Every year the Masters Champions Dinner takes place on the Tuesday before the event, with the reigning champion choosing a sometimes slightly unusual menu

The Masters Champions Dinner at Augusta National is now a set-in-stone Tuesday night highlight, but it wasn’t ever thus, with the tradition that would evolve into an annual event first staged on Friday April 4, 1952.

That year, 1951 champion Ben Hogan thought it would be nice to invite Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts to a dinner for previous winners.

Nine past Masters champions attended the dinner, which followed a set menu, and the Masters Club was formed, with Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones immediately afforded Honorary Membership status.

The European Masters champions all got to choose their own menus

The European Masters champions all got to choose their own menus

Nowadays, the previous year’s winner gets to choose a menu that either reflects personal favourites or showcases national cuisine, a tradition that started in the mid-1980s.

As you can imagine, that has sometimes led to some weird and wonderful dishes depending on the nationality of the winner, though mercifully for those of a more conservative or delicate constitution, guests are always free to choose from the club’s menu if they so choose.

It should be easy to guess who plumped for haggis with neeps and tatties, or who went for leg of lamb, but what about ensalada verde con vinagreta de gazpacho? One or two of the highlights below may well have had the former champions reaching instinctively for the club’s menu…

Charl may not have actually done the cooking in 2012, but there was a strong South African flavour to his menu

Charl may not have actually done the cooking in 2012, but there was a strong South African flavour to his menu

Bernhard Langer, 1986

Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle * Black Forest cake

Sandy Lyle, 1989

Jumbo lump crabmeat cocktail * Broiled pompano * Haggis * Neeps and tatties

Ian Woosnam, 1992

Leek and potato soup * Leg of lamb with sweet meadow hay * Apple pie and ice cream

Jose Maria Olazabal, 1995

Collard green soup * Txitxarro en salsa verde * Prime New York sirloin steak * Roast rack of lamb * Broiled chicken * Asparagus * Baked potato * Roasted herb new potatoes

Tiger Woods, 1998

Cheeseburger * Grilled chicken sandwich * French fries * Strawberry and vanilla milkshakes * Strawberry shortcake

Vijay Singh, 2001

Seafood Tom Kha * Chicken Panang curry * Baked sea scallops with garlic sauce * Baked Chilean sea bass filet with three-flavor chili sauce * Rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce * Lychee sorbet

Trevor Immelman, 2009

South African spinach salad * Babotie with yellow rice: traditional curried meat with fruit * Chicken sosaties: grilled chicken and vegetables on skewers * Melktert: Traditional milk tart

Phil Mickelson, 2011

Ensalada verde con vinagreta de gazpacho * Seafood paella * Prime beef tenderloin with smoked paprika demi-glaze * Asparagus * Tortilla Espanola * Spanish apple pie * Vanilla ice cream * Cinnamon ganache

Charl Schwartzel, 2012

Sliced biltong * Boerwors with monkey gland sauce * Dauphinoise potatoes * Vanilla ice cream sundae * Crispy meringues

  • Dwight Tichenor

    “Monkey gland sauce”? Goodness – I guess I could google that but that would take the fun out of it..