Many casual viewers of the Masters Tournament have noticed that caddies, the people who carry a player's bag and clubs (and give the player advice and moral support), wear white jumpsuits.
As it turns out, the jumpsuits have become an iconic part of the tournament and are considered a symbolic part of the tournament.
Find out more about the history and meaning behind the caddie's white jumpsuits below.
Why do caddies wear jumpsuits at the Masters Tournament — and what do they mean?
All the way in 1933, when the very first Masters tournament took place, the creator of the competition, Clifford Roberts, came up with the idea for the white jumpsuits. The owner of the Augusta National Golf Club, Bobby Jones, wanted each of the caddies at his club to look different and Cliff had the solution. Together, they decided that white jumpsuits would be the most versatile choice.
Their caddies would stand out against the vast greenery of the golf courses, and they would look smart.
The uniform wasn't officially worn in the Masters tournament until 1946, following World War II. According to Ward Clayton, the author of Men on the Bag: The Caddies of Augusta National, “were made of a heavy, hand-sewn, herringbone material. Prior to that caddies usually wore clothes similar to the style of the day, even though pinned-on numbers to help fans recognize players were used beginning in the early 1940s.
He continued, "Today’s jumpsuits are made of a lighter material that is wrinkle resistant. Each player’s name (on the back), number and Augusta National logo (on the front) are Velcroed onto the uniform. Each suit is washed nightly.”
In their new outfits, caddies could move around unrestricted and maintain a clean-cut, professional appearance.
Nowadays, the jumpsuits embody the ethos of the tournament and have become not only a symbol of tradition but one of efficacy. Because they are in charge of tasks like reading the greens, carrying clubs, and helping competitors choose clubs, they must wear something practical.
The Augusta National Golf Club is very strict regarding the caddy uniform and since 1933, it's been mandatory for all caddies to wear them. Until the 1970s, all caddies at the tournament were provided by the club, but nowadays, even if the caddie is a personal one, they have to wear the traditional white jumpsuit as a rule.
What are the advantages of the white jumpsuit?
By adhering to the strict rules at the Augusta National Golf Club, caddies are able to be easily recognized by the golf players that they are supposed to help out. The uniform enables golf players to spot their caddies wherever they are, especially when there are so many spectators on the golf course.
They make the gameplay efficient and are able to do their jobs without confusion.