The Masters 'Champions Dinner'
If you've ever wondered what gastromic delights and fine wines are on offer to the past Champions who meet on the Tuesday evening of Masters week every year, you might be surprised.
What has become a traditional occasion does not in fact date back to the origins of the Masters in 1934, but was proposed and first hosted in 1952 by outgoing Champion Ben Hogan.
The guest list is one of the most exclusive in the world: just previous Champions and the Chairman of Augusta National - not even members of the Club or its Committee attend. The gathering is officially called the 'Masters Club', and its purpose is to welcome the previous year's winner to 'The Club', but it has become known to the public as the Champions Dinner.
The menu is chosen by the Champion of the previous year, and reflects his personal taste, or his national origins, and sometimes - perhaps - his age as well (Tiger Woods was just 22 when he chose his first menu in 1998). It is also paid for by the outgoing Champion.
Just in case the official menu of the evening is not to someone's taste, it is permitted to order off the regular Club menu, featuring steak, chicken or fish. It is not known how many attendees choose this option.
Details of the early menus have not been recorded (or made public), but here are the more recent choices.
• 2015: Bubba Watson - Bubba went for a menu identical to his first in 2013. Traditional caesar salad to start, followed by an entree of grilled chicken breast with green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese, served with cornbread. For dessert, confetti cake and vanilla ice cream. Read his comments on this menu here.
• 2014: Adam Scott - Appetiser of artichoke and arugula salad with calamari followed by a surf-and-turf grill, including Moreton Bay 'bugs' (a sort of Australian lobster), Australian Wagyu beef New York Strip steak, sauteed spinach and onion cream mashed potatoes. Desserts of strawberry and passion fruit pavlova, Anzac biscuit and vanilla sundae.
• 2013: Bubba Watson - Traditional caesar salad to start, followed by an entree of grilled chicken breast with green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese, served with cornbread. For dessert, confetti cake and vanilla ice cream.
• 2012: Charl Schwartzel - Chilled seafood bar with shrimp, lobster, crabmeat, crab legs and oysters, followed by a "braai" (a South African barbecue) of lamb chops, steaks and South African sausages, salads, cheeses, sauteed sweet corn, green beans and dauphinoise potatoes, vanilla ice cream sundae, South African wines. Schwartzel wanted to cook the braai himself, but it seems this wish was not granted.
• 2011: Phil Mickelson - Spanish-themed menu (Lefty had hoped that Seve Ballesteros would be able to attend, but sadly he was not well enough). Seafood paella and machango-topped filet mignon, salad, asparagus and tortillas, ice cream-topped apple empanada.
• 2010: Angel Cabrera - Argentine asado (a barbecue of chorizo, blood sausage, short ribs, beef filets and sweetbreads.
• 2009: Trevor Immelman - Bobotie (South African spiced minced meat pie with an egg topping), sosaties (type of South African chicken skewer), spinach salad, milk tart and South African wines.
• 2008: Zach Johnson - Iowa beef, Florida shrimp.
• 2007: Phil Mickelson - Barbecued ribs, chicken, sausage and pulled pork, with cole slaw.
• 2006: Tiger Woods - Stuffed jalapeno and quesadilla appetizers with salsa and guacamole, green salad, steak fajitas, chicken fajitas, Mexican rice, refried beans, apple pie and ice cream.
• 2005: Phil Mickelson - Lobster ravioli in tomato cream sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread.
• 2004: Mike Weir - the Canadian left-hander chose dishes from home. Arctic char (fish) in an oat crust, followed by roasted rack of caribou, washed down with Canadian beer.
• 2003: Tiger Woods - Porterhouse steak, chicken, sushi, sashimi, salads, crab cakes, asparagus, mashed potatoes, chocolate truffle cake.
• 2002: Tiger Woods - Sushi, Porterhouse steak,chicken..
• 2001: Vijay Singh - Thai 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.
• 2000: JM Olazabal -
• 1999: Mark O'Meara - Sushi and sashimi, followed by chicken and steak fajitas.
• 1998: Tiger Woods - Cheeseburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, apple pie and ice-cream, all washed down with strawberry and vanilla milkshakes.
• 1997: Nick Faldo - Tomato soup, fried fish and chips (we do not know if the guests were given plates, or had their main course wrapped in newspaper).
• 1996: Ben Crenshaw - A Texas barbecue.
• 1995: JM Olazabal - Paella, tapas and hake.
• 1994: Bernhard Langer - Turkey and dressing, black forest torte.
• 1993: Fred Couples - Chicken cacciatore
• 1992: Ian Woosnam - Leek and potato soup, leg of Welsh lamb cooked over hay, apple pie and ice cream.
• 1991: Nick Faldo -
• 1990: Nick Faldo - Shepherd's Pie
• 1989: Sandy Lyle - Haggis, with bashed neeps and tatties.
• 1988: Larry Mize -
• 1987: Jack Nicklaus -
• 1986: Bernhard Langer - Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal).
Updated: January 2015