Every year, since 1952, it has become customary for the previous year’s Masters champion to ‘host’ the Champion’s Dinner on the Tuesday before the tournament at the ‘Masters Club’. Recent years have seen some ‘interesting’ menu choices, and we also take a look at what might be on the menu next year.
There have been some ‘culturally’ significant food choices that will have pleased the national tourist boards of some countries more than previous champions.
In 1984 Bernhard Langer got the ball rolling with his homage to fine German dining by serving Wiener schnitzel with spaetzle (a thin, sliced veal coated in breadcrumbs accompanied by small dumplings), followed by a traditional Black Forest gateaux.
Shortly afterwards Sandy Lyle flew the Scottish Saltire by offering up Haggis with neeps and tatties (which I
won’t can’t describe here).
Nick Faldo’s tomato soup starter followed by a main course of fish and chips raised few eyebrows in 1997, although Tiger Woods’ first attempt might have been frowned upon by some of the older members of the Masters Club. A 21 year old might well have been all over cheeseburgers, fries and strawberry milkshakes, an 85 year old Byron Nelson might well have passed(out).
Ian Woosnam flew the Welsh flag in 1992 by offering up leek and potato soup followed by a leg of Welsh lamb. Àngel Cabrera did likewise with his ‘Argentine asado’, a lengthy barbecue feast serving chorizo, blood sausage, ribs, beef fillets and mollejas (which are in effect really offal parts of the animal).
Hats off to Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman whose own take on their hunting, outdoorsy culture resulted in elk, wild boar and Arctic char (washed down with a good ol’ Canadian beer) for Weir and some bobotie (curried game pie) and sosaties (spicy meat skewers) accompanied by some fine Cape wines For the South African.
Perhaps the classiest fare was served up by Adam Scott last year. In 2014 he chose wagyu beef, Moreton Bay lobster, artichoke and arugula salad and finished it off with a decadent pavlova. For a player who looks better, dresses better and swings better than most of us, he proved he eats better than most of us do too!
What Masters Club members can expect from Bubba Watson this year is at best unpredictable. It could be waffles (which is how he celebrated his win last year), or it could be something similar to his serving in 2013 when he rolled out the interesting mix of grilled chicken, macaroni cheese, mashed potato and caesar salad.
If Rickie Fowler wins this year what would his menu be? Trolling through his Instagram and Twitter feeds suggest something Mexican (he is from Southern California) or perhaps a seafood feast.
What about many people’s favorite this year, Jordan Spieth? A true Texan, Spieth does not look like he would shirk a weighty, beef feast, perhaps akin to Ben Crenshaw’s Texan Barbecue of 1996. And if Jimmy Walker wins then the food choice is bound to be stellar!
There has not yet been an Irish winner and heading that particular list is Rory McIlroy (no one wants to delve too closely into the food heaven of Padraig). Rory strikes me as someone who loves a healthy breakfast, but pines for a big lunch and is all over his home comforts, nothing is more comforting than a traditional roast dinner.
Hideki Matsuyama might bring some interesting Japanese food to the Champions Dinner. A quick look at previous meals suggest that sushi and sashimi are always popular choices on Tuesday.
However, what would certainly be the most impressive sight, and one most of us ‘normal’ golfers could relate to would be for Jason Day to preside over a carving block of (kangaroo?) steaks whilst dishing out the stubbies from the cooler.
Who do you think will win, and what will their champions dinner be?