Honorary starters…..

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As many of us know, the Masters is “unlike any other” and one thing that makes it different is the tradtion of the honroary starter.  Since 1963 the custom in most years has been to start the tournament with an honorary opening tee shot at the first hole, typically by one of golf’s legendary players. The original honorary starters were Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod; this twosome led off every tournament from 1963 until 1973, when poor health prevented Hutchison from swinging a club. McLeod continued on until his death in 1976.  Byron Nelson and Gene Sarazen started in 1981, and were then joined by Sam Snead in 1984.  This trio continued until 1999 when Sarazen died, while Nelson discontinued in 2001.  Snead hit his final opening tee shot in 2001, a year before he too died.  In 2007, Arnold Palmer took over as the honorary starter.  Palmer also had the honor in 2008 and 2009.   At the 2010 Masters Tournament, Jack Nicklaus joined Palmer as a co-honorary starter for the event and it is widely expected that Gary Player will re-unite The Big Three in 2011.

If you would like to be there to see the first tee shot, contact me at or call me at 706-877-7783.