First a bit of history…
The Masters Champions Dinner was started by Ben Hogan decades ago and it has become a favorite tradition of players and fans alike. Although only a select few are worthy to dine at this exclusive table, the menu is made public weeks in advance so no one comes unprepared.
Gary Player tells a great story about his first dinner in 1962 (after his historic win over Arnold Palmer in 1961) when the legendary Gene Sarazen started passing around a menu to be signed by all the champions to raise money for young golfers at his local club. As the story goes, when the menu got to Hogan, he stood up out of his chair and slammed both fists on to the table and said, “This is the God Damn Masters Dinner, Not a God Damn autograph session.” Everyone was in shock. But much to Hogan’s disapproval, everyone now comes with a fresh sharpie to sign all sorts of items.
We imagine few moments since have provided that much tension. Well, that is, until this year when LIV Golf’s prized possessions will take their seats. Will there be a food fight? Maybe. Will someone try to poison Patrick Reed? Who knows… But no doubt there will be plenty of stories to come out of the 2023 edition.
For now, here’s where we rank each champion’s feast since 2014:
2021 Champion Hideki Matsuyama: All we can/should say, is ICHIBAN!
Assorted sushi, sashimi and nigiri, and Yakitori chicken skewers. The main dishes are miso glazed black cod with dashi broth, and A5 Wagyu beef ribeye with mixed mushrooms and vegetables and Sansho daikon ponzu
- You had me at Wagyu. The first Asian champion put together a performance in the kitchen worthy of a follow up to his monumental victory (still did not surpass his caddy’s bow to the course on the 18th green). Surely someone will eventually top this menu, we’re just not sure how.
- Overall Score: 9.8
2013 Champion Adam Scott: Only the finest from the Land Down Under
Artichoke and arugula salad with calamari. Main courses of Australian Wagyu beef New York Strip steak and Moreton Bay lobster, with sauteed spinach, onion cream mashed potatoes, strawberry and passion fruit pavlova. Anzac biscuit and vanilla sundae for dessert
- Lobster AND Wagyu… Say no more. I’d like to think that Adam also had homemade Tim-Tam biscuits served, but that legendary Australian cookie, erm I mean, biscuit, might not be appreciated by the masses. There is no weakness here, unlike his game since the anchoring rule came into effect.
- Overall Score: 9.3
2017 Champion Sergio Garcia: Even D-bags like to eat good food
An international salad as a starter; arroz caldoso de bogavante. A traditional Spanish lobster rice, as the primary meal; and Angela Garcia’s tres leche cake, for dessert
- Bonus points for the incorporation of his wife’s famous desert vaulted this menu up the rankings. This was a lineup to make Seve proud. For a player who (may have) underachieved in his career… at least his Champion’s Dinner was one to remember.
- Overall Score: 9.1
2022 Champion Scottie Scheffler: Wait a minute…no Chipotle?
Cheeseburger sliders, firecracker shrimp, tortilla soup, Texas ribeye steak, blackened redfish. And warm chocolate chip skillet cookie for dessert.
- Admittedly, Scottie was nervous about this menu. But he produced a solid all-around feast. Redfish is severely underrated, much like the current World No. 1 was until he caught FIRE! An underdog no more, but still somehow a feel-good story ’cause he just seems so damn nice.
- Overall Score: 8.7
2016 Champion Danny Willett: A nice guy serves up a “nice” dinner menu
First course of mini cottage pies, followed by a “Sunday roast,” with prime rib, roasted potatoes and vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. For dessert, apple crumble with vanilla custard, followed by coffee and tea
- No doubt fine and traditional English fare. It was a welcomed menu for his fellow Englishmen at the table (Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo). And also a gentle reminder that Danny Willett won the Masters. Danny was definitely one of the biggest longshots to win a Major in the past 20 years.
- Overall Score 8.2
2020 champion Dustin Johnson: A simple menu from golf’s simplest superstar (We miss you DJ!)
Pigs in a blanket? At least the apps also included lobster & corn fritters. For the starter, choice of garden salad or Caesar salad; Main course of prime filet mignon with mashed potatoes and spring vegetables, or miso-marinated sea bass; Peach cobbler and apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert
- DJ is a simple man (who certainly has his vices) and hails from down south. This is a classic southern line-up, and one he probably ate at his high school prom. I’d make a small wager that he may have even asked if they will do chicken fingers before Paulina vetoed that selection.
- Overall Score: 8.1
2015 champion Jordan Spieth: If we knew that Franklin was flown in, this menu would have jumped to at least 2nd place
A salad? Shit. Sorry, I mean shoot. A Texas barbecue feast featuring beef brisket, smoked half chicken and pork ribs with baked beans, bacon and chive potato salad, green beans, zucchini and squash as sides and a warm chocolate-chip cookie and vanilla ice cream for dessert
- A hometown Texas-style feast for what the younger generation may recognize as the face of the Masters, even though he’s only won once. The ice cream on top of the chocolate chip cookie is a true pro-move. Take notes, Scottie.
- Overall Score: 8.0
2019 champion Tiger Woods: Not everything The Greatest does is the greatest. His menu is an example
Sushi and fajitas and steak and Mexican dessert galore…eclectic, Mr. Woods.
- This is a strange combo but, hey, it was Big Cat’s fifth go-around. Imagine if Fuzzy Zoller made the same comment about his 1997 winner’s dinner in today’s climate… But remember, the champions can literally order anything they want so no one was forced into this.
- Overall Score: 7.6
2018 champion Patrick Reed: At least he went with a tomahawk. D-bag.
Bone-in rib-eye steak with mac and cheese, creamed spinach, steamed broccoli, creamed corn, and a choice of Caesar or wedge salad. For dessert: Tiramisu, vanilla bean crème brûlée, and a chocolate crunch and praline cheesecake.
- If you weren’t a fan of the host, you likely just ordered off of the member’s menu — just to spite Reed. Rumor has it that since this dinner, he was banned straight to the children’s table, closest to the exit. Maybe a few more are banished there this year.
- Overall Score: 3.4
2014 champion Bubba Watson: Not shocked here.
Caesar salad, grilled chicken breast, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, macaroni and cheese, confetti cake, vanilla ice cream
- Don’t get me wrong, this is a solid menu, for my 5 year-old. And, it’s the exact same food Bubba severed after his first Masters victory. Maybe this is his death row meal? When you can literally choose anything, this is simply not worthy of a Masters Champions Dinner, but vanilla (ice cream and overall description of the offerings) seems apropos with Bubba.
- Overall Score: 2.3