Sunday, April 09, 2006

The power of the Green Jacket

This weekend, millions of TV viewers tuned in to CBS to watch 103 top players chase the greatest prize in pro golf.

It is the Green Jacket that is awarded annually to the winner of The Masters, the most prestigious of golf tournaments. What makes the event so prestigious?

It isn't the golf course; though historic, the course is hardly the best in golf. It isn't the prize money; other tournaments may far more to the winner.

Could it be ... the jacket?

The "Masters green" blazer is constructed at a small Ohio tailor, which has made the jacket for 33 years. Only members of the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and Masters champions, get to wear the coveted green jackets.

The color is actually quite hideous, if distinctive. And yet the jacket itself provides a powerful meme within the memeplex known as "The Masters."

The blazer is an icon. It is also an artifact within the ritual known as "donning the Green Jacket," which provides the climax for the Masters each year.

There is no comparable symbol within golf. And that alone may explain why year after year the Masters outshines the U.S. Open, The Open Championship (British Open), and the PGA Championship as the PGA's top tourney.


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