Art Wall Jr.’s Green Jacket from the 1959 Masters is on the auction block and there are several deep pocketed potential buyers chasing after it.
Bidding via Green Jacket Auctions, a golf memorabilia dealer, has shot past $36,000 with bidding still open until Saturday.
The current policy is that Masters Champions are only allowed to bring their Green Jackets home for one year, and must return them to Augusta National when they come back to defend their championship the following spring. Green Jackets of former champions must remain at Augusta National Golf Club with no exceptions.
The truth is, though, that Augusta National was not always so protective when it came to the Jacket. Masters champions prior to 1961 were allowed to keep their Green Jackets and have never been required to return them. In 2010, Doug Ford’s 1957 coat sold for $63,000. The winning bidder loaned it to the World Golf Hall of Fame for Ford’s 2011 induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame induction.
According to the auction company, Wall wore a stock Jacket during the ceremony immediately following his win as is the usual custom for first time winners. He was then fitted for the Jacket that would become his. It was manufactured for Wall on May 7, 1959 – just a month after his dramatic victory over Arnold Palmer and Cary Middlecoff at Augusta.
So how did Wall’s Jacket wind up in an auction? It’s a Masters mystery, according to his son, also a golf pro in Pennsylvania. The local paper tracked him down to get his take.