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Why Food Plays Such A Significant Role At The Masters Tournament

golf clubs with masters emblem
golf clubs with masters emblem - Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images

There's something major going on in Augusta, Georgia, and it's not just the Masters Tournament. Although the Masters is the first momentous professional golf tournament of the year, the concessions stir up about as much buzz each year as the actual sport. Aside from the legendary golfers that hit the course, the concessions menu is half the reason the event is so culturally impactful. Between unbreakable tradition and food that keeps patrons coming back, the Masters (and golf culture at large) wouldn't be the same without its renowned menu. From souvenir cups full of beer to chicken breast sandwiches, the menu seems to have everything a hungry crowd of golf patrons could want — and it's all at an unbelievable price.

Since the event opened in the 1930s, it has been notorious for its cheap, but quality refreshments, per former Augusta National chairman Clifford Roberts' wishes. For years, the prices of snacks available to Masters patrons stayed below or slightly above a dollar, and it hasn't strayed much since. In fact, the classic menu is a huge part of what keeps the original spirit of the event alive. For longtime patrons, the traditional, low-price menu items are reminders of the rich history of the game, and for many, the signature, affordable sandwiches are as much a part of the tournament as golf.

Read more: The Healthiest Fast Food Chains In The U.S.

What Makes The Sandwiches Special

Pimento cheese sandwiches at Masters
Pimento cheese sandwiches at Masters - Andrew Redington/Getty Images

If you go to the Masters Tournament, you'll likely partake in an ongoing debate about which sandwich is the best on the menu. The newer chicken salad sandwich served on a brioche bun is a likely candidate, but often, it's a draw between the two most iconic items: the pimento cheese sandwich and the egg salad sandwich. Although the menu has expanded over the years to feature more than 30 items ranging in price, the pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches are still just $1.50, solidifying them as fan favorites. You could even buy a t-shirt featuring the prized menu items in 2019.

But it's not just the fans that partake in the sandwich experience. Even the golfers contribute to their significance. Most notably, it was tradition for two-time champion Tom Watson to leave an egg salad sandwich on the bench by the No. 13 tee in memory of his caddie, Bruce Edwards, who died of ALS in 2004. Watson retired from the Masters in 2016, but the special meaning behind the sandwich is unforgettable. It's one of the many reasons all the classic sandwiches are so beloved. Because food tells a story, as more years pass, patrons will likely still look back on the memories they had at the Masters. They'll think fondly of the sandwich that became part of their tradition.

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