Par 3 Contest at Augusta National
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Par 3 Contest at Augusta National
Patrons watch the play during the Par 3 Contest prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National on April 8, 2015. Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Masters Par 3 Contest - No. 5
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Masters Par 3 Contest - No. 5
The fifth green is seen during the 2014 Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta National. Andrew Redington/Getty Images
McIlroy and Wozniacki at Masters Par 3 Contest
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McIlroy and Wozniacki at Masters Par 3 Contest
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland stands with his caddie, Caroline Wozniacki, during the 2013 Masters Par 3 Contest. Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Masters Par 3 Contest - Mickelson Family
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Masters Par 3 Contest - Mickelson Family
Phil Mickelson and Emma Mackay, Jim "Bones" Mackay's daughter, watch as Mackay's son, Oliver, putts during the 2014 Masters Par 3 Contest. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Masters Par 3 Contest - Jack Nicklaus - Arnold Palmer
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Masters Par 3 Contest - Jack Nicklaus - Arnold Palmer
Jack Nicklaus (left) and Arnold Palmer celebrate during the 2014 Masters Par 3 Contest. Rob Carr/Getty Images
Masters Par 3 Contest - Patrons
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Masters Par 3 Contest - Patrons
Patrons watch the play during the 2015 Par 3 Contest at Augusta National. Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Tiger Woods - Lindsey Vonn - Masters Par 3 Contest
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Tiger Woods - Lindsey Vonn - Masters Par 3 Contest
Tiger Woods waits to putt during the 2015 Masters Par 3 Contest as Lindsey Vonn, son Charlie, and daughter Sam watch. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Augusta National's par-3 golf course
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Augusta National's par-3 golf course
There are some big hills for spectators to watch the Par 3 Contest action at Augusta National. Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor
Augusta National Par 3 course - scoreboard
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Augusta National Par 3 course - scoreboard
The par 3 scoreboard at Augusta National shows there were three aces during the 2014 Masters Par 3 Contest. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - Par 3 course - Nick Faldo
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Augusta National - Par 3 course - Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo tees off on the second hole of Augusta National's Par 3 Course. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Augusta National - Arnold Palmer
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Augusta National - Arnold Palmer
Patrons score autographs from Arnold Palmer during the Par 3 Contest at Augusta National. Getty Images
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Get to know the Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta National

All truly great golf clubs have a short course for casual rounds that can be played by all ages and abilities, and Augusta National is no different.

Augusta National's Par 3 was added to the club in 1958 by Clifford Roberts and George Cobb. The Masters Par 3 Contest was added to the week's events in 1960 and was won by Sam Snead. The course measures just 1,060 yards, with the longest hole, no. 6, playing 140 yards. The layout features two ponds in play, Ike's Pond and DeSoto Springs Pond. In 1987 the course was altered, adding a new no. 8 and 9 and removing the original first and second holes. In 2008 the event, held Wednesday before the first round of the Masters, was first televised by ESPN.

Today, the Par 3 Contest is informal and most players have their wives, girlfriends or children (or all the above) caddie for them. In recent years, Tiger Woods has brought then girlfriend Lindsey Vonn along, and Rory McIlroy had then-fiance Caroline Wozniacki on the bag, both of which created plenty of buzz.

Honorary invitees are invited to compete in the contest, and this includes all past major champions, British Amateur and U.S. Amateur winners, not just Masters winners.

Past winners who choose not to compete in the Masters will still compete in the par-3 tournament. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Arnold Palmer have been a grouping for a number of years until Palmer bowed out of the contest. In 2015 Jack Nicklaus sent the Masters crowd into a tizzy with an ace at the fourth hole. 2016's group was Player, Nicklaus and Tom Watson.

The winner of the contest receives a crystal bowl, but few players in contention want this award. No player who has ever won the par 3 has gone on to win the Masters. As a result, some of the top contenders of the week have been known to dunk a golf ball in the water or let a little kid hit their putt for them.

The course record for contest is 19, set by Jimmy Walker in 2016.

Watch: Favorite Masters Par 3 Contest memories


Welcome to Wednesday at #themasters.

A photo posted by @themasters on

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.

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Get to know the Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta National