Author gomattolson from Minneapolis, Minnesota Permission CC-BY-2.0.

It is Masters time again.  My clients know I love golf. And this time of year, the Masters is the only thing holding me together as tax season comes to an end.

The 2018 Masters Tournament begins on April 5th, continuing an April tradition that started in 1934.

It’s special because the tournament’s co-founder – Bobby Jones – was one of the greatest golfers of all time. And unlike other tournaments, The Masters takes place at the same location every year:  Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.  August is so exclusive that you can’t even have a cell phone while watching a practice round. And while the cpd (cost per dude, thanks George) to go to the Masters isn’t too bad if you apply and are picked to get tickets, don’t ask what it costs to join, because joining Augusta is by invitation only.

Steeped in tradition, golf originated in Scotland in the fifteenth century when the Scottish king James IV began playing golf in 1502.  The British Open began in 1860, making it the oldest of the four major tournaments in professional golf.  However, it’s the Masters that holds some of the most interesting and talked-about traditions.

What are some of the Traditions?

Fist there’s The Champions Dinner.  Before the tournament each year, past Masters champions gather for a banquet, with the menu chosen by the previous year’s winner.  In this year’s case, Sergio Garcia chose a Spanish style menu topped with a cake made by his new wife, whom he married after winning last year. Don’t ask him which day was more special.

Former Masters winners have their own locker room, the Champions Locker Room, which features nameplates on lockers of past golf greats and Masters memorabilia.  The rest of the professional golfers in the tournament use another locker room which I’d still love to use, even if it’s not called the Champions Locker.

There’s the semi-social Par 3 tournament providing a lighter side to the competition, with children often caddying for their fathers, along with significant player and fan interaction.

There’s the tradition of skipping balls at the 16th hole during practice rounds.

And of course, the ceremonial opening tee shot when legends like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, and Arnold Palmer, gather at the first tee, and their first tee shots announce the beginning of the tournament.

Did you know that caddies can’t even wear sponsor-laden outfits at the Masters? They wear special white jumpsuit uniforms, a Masters cap, and white shoes. No sponsors. This would not be ideal for La Liga.

But let’s not forget the most important tradition of all… The Green Jacket.  Each Masters winner is presented with a Green Jacket by the previous year’s winner.  Champions keep their jackets for a year, almost like renting it, then return them to storage at Augusta National, where the individual champion can wear it again, but only on club grounds. Then they have to buy a knockoff if they want to wear a green jacket with a small “g”. FYI, if anyone wants to buy me a knockoff, I’m all in. I’d wear to bed.

So how does the traditions at the Masters relate to financial planning?

(Insert stretched reason for writing an article about the Masters and linking it to financial planning.)

A tradition everyone should adopt is reviewing your financial plan on a yearly basis with your financial advisor. If you’re lucky like my clients that play golf, you can even do it after we play Eagle Eye or Hawk Hollow here in Mid-Michigan. I know it’s not Augusta, but my home courses rock anyway.

It’s the great financial advisors that carry on the most important traditions surrounding planning which involve asking the right questions, listening, assisting clients with their dreams, and charting a course designed to support the family and be passed on to the children.

So, establish a tradition reviewing of your financial plan with your financial advisor each year!  Maybe you’ll be able to afford to join Augusta if/when someone decides to ask you to join. Or you can play with me if/when someone decides to ask me!