The Order of the Green Jacket: Profiles of Augusta National's top members

The Order of the Green Jacket: Profiles of Augusta National’s top members

From left: Jack Welch, William Clay Ford Sr., Arnold Palmer, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George W. Bush.
Jason Seiler

Nickname: Trey (he’s William Gates III)
World domination: Microsoft software runs 90 percent of U.S. computers. Time co-person of the year, ’05. Net worth: $59 billion (Fortune).
Golf stuff: Married on course in Hawaii. Reportedly waited years before finally being admitted to The Order.
Conspiracy? His retrofitted Palm Pilot is said to remotely control 90 percent of the world’s beverage carts.
Rumor! So rich that when he plays a Nassau, he’s actually wagering on the capital of the Bahamas.

Nickname: The Oracle of Omaha
World domination: Net worth: $52 billion (Forbes). Berkshire Hathaway’s holdings include Geico, Dairy Queen.
Golf stuff: In ’01, Chicago Tribune reported he lost a $5 bet to Tiger Woods, who played hole from his knees. (Woods went on to lose to Dorf in a playoff.)
Conspiracy? Bought into The Washington Post in ’73; soon after, the paper broke Watergate, leading to Nixon’s ouster and countless golfers getting beaned by Gerald Ford’s errant tee shots.
Rumor! Augusta locker combo: 5-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0. Also, gets out of tipping caddies by asking, “Can you break a million?”

Nickname: Bill
World domination: Net worth: $1.2 billion (Forbes). Former board member of Ford Motor Company, founded by grandfather Henry. Owns Detroit Lions.
Golf stuff: Has recorded seven aces. Co-founded exclusive Jupiter Hills Club, in Florida, with George Fazio and Bob Hope, in 1970. “On one hole,” Hope once said, “I hit an alligator so hard, he’s now my golf bag.”
Conspiracy? Golf-crazy Ford trying to trade Lions for Tiger, the Slazenger cougar and a Lynx driver to be named later.
Rumor! When asked his score after a tough hole, replies, “Bogey. But who cares? I have a billion dollars!”

Nickname: Neutron Jack. “He leaves buildings standing but eliminates the people.” (Fortune)
World domination: Former G.E. CEO’s net worth: $680 million (Boston Magazine). Named “Manager of the Century” (Fortune). Famous for regularly firing 10 percent of his staff.
Golf stuff: Before ’01 retirement, vetted potential GE successors by seeing how they handled Augusta pressure (presumably by shouting “Noonan!” in their backswings).
Conspiracy? Scored $7 million advance for Jack: Straight from the Gut (publisher may have thought it was a Nicklaus diet book).
Rumor! Once, after reading his own management book, Welch got confused and fired himself.

Nickname: The King
World domination: Four-time Masters champ and coolest guy on the planet. Set speed record for circling globe in Lear jet (followed by another record: world’s longest bathroom break.) Popular culinary contribution: Saturday Sandwich (PB&J; PB side toasted, J side cold). Less popular: Palmer Pasta (linguine in Pennzoil).
Golf stuff: According to the new book Arnie & Jack, by Ian O’Connor, Arnie was known during the rivalry days to bring a newspaper into the bathroom and say, “I’m going to take a Nicklaus.”
Conspiracy? Aging Army being reinforced by members of Arnie’s National Guard.
Rumor! Twenty-two years later, still heartbroken over losing lead role in Top Gun to Tom Cruise.

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