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When it comes to clothing at Augusta National, we tend to think of the Green Jacket worn by the club’s members and former champions. But out on the course it’s a sea of white. So why do caddies wear white boiler suits at the Masters?

Whether it’s during practice rounds or the real thing, each competitor’s bagman will don a white jumpsuit. Even during the Par-3 Contest, players significant others and kids will have the chance to slip into the famous overalls. And you can even buy a replica if you fancy rocking one down at your own club.

Why do caddies wear white boiler suits at the Masters?

augusta caddie uniform
The caddie uniform features the Masters logo and the player’s registration number. (Credit: Getty Images)

In the late 1940s, Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts, who served as the club’s chairman until 1976, was concerned that there was nothing to distinguish caddies from anyone else – notably the gallery.

First, the club ordered caddies to wear a green cap with a yellow button in the middle. These days, that spot is reserved for the Masters logo.

Then came the rest of the attire. Initially, the caddies wore blue denim boiler suits – think farm workers from the time – before they were changed to white.

And that’s how we know it today, though the original heavy herringbone material has been replaced with a modern and – more importantly – lighter cotton and polyester blend.

For almost 50 years, only caddies employed by Augusta could carry during the Masters. But while that particular tradition changed in from the 1983 tournament, the boiler suit remained.

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Veteran Augusta caddie Carl Jackson, who began working at Augusta in his early teens, said they “wore those uniforms to look uniform”.

“I wore it with pride,” he explained. “It was a uniform that showed you were a professional. Mr Roberts wanted everything to look the best that it could – the golf course, the players… and that included the caddies.”

What do the numbers represent?

On the left breast of each of the caddie boiler suits is a green number. These are dished out based on the order in which players arrive at Augusta and complete their registration for that year’s tournament.

The only number that cannot be taken is 1, which is reserved for the defending champion.

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