You may often see a breakdown of a golfer’s round by how he does on the par-3, par-4, and par-5 holes. It can be a helpful statistic. Players may be playing well on par 5s, for instance, because he plays well when hitting driver off the tee – but he may struggle with iron shots, so par 3s may be an Achilles’ heel.
At Augusta National Golf Club, you’ll rarely see someone make big moves up the Leader Board on a par 3 – golfers are typically trying to make par and breathe a sigh of relief.
And that’s why they’re worth watching.
The best players will hit shots that take advantage of the layout on the green, leaving themselves a birdie chance. At the fourth hole, known as Flowering Crab Apple, golfers face a ridged green and two bunkers that make it nearly impossible to recover from. Last year, it yielded just 20 birdies through the Tournament – compared to 92 bogeys and nine double bogeys or worse. At the sixth, players actually hit their drive over the fans – because it’s a shot to a green many feet lower than the tee box.
No. 12 is the only complete hole as part of “Amen Corner” and is a delicate tee shot to a small green across Rae’s Creek. The biggest challenge players face may be selecting the right club for the shortest hole on the course. Fans are only allowed to be behind the tee box, providing players a unique golfing challenge – sizing up their downhill putts that may run straight into Rae’s Creek in near silence as fans watch from afar.
Finally, there’s scoring chances to be had at No. 16, with a tee shot across the pond and a sloping green. Depending on the hole placement, players may use the green’s undulating surface to their advantage, providing shot making strategy right before patron eyes. But miss the right slope, and you’re left with a tricky, curving putt that will prove difficult to lag into tap-in range.
As you gear up for the 2016 Masters Tournament, think long and hard about the par 3s – and get ready for drama! If you want to be there to see it in person, then ask us about our 2016 Masters packages!