The Par-3 Contest is an annual golf competition held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. They offer the excitement of competition and magnify the significance of every shot in a manner that a casual round cannot. The par-3 round at the Masters is a fascinating sporting tradition for a number of reasons.
Every year on Wednesday before the opening round, seasoned veterans and rising stars mix it up in a tournament that has become a fan favorite. In the past, honorary guests were welcomed; however, as of 2017, that policy has been altered. The spouses and families of the competitors have upped the “cute factor” of the par-3 contest.
The event is contested at the club’s famous course, sometimes known as the “Green Monster,” because of its challenging layout. In a par-3 contest, you can expect to see a lot of exciting moments. You should know about these exciting opportunities if you’re a golf enthusiast. This article focuses on the most intriguing aspects of the par- 3 competition.
Masters Tournament Par 3 Contest History
Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts came up with the idea for the Par 3 Contest. Though he had good intentions in seeing it as a unique pre-Tournament attraction, not everyone saw things his way. The idea of a “Tom Thumb course” was mocked by some club members, and Roberts had to work to win over their support. No one could have foreseen that the Par 3 Contest would become a beloved annual event.
The length of the course, 1,060 yards, was determined by George W. Cobb, with significant contributions from Roberts himself in the design process. The par-3 course opened for play in 1958. In 1960, the first such competition was held, and Sam Snead emerged victorious.
- The field includes both Tournament competitors and non-competing former champions. They make their way around the small, nine-hole circuit in the northeastern section of the Augusta National grounds. Each of the holes features a picturesque view of either DeSoto Springs Pond or Ike’s Pond, spaning 70 yards to 140 yards. Ninety-four holes-in-ones have been accomplished thus far, with a record nine occurring in 2016.
- A series of three-hole rounds will be played, with the person with the lowest score after each game being eliminated. The victor is the final remaining contestant. The winner is the player who, after nine holes, has the lowest score in relation to par.
- According to legend, the Par- 3 Contest champion has never gone on to win the Masters in the same year. However, not all players in a Par three tournament report their scores. Some golfers take it easy as they saunter down the front nine, while others enjoy having their caddies try a chip, pitch, or tap-in putt occasionally.
Two Astonishing Facts in the Par-3 Contest
- The players dress their toddlers up as caddies and have them try to carry golf clubs. This event makes you feel good because it is so adorable. Anyone who sees a toddler wearing a tiny Augusta National jumpsuit and maintaining a small bag or handling a flagpole twice their height is sure to smile.
- And the second part is that no one has ever won the Par-3 Contest and then the Masters in the same year. No one knows for sure if this is a curse if it’s just peaking a few days early or if it’s just a matter of chance and statistics. But it’s always fun to see how the Par-3 champion performs on the extensive course.
Reasons Make the Par-3 Contest the Most Enthralling Sport
1. One of Entertainment’s Most Attractive Amphitheaters
The center of the Par 3 Course is two ponds, which are to the right of the clubhouse. They are surrounded by trees, bushes, flowers, pine straw, and anything else Bob Ross ever painted in nature, and white Augusta National cabins can be seen in the distance. There are nine of the greenest, best-kept par three holes in the world. When people are there, it’s a spectacular mix of colors that can’t be made again on a palette.
2. That’s Not Truly a Competition, and the Audience is Okay With It
Basically, it’s the competitors’ dirty little secret. Many golfers are “disqualified” from tournaments because they let their caddies, wives, and children hit shots for them. (Since no one has ever won both the Par-3 contest and the green jacket in the same year, the players aren’t upset about being disqualified.) Nothing about this changes the nature of the competition. Actually, it improves the overall quality of the event.
3. The Kids Are Just as Popular, If Not More so, Than the Players
Including the “Family Day” component of the Par-3 Contest was a concession made to the participants; nonetheless, since its introduction, it has become an indelible part of the event’s fabric. This reveals a more sensitive side of the players, and the sight of a player’s children roaming around the stadium contributes to the picnic-like mood that permeates the competition.
4. The Stadium Has no Inferior Seats
Two, and usually more like three or four, holes are visible from almost any vantage point on the site. It’s quite the contrast to an actual tournament, where you could only see one hole or even a portion of it. In addition, the aforementioned noise ensures that you are never in the dark; you are always up to date on any developments.
5. System of Autographic
If you’re into collecting autographs, you’ll be happy to know that players at the Par -3 Contest are so glad to oblige anyone waving a Masters flag in their direction with a signature. Over the course of 90 minutes, we saw at least one member from each team stop what they were doing to sign autographs. Truer still if the autograph seeker happened to be a little child.
6. In a “Competitive” Setting, You Can Look Beyond the Stars
Former athletes are typically depicted in a ceremonial role once they retire. That wasn’t the case on Wednesday at Augusta National. It’s true that there are venues for showcasing retired athletes in other sports. If you’ve ever seen an NBA Celebrity Game or an MLB Old-Timers’ Day (both of which regularly feature Hall of Famers), you know that the end result is difficult to watch and, in a way, a disrespect to their heritage. Former Masters champions can be found competing with today’s rising stars in the Par 3 Contest, with a select few even coming out on top.
And in a tournament where the past always has a place at the table, fans get to relive the glory days of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, and the rest of the green jacket winners for a few hours.
- In 2016, while playing in the same group, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas each made an ace on the fourth hole.
- Tom Watson, at age 77, holds the record for the oldest champion in tournament history. In 2018, at the age of 68, he finally got the victory he deserved.
- As Tony Finau raced toward the green to celebrate his ace in 2018, he twisted his ankle and nearly had to quit the competition.
- In the same year, Jack Nicklaus let his grandson G.T. hit the tee shot on the ninth hole, which he promptly birdied.
Stunning Images in the Par-3 Contest
- There have been a hundred hole-in-ones at the 2022 Masters, per the official media guide. To date, 2016 has seen nine. There are 24 aces at No. 9, making it the hole with the highest ace count (21 present courses, three original courses).
- In 2016, Jimmy Walker achieved a new course record with a score of 19.
- At three, Padraig Harrington is the tournament’s all-time leader in victories (2003, 2004, 2012).
- The oldest person to take part was Paul Runyan. In 2000, at age 91, he still took to the stage.
- Three non-professionals have taken first place: Deane Beman (1961), Labron Harris Jr. (1964), and Jay Haas (1976).
None of the Masters’ traditions are more appealing than the annual Par- 3 Contest. This cherished event, traditionally on the Wednesday of tournament week and now broadcast globally, is primarily a family affair. Wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, and nieces and nephews all act as caddies with enthusiasm.
The Par -3 Contest has been held for well over half a century as a combination of competition and stress relaxation for golfers competing in the Masters. It’s a beautiful opportunity to soak up some rays and appreciates nature while witnessing some of the world’s finest golfers in action. Furthermore, it’s a fantastic opportunity to back the club’s humanitarian initiatives.
As a golf aficionado, a par-3 contest undoubtedly brings you amusement. It is currently gaining popularity because of its diversity. We hope that our article has provided you with a wealth of knowledge regarding the per-3 Contest.
Why is it called a par 3?
The shortest holes are the ones with three shots to make par. You can quickly get to the green from the tee box on par-3 holes, which makes them fun to play. There are now golf courses with only par three holes because they are so enjoyable. These are called “par 3” courses.
Can you use a driver on a par 3?
Most par- 3 don’t need your driver, but a few do. Some par- 3 have a length of more than 230 yards. If you’re playing a par-3 course, you should always look at the scorecard to determine which clubs to bring.
What iron should I use on a par- 3?
When playing a par three course, having a set consisting of a seven iron, nine iron, wedge, and putter is advantageous. With this set of clubs, you can tackle the majority of circumstances that may arise on par three courses. If some of the holes are longer, it may be prudent to include a hybrid as well.