Augusta National Golf Club Par-3 Course

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Not Your Average Par-3 Course

Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in action on the eighth green during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2009 Masters Tournament
The Par-3 Course at Augusta National is not your average 'little course.'. David Cannon/Getty Images

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 9-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 photos in this gallery show scenes of the Augusta National Par-3 Course, and the text that accompanies the images provide a little bit of the history of the Par-3 Course - including when it was built, who designed it and the hole yardages.

In the image above, that's the No. 8 green in the foreground and the No. 9 green in the background.

Augusta National Golf Club's Par-3 Course is not your average executive 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."

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Augusta National Par-3 Course Greens

Augusta National Par-3 course greens
How small are the Par-3 Course greens? This small. © Lisa Launius, Licensed to

Sure, it's just a par-3 course. But Augusta's "little course" isn't defenseless. The photo above gives you a great sense of just how small the greens are.

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Ike's Pond

Augusta Par 3 Course Ike's Pond
The water feature in this photo is Ike's Pond, named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower. David Cannon / Getty Images

As mentioned earlier, 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 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.

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Augusta Par-3 Course: Those Greens Again

augusta national par 3 course - tiny greens
The greens on the Augusta National Par-3 Course are tiny. © Lisa Launius, Licensed to

Here's another good look at how small the greens are on Augusta National's Par-3 Course. Also, note the falloff to the water's edge. There's another angle of this feature in the next image in this gallery.

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Shaved Banks

Augusta Par 3 Course
Photo Gallery: Augusta National Par-3 Course. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Not only are the greens tiny, and most of them with 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.

The golfer in the image above is Trip Kuehne. The photo was taken during the 2008 Par-3 Contest when Trip's young son served as his caddie.

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Augusta National Par-3 Course History

Augusta Par 3 Course - 9th Tee
A view from behind the No. 9 tee at the Augusta Par 3 Course. David Cannon / Getty Images

The view above is from behind the No. 9 tee, looking to the No. 9 green, with the No. 8 green to the right.

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.

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Augusta National Par-3 Course Designers

Augusta Par 3 Course designers
Multiple designers have worked on the Par-3 Course over the years. Harry How / Getty Images

The image above depicts Hole No. 7, which appears as a very narrow corridor with both sides of the hole closely lined by fans during a Par-3 Contest.

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 chairman Clifford Roberts in designing the short track.

In 1987, architect Tom Fazio built two new holes.

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Augusta Par-3 Course: Modern Layout, Yardage

Augusta Par 3 Course layout and yardage
Seven original holes plus two newer holes make up the modern Par-3 Course at Augusta National. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

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.

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Augusta National Par-3 Course Scorecard

Augusta Par 3 Course scorecard
K.J. Choi tees off from the No. 9 hole of the Augusta National Par-3 course. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

As noted on the previous page, the Augusta National Par-3 Course is a par-27 that plays to 1,060 yards. Here are the individual hole yardages:

No. 1 - 130 yards
No. 2 - 70 yards
No. 3 - 90 yards
No. 4 - 130 yards
No. 5 - 130 yards
No. 6 - 140 yards
No. 7 - 115 yards
No. 8 - 120 yards
No. 9 - 135 yards

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.