They say facts are stubborn things. (Or they used to, at least.) But over the past 89 years, so many phenomenal tales have emerged from the Masters Tournament and its host course that separating what is true from what is lore can be harder than landing a day pass to Berckmans Place. What follows are 100 certifiable facts about the world’s greatest sporting event (except maybe the bit about the curse at Amen Corner).
1. In 1931, Augusta National cofounders Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones bought the property on which the course is built for $70,000.
2. Roberts was a single-digit handicapper.
3. Jones had won 13 majors when he retired at age 28.
4. On the course, Jones kept a four-leaf-clover medallion attached to his pocket-watch chain.
5. When the Masters was first played, the club had 76 members.
6. Magnolia Lane was a gravel road when Augusta National opened. It was paved in 1947.
7. It is 330 yards long.
8. It is lined, spectacularly, with 61 magnolia trees.
9. In the early days of the club, Roberts and Jones had hoped to host the U.S. Open, but they were turned down.
10. On March 22, 1934, at 9:45 a.m., journeyman Ralph Stonehouse was the first player ever to tee off in a Masters Tournament (then called the Augusta National Invitational).
11. Back then, the club’s nines were reversed; what is now the 1st hole was the 10th hole, etc.
12. Horton Smith won that first Masters with a final score of 284.
13. Jones came out of retirement to compete in the inaugural event and finished 10 strokes back, tied for 13th.
14. In the tournament, Jones took 36, 38, 30 and 32 putts for the four rounds, respectively. (He played the tournament another 11 times.)
15. 1934 Masters winner Horton Smith used a Bobby Jones model driver.
16. In 1935, Gene Sarazen made “the shot heard ’round the world,” a double eagle on the par-5 15th.
17. Jones witnessed it. So did Walter Hagen and Byron Nelson.
18. Sarazen won that event the next day in a playoff.
19. In the Masters, if you miss the cut, you still receive $10,000.
20. Before the start of the Masters in 1955, each player in the field went to the 15th to see if they could duplicate Sarazen’s double eagle. Nobody did, but Freddie Haas Jr. was the winner, hitting his second shot to just four feet.
21. In 1936, Horton Smith won his second Masters.
22. There have been eight other two-time winners of the event: Byron Nelson (1937, ’42), Ben Hogan (1951, ’53), Tom Watson (1977, ’81), Seve Ballesteros (1980, ’83), Ben Crenshaw (1984, ’95), Bernhard Langer (1985, ’93), José María Olazábal (1994, ’99) and Bubba Watson (2012, ’14)
23. Smilin’ Jimmy Demaret (1940, ’47, ’50) was the Masters Tournament’s first three-time winner.
24. Hogan, preternaturally gifted like so many Masters champions, turned pro at the tender age of 17.
25. As a teenager, Sam Snead — Masters winner in ’49, ’52 and ’54 — ran the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds.
26. Jackie Burke Jr., the ’56 champ, taught judo in the Marines.
27. Charles Coody, 1971 Masters champ, was offered a combo golf and basketball scholarship to Texas Christian University.
28. Bob Goalby, green-jacketed in ’68, earned 11 letters in high school and earned a football scholarship to the University of Illinois.
29. Snead was the first Masters champ to receive a green jacket, which debuted in 1949.
30. A year before, in 1948, Bobby Jones played in his last Masters.
31. In 1952, Hogan (circled) started the Champions Dinner tradition.