Brief History Of The Mayor's Masters Reception

The Mayor’s Masters Receptions started in 1999 when Mayor Bob Young was in office.  Bob asked a group of business men, “What can Augusta do for the many people that do not get to go to the Master Tournament?”   The Mayor’s Master Reception was born from that meeting.  The receptions started as a small event held at the Julian Smith Casino.  The first years were exciting. We had many of golf's greatest players at the Receptions;  Seve Ballesteros, Byron Nelson, Larry Mize, Frank Lickliter and others.  During the years 1999-2004, all golfers that had played in the Master’s Tournament were invited to the reception.  With that, we never knew from year to year which golfers, if any, would show up to the event.  In those five years we hosted a number of golf's greatest players and many of the lesser known golfers.

Year 2004, the year of “Arnie’s Army”. 
The year 2004 was a turning point for the receptions. 
This was the year that we decided that each year's event would focus on one of the Masters Champion. The year 2004 would be the last Master’s for Arnold Palmer.  We were fortunate to be able to honor such a great legend, a man that added so much to the game of golf and a gentleman that is truly loved by his fans. We dove into “Arnie’s Army” full speed ahead and what a success it was!  I don’t think we could begin to imagine or plan for the huge turn out and “Army” that would follow this great man.

Year 2005, the year of “The Bear”
Year 2005 was another hugely successful year, Jack Nicklaus was our Honoree and again we had a wonderfully successful year with an unbelievable turn out to the event.  Augusta is in love with our all-time-great golfers.

Year 2006, Raymond Floyd’s year
Staying with a new set tradition, 2006 was another widely successfully year with Honoree Raymond Floyd. With each following year of the event, it just get bigger, better and more exciting.  Dedicated Augusta fans make the event the success that it is.
Year 2007 – Gary Player
Year 2008 – Ben Crenshaw
Year 2009 –  Fuzzy Zeller
Year 2010 – Billy Casper
Year 2011 – Augusta Native, Larry Mize

In the thirteen years of the event, we have hosted 30 of 63 Green Jacket Winners.  The Reception continues to grow year after year.  For the 2011 Receptions, we had a community participation of over 5000 people. 

Wayne Hawkins
Mayor's Masters Reception Committee Chairman