: Seafood tom-kah, chicken panang curry, baked sea scallops with garlic sauce, rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce, baked filet Chilean sea bass with three flavor chili sauce, lychee sorbet.

Mark O'Meara, 1999: Chicken fajitas, steak fajitas, sushi, tuna sashimi.

Tiger Woods, 1998: Cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, milkshakes.

Nick Faldo, 1997: Fish and chips, tomato soup.

Ben Crenshaw, 1996: Texas barbecue.

Jose Maria Olazabal, 1995: Paella (a Spanish rice dish) and hake (whitefish), plus tapas.

Bernhard Langer, 1994: Turkey and dressing, black forest torte.

Fred Couples, 1993: Chicken cacciatore.

Sandy Lyle, 1989: Haggis, mashed potatoes, mashed turnips. (Haggis is a Scottish specialty. Take sheep organs - heart, liver, and lungs - and mince. Add minced suet, oatmeal and onions, and boil the whole mixture inside a sheep's stomach.)

Bernhard Langer, 1986: Wiener schnitzel (breaded veal).