As defending champion Woods gets to host and choose the menu for the exclusive pre-tournament gathering of past winners and the Augusta National chairman on the Tuesday of Masters week. The food is usually revealed just days before the tournament’s start as the world’s best golfers gather at Augusta, with this year’s Masters’ starting on April 9.
‘Monkey gland sauce’
The Champions Dinner is held in the Augusta National Clubhouse and has become Masters lore since it was started by the great Ben Hogan in 1952.
Later, the winner from the previous year was given the honor of devising the menu, which often reflects their national dish.
When Woods returned as defending champion in 1998 following his breakthrough major win at Augusta he served cheeseburgers, fries and milkshakes. He opted for Porterhouse steak in both 2002 and 2003.
Germany’s Bernhard Langer served wiener schnitzel in 1986, while England’s Nick Faldo selected fish and chips at the first of his three Champions Dinners as host in 1997, and Scotland’s Sandy Lyle donned a kilt and served haggis in 1989.
Other notable menus have included Canadian Mike Weir’s elk, wild boar and Arctic char in 2004, and Charl Schwartzel’s South African barbecue with monkey gland sauce in 2012.
“There’s no monkey and there’s no gland,” a laughing Schwartzel told a news conference that year at Augusta.
“It is a sauce that’s pretty familiar in South Africa in all the restaurants. You put it over your meat. It’s a bit of chutney, Worcester sauce and some onion.”
Another local delicacy was Moreton Bay bugs — Australian lobster — chosen by Adam Scott in 2014.
The dinner is one of the most exclusive gatherings in sport, and for first-timers it can be a daunting affair, according to two-time champion Bubba Watson.
“In 2013, my first Champions Dinner, watching these legends talk, their stories, I didn’t know what to do,” he told reporters at Augusta.
“I was like, are you sure I’m supposed to be here? You watch and listen to the great champions and their stories, and I didn’t talk, I just listened. It was pretty neat.”
The attendees can also choose off the club menu should the host’s fare not be to their liking.
The 2020 Masters runs April 9-12 with Woods chasing a sixth green jacket to tie the record of Jack Nicklaus.
Rory McIlroy just needs the Masters to become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam of all four major titles.