5. The Masters Tournament
“A tradition unlike any other”
While it is not the oldest American golf tournament, the Masters is just what it says it is: a tradition. It is a herald, a sign that warmer weather will indeed come, better days are just around the corner. It offers the comfort of the familiar, the idea that in a changing world, some things do remain the same: the hushed tones, the green jackets, the accumulated memories of 75 years on the same vernal stage.
As the only golf major to take place annually at the same course, Augusta National Golf Club, the Masters has been held every year since 1934, taking three years off for World War II (to assist with the war effort, Augusta was used to raise cattle and turkeys – now, that's American). It is also home to the Green Jacket, perhaps the most famous symbol in all of golf, which can only be removed from Augusta by the reigning champion.
The Masters isn’t a national championship: it’s an invitational run by an extremely private club that can do pretty much whatever it likes. Its status as one of golf’s majors is the product of press hype that centered on the legend of Bobby Jones, co-founder of the club and co-designer of the course. Three-quarters of a century later, hype has become history – and you can’t get more American than that.