Augusta National Par-3 Course: Scorecard, Handicaps, Flyover, History

Photo of hole on Augusta National Golf Club Par-3 Course

The Augusta National Par-3 Course occupies a small slice of the larger grounds at Augusta National Golf Club, but every year it is the site of The Masters Tournament Par-3 Contest, which makes it by far the most-famous par-3 golf course on the planet.

The Augusta National Par-3 Course is nine holes long, all of them, naturally, par-3 holes. They range in length from 76 yards at the shortest to 156 yards at the longest, averaging 123 yards. The total length is 1,060 yards and the short course has a par of 27.

The Par-3 Course is in the northeast corner of the Augusta National Golf Club property. Its nine holes fit in next to the clubhouse and cabins and, on the other side, Washington Road. The holes play around and over two bodies of water, Ike's Pond and DeSoto Springs Pond.

Augusta National Par-3 Course Scorecard

This is the actual scorecard for Augusta National's Par-3 Course:

Augusta National Golf Club Par 3 course scorecard

Writing out that data, these are the Par-3 Course holes and yardages, with their handicap ratings in parentheses:

  • Hole 1: 130 yards (hcp 5)
  • Hole 2: 70 yards (hcp 9)
  • Hole 3: 90 yards (hcp 8)
  • Hole 4: 130 yards (hcp 3)
  • Hole 5: 130 yards (hcp 4)
  • Hole 6: 140 yards (hcp 1)
  • Hole 7: 115 yards (hcp 7)
  • Hole 8: 120 yards (hcp 7)
  • Hole 9: 135 yards (hcp 2)
Unlike on the Augusta National Golf Club course proper, the Par-3 Course holes are not named. Also note that just as with the regulation golf course, the club's par-3 course lists yardages on its scorecard only to the nearest five yards. In actual, measured yards (based on satellite data), we know that the second hole plays 76 yards and that the sixth hole can play up to 156 yards.

Also note that the handicap ratings simply follow the length of the holes: The longest hole (the sixth) is the No. 1 handicap hole; the shortest (No. 2) is the No. 9 handicap hole.

The makers of the following video created a flyover of the Par-3 Course using Google Earth:

Using Handicaps on the Augusta National Par-3 Course

Here is a look at the front of the Par-3 Course's scorecard, which includes the club's instructions for how to use your handicap on the short course:

Augusta National Golf Club Par 3 Course scorecard

Golfers who carry a handicap from zero to 4 get no strokes on the short course. With a handicap of 5-7, you get one handicap stroke; 8-10, two strokes; 11-13, three strokes; 14-16, four strokes; 17-19, five strokes; 20-22, six strokes; and 23-over, seven strokes.

History of the Par-3 Course at Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts wanted a short course on the property from the start, but it took decades before he got what he wanted. (Very unusual, since Roberts was the dictator at Augusta National and typically got exactly what he wanted, when he wanted it.)

Course architect Alister MacKenzie included plans for a par-3 course in his original Augusta National designs, one version being nine holes and 500 yards in length, another version using multiple tees to produce a nine-hole layout designed to be played twice for a 2,400-yard length.

It took until 1958 before the other-cofounder, Bobby Jones, gave in to Roberts' desire. By that time, at former President Dwight Eisenhower's suggestion, a small creek had been dammed on the property to create a fishing pond. That pond, called Ike's Pond, played a key role in a new design, as did a second,newly created pond called DeSoto Springs Pond.

Course designer George Cobb worked with Roberts on the design, which routed nine holes around and over the two ponds. The par-3 course opened in 1958, and in 1960 the Masters Par-3 Contest was initiated there (Sam Snead was the first winner).

In 1987, the club made some changes to the routing, creating two new holes (taking two of the original holes out of play) that play over Ike's Pond.

Photo credits:
Top photo — pocketwiley, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Scorecards — via Instagram/@sugarloafsocialclub

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