Augusta National Golf Club Par-3 Course
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The 18 holes over which The Masters is played aren’t the only golf holes on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club. They make up the “big course.” The “little course” is a nine-hole par-3 course that goes by the name of … Par-3 Course. The Augusta National Par-3 Course is the site of the annual Par-3 Contest, which takes place on Wednesday of Masters week. That event is now televised, which puts the Par-3 Course in front of the general golfing public one day a year.
The club’s Par-3 Course is not your average executive golf course. It is as pretty as the “big course” at Augusta, with the same prevalence of trees, plants, and flowers. The course flows around two ponds (more on those to come). Its turf is the same glowing green of the rest of Augusta.
Paul Azinger once called it “the best golf course in the world.”
Augusta National Par-3 Course History
The man behind the Augusta National Par-3 Course was club co-founder Clifford Roberts. Roberts wanted a Par-3 Course from the get-go when the club was being formulated in the early 1930s, and architect Alister Mackenzie sketched ideas for a short course at the time the “big course” was being built. But in the Depression Era, Bobby Jones argued against adding another nine holes.
Roberts never gave up on the idea, however. And the Par-3 Course was built in 1958.
The Augusta National Par-3 Course opened in 1958 on what had previously been a low-lying, boggy piece of land on the Augusta National property behind the clubhouse and cabins. The architect was George Cobb, who worked with Augusta National chairman Clifford Roberts in designing the short track.
In 1987, architect Tom Fazio built two new holes.
Modern Layout and Total Yardage
After designer Tom Fazio created two new holes in 1987, the layout of Augusta’s Par-3 Course changed. For the Par-3 Contest every year on Wednesday of Masters week, golfers play a course whose first seven holes are the original third through ninth holes created by architect George Cobb. As noted, those holes are now Nos. 1 through 7 and the eighth and ninth holes are the ones built by Fazio in 1987.
The Augusta National Par-3 Course is a par of 27 (naturally) and totals 1,060 yards in length.
Scorecard: Hole-by-Hole Yardages
Here are the individual hole yardages for the par-27, 1,060-yard golf course:
Hole No. 1 — 130 yards
Hole No. 2 — 70 yards
Hole No. 3 — 90 yards
Hole No. 4 — 130 yards
Hole No. 5 — 130 yards
Hole No. 6 — 140 yards
Hole No. 7 — 115 yards
Hole No. 8 — 120 yards
Hole No. 9 — 135 yards
Course Record on Augusta National’s Par-3
The course record during the annual Par-3 Contest is 19, which was established by Jimmy Walker in 2016. That lowered the previous record of 20, recorded by Art Wall and Gay Brewer.
Wall and Brewer were both Masters champions and both also winners of the Masters Par-3 Contest. The list of Par-3 Contest winners includes many big names, but also some golfers one might be surprised to see.
The Par-3 Course at Augusta flows around two ponds. One of them is called DeSoto Springs Pond. The other is called Ike’s Pond. Ike’s Pond is the better-known because the eighth and ninth holes — which are photographed more than any other holes — are built around Ike’s Pond.
But primarily, it’s better know because of after whom Ike’s Pond is named: World War II hero, U.S. president, and Augusta National member Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Ike’s Pond is man-made, fed by a spring and impounded after Eisenhower suggesting doing so in order to create a secluded fishing spot. Augusta National members (and sometimes pro golfers during Masters Tournament week) still enjoy fishing in Ike’s Pond today.
Tiny Greens, Shaved Banks
Don’t get the idea that because Augusta National’s Par-3 Course is so short it is defenseless. Not only are the greens tiny, most of them have water in play. But those that are fully or partially surrounded by water also have tightly mowed banks sloping severely down to the water.
In other words, a shot slightly off target has a very good chance of catching such a slope and falling down into the water.