Entertainment Sports What Is the Masters Champions Dinner? What to Know About the Iconic Golf Tournament's Tradition Started by Ben Hogan in 1952, the traditional Masters Champions Dinner is hosted by the tournament's defending champion, who also curates the dinner's menu By Glenn Garner Glenn Garner Instagram Twitter Glenn Garner is a Writer/Reporter who works heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. Since graduating from Northern Arizona University with a dual major in journalism and photography, he got his professional start at OUT Magazine, The Advocate and Teen Vogue, and he's since consistently kept his finger on the pulse of the LGBTQ community. His first book The Guncle Guide was released in 2020 and was featured on Katie Couric's list of 100 recommended books of the year. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 4, 2022 04:17 PM Share Tweet Pin Email The Masters Champions Dinner in 1958. Photo: Augusta National/Getty The 2022 Masters Tournament kicks off this week at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, along with a series of time-honored traditions. In addition to its green jackets, Par-3 contest and honorary opening tee shots, one such beloved tradition is the Masters Champions Dinner, an exclusive event taking place the Tuesday of Masters week, hosted by the tournament's reigning champion. With Hideki Matsuyama — the first Japanese pro to win the Masters — hosting his first Masters Dinner this week, here are five things to know about the event. Tiger Woods Says He's in Augusta Ahead of Masters, Competing Will Be a 'Game Time Decision' Ben Hogan hosted the first Masters Champions Dinner in 1952. The tradition began in 1952, when reigning champion Hogan hosted a dinner for all previous winners, according to the PGA Tour. The inaugural dinner marked the formation of the Masters Club, its membership limited to Masters champions and some honorary inductees. The Masters Club is now known as the Champions Dinner. Each year's menu is selected by the defending champion. Traditionally, the defending champion hosts the Masters Champions Dinner, in addition to holding the privilege of choosing the menu. Last year's dinner, curated by Dustin Johnson, featured pigs-in-a-blanket, filet mignon and peach cobbler, according to The Augusta Chronicle. The dinner is hosted at the Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters Champions Dinner takes place ahead of tournament play — always scheduled for the first week of April — at the private Augusta National Golf Club. The exclusive event is open only to past champions and honorary members. RELATED VIDEO: Tiger Woods and Son Charlie Finish Out PNC Championship in 2nd Place to John Daly Duo The defending champion is inducted into the Masters Club. During the dinner, the host receives a gold locket inscribed with the club's emblem, the Augusta Chronicle said. Marking the occasion, each guest also passes around their menu for everyone to sign, according to Golf.com. This year's Masters Champions Dinner will be hosted by Matsuyama. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Still recovering from a back injury, Matsuyama, 30, is preparing to defend his Masters title this week, in addition to hosting his first Masters Champions Dinner. Without giving away his menu selections, he admitted last month to Reuters that he's feeling the pressure. "Of course, I'm looking forward to returning to Augusta National as the defending champion. There are some expectations from myself, whether it's pressure or not," he said. "But looking forward to (it) and also at the same time trying to prepare the best I can." "The same with the Champions Dinner. I don't speak English very well and so it's kind of a two-sided coin. I'm looking forward to it, of course, to be with all those great past Masters champions but, at the same time too, very nervous about the speech I will be giving," Matsuyama added.