The mystique that surrounds The Masters is not only because of the tournament, the beautiful grounds at Augusta National or the countless giants of the game that have passed through on their way to fame, but also because of the traditions that take place all week. One of the most anticipated and endearing of those traditions is the annual par 3 contest.
This event is held on Wednesday of tournament week and is, at its core, a family event. From the masters.com website, “The varied field consists of Tournament participants, noncompeting past champions and Honorary Invitees. Together they wend their way around a short, nine-hole layout nestled in the northeast corner of the Augusta National grounds. The holes, ranging from 70 to 140 yards, play over DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike’s Pond.”
Often times, those participating will have their wives, children or friends caddie for them. It’s always fun seeing toddlers running around the course, carrying a golf bag or handing their dad or uncle a club. This particular tradition dates back to 1960 and has become easily one of the most recognizable events of the week.
Not every contestant chooses to record their score. Rather, some just enjoy playing the nine holes in a much more relaxed fashion, sometimes even letting their caddies take shots for them. It behooves those playing in the big tournament not to have their score recorded, as it is well known that no winner of the par 3 contest has gone on to win The Masters in the same year.
The Masters par 3 contest isn’t about winning, even though a winner is declared each year. It’s about the participants being able to hit a few golf shots and relax their minds before one of the biggest days of their life, all while in the company of their family and friends.