If you watched The Masters last weekend, you saw an historic performance by Jordan Spieth. You also saw a bunch of grown men wearing white jumpsuits.
This happens every year at The Masters. Caddies dress as if they are auditioning for a role as the Swedish Chef from The Muppets.
Why is that? Let’s find out in today’s edition of Wonder Why Wednesday…
Why Do Caddies Wear White Jumpsuits At The Masters?
Years ago, anyone who played at Augusta National, home of The Masters, was required to use a caddy provided by the club. All the staff caddies were black, and many went by nicknames such as Fireball, Ironman and Cemetery.
Club co-founder Cliff Roberts once said, “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.” At the time, many of his caddies were poor, and Roberts did not want his caddies to wear unkempt clothes on the golf course. In order to hide their garments, Roberts required all caddies to wear the club’s signature white overalls.
The overalls were left at the club, laundered by the club, and reused when the next caddy was needed.
Roberts died in 1977 and slowly the caddy racism went with him. In 1983, chairman Hord Hardin announced that the club would stop using only black caddies and players were allowed to use their regular caddies at the Masters.
Despite the change, the wardrobe tradition remained. Augusta’s caddy staff continues to wear its trademark white jumpsuits year-round. This includes all caddies used during The Masters.
Sources: Wikipedia, Yahoo & BBC
Photo credits: Flickr & Flickr