Masters Traditions: The Champions Dinner
One of the most storied traditions of The Masters is the Champions’ Dinner. Betway, an online sportsbook, sent a infographic (see below) analyzing the past twenty years of Masters’ Champions dinner.
The Champions Dinner tradition actually began with Ben Hogan in 1952. Every year since, the winner of the previous tournament hosts a dinner for the past champions. The reigning champ picks the menu and past Schampions enjoy the camaraderie of one of the world’s most exclusive clubs.
What happens at that dinner? Only Masters Champions really know.
The menus, however, are the subject of much public discussion. Items on the bill of faire have ranged from cheeseburgers to haggis. Yes. Haggis.
With an international cast of winners over the the last twenty years (Spain, Fiji, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Australia and England), and the diverse origins of the US winners (Texas, Florida, California and Iowa), the menus can vary quite widely.
Sergio Garcia had a main dish of arroz caldosa de bogavante, a traditional Spanish lobster rice. Danny Willet had Yorkshire pudding on the menu. Charl Schwartzel had a south African barbecue called “braii” and South African Sausages. Angel Cabrera had an Argentine feast called asado which featured chorizo, blood sausage, ribs, steak and mollejas (don’t ask). Mike Weir had elk, wild boar and Canadian beer.
This year, Tiger has chosen Sushi and Sashimi, Steak and Chicken Fajitas and Strawberry and Vanilla Milkshakes. That surely is a nod to his Asian heritage and California upbringing. The famous McDonald’s milkshakes, after all, originated in California.
Corn fed Iowa native Zach Johnson went with beef and shrimp. Phil has had BBQ Ribs, and on other occasions lobster ravioli and filet mignon. Jordan Spieth had a Texas BBQ feast. Bubba Watson’s menu featured — twice — grilled chicken and mashed potatoes.
The infographic below, from Betway, has some more stats.
According to the Betway analysis, the most common items at the Champions dinner are Caesar Salad, Filet Mignon, Mashed Potatoes and Vanilla Ice Cream.
That’s a pretty unimaginative menu, considering that Augusta National likely has access to the world’s greatest chefs.
Beef has been on the menu fifteen of the last twenty years. Chicken takes second with ten. Various forms of seafood have been served six times.
Weir is still the only one to serve elk.
For my money, Bubba Watson offered up the most bland: Caesar salad, grilled chicken breast and mashed potatoes. That the sort of thing you get at a roadside diner, not something you ask Augusta National chefs to make.
My Masters’ Champions Dinner menu (not that I’m ever going to even get to play Augusta, let alone win a Masters) would be smoked, pulled pork BBQ, steamed Maryland Blue Crabs, BBQ Beans, Macaroni and Cheese, and Pecan Pie.
What would yours be?
For more information on Masters Traditions click on the link.