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The Most Interesting Menus from the Masters Champions Dinner

The Masters Tournament is steeped in tradition, and one of the most delightful is the Champions Dinner. Ben Hogan started the Champions Dinner in 1952 as a way for previous Masters champions to gather before the start of the tournament. The dinner is held in Augusta's clubhouse on the Tuesday night of tournament week, and the previous year's winner chooses the menu. Over the years, these dinners have become legendary, not just for the camaraderie but also for the surprising and delectable dishes served.

A Global Palate

Champions often leverage the dinner to showcase their heritage. This year, Jon Rahm, with his Spanish roots, has presented a menu brimming with tapas, including his grandmother's classic lentil stew. 

This isn't the first time that international flavors have been featured at the Champions Dinner. In 1986, Germany’s Bernhard Langer served wiener schnitzel and spaetzle. In 1989, Scotsman Sandy Lyle wore a kilt and served haggis and turnips. At this point, it’s important to note that If a past champion does not want to eat from the chosen menu, they can order from the regular menu at Augusta National. In 2001, Vijay Singh featured a Thai-themed dinner, even bringing in his own chefs to cook the meal. At the time, Byron Nelson declared it the best Champions Dinner in 50 years.  

Another favorite meal was Hideki Matsuyama’s Japanese inspired meal in 2022 which included assorted sushi, sashimi and nigiri or yakitori chicken skewers; Miyazaki Wagyu, A5 Wagyu beef ribeye with mixed mushrooms & vegetables, and sansho daikon ponzu; and Japanese strawberry cheesecake or fluffy sponge cake with whipped cream and amaou strawberries for dessert.

Beyond the Expected

Some champions have taken a different approach. In 2011, Phil Mickelson chose to honor cancer-stricken Seve Ballesteros, who couldn't make the dinner. His menu featured Spanish seafood paella, manchego-topped filet mignon, tortillas, and Spanish apple pie. Sadly, Ballesteros died the following month.

A Look Back in Time

Sometimes, champions choose classic comfort food. Tom Watson's 1988 menu featured dishes like chicken-fried steak and apple pie, a nostalgic nod to his American upbringing. Tiger Woods was the youngest player to have selected a menu for the Champions dinner in 1998 and it reflected his age. He selected a meal of cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries, and milkshakes. 

Bubba Watson kept his menu simple and the same for both his 2013 and 2015 dinners, featuring Caesar salad, chicken breast, green beans, mashed potatoes macaroni and cheese, corn, confetti cake and vanilla ice cream.

In 2023, Scottie Scheffler offered a menu with a variety of classic options including cheeseburger sliders, firecracker shrimp with sweet Thai chili and Sriracha mayo appetizers; tortilla soup; Texas ribeye steak or blackened redfish served with mac and cheese, jalapeno creamed corn, fried brussels sprouts, fries; and warm chocolate chip skillet cookie with milk and cookies ice cream for dessert.

The Champions Dinner is a fascinating peek into the personalities of these golfing greats. It's a night of camaraderie, fueled by delicious food and shared experiences, making it a truly unique tradition within the Masters Tournament.

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