The Masters provides four of my favorite days on the sports calendar. Even in light of my love for golf and the event, it can feel overbearingly stuffy at times. That is partly due to the nature of golf and partly due to the steadfast oversight of this event.
All of this is what helps make the Masters Par 3 Contest such a fun day of golf.
There is a relaxed atmosphere among the golfers and the gallery. It is a family-oriented event and it helps bridge golfing generations.
It all happens on Wednesday, and there are a couple of viewing options to help enjoy the action. Check out the vitals.
Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.
When: Wednesday, April 9 starting at 12 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN beginning at 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Masters.com beginning at 3 p.m. ET
This event is part an attempt to relax the golfers and the atmosphere before the tense tournament, and part a celebration of the game.
A big reason why this event brings such a relaxed atmosphere is that scores aren't all that big of a deal. Many players don't even keep score, and there is little incentive to win. In fact, players might be better off not winning since no winner of this event has ever gone on to win the Masters in the same year.
This doesn't mean we won't see good golf. We most certainly will. There have been 77 holes-in-one since this event started, and the first one was not held until 1960. Sam Snead won that year. It was his first of two victories. The second came in 1974 when he was about to turn 62.
That highlights one of the great aspects of this event. This is a chance to see legends get a club back in their hands. For instance, legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have made a custom of playing this tournament together.
I am not old enough to have seen these guys in their heyday, but I still get goosebumps watching them walk the course together.
On the other end of the spectrum, we get to see golfing youngsters suit up and attempt to caddie and even hit a shot or two. Even the most hardened traditionalist can't help but crack a smile watching a toddler in caddie whites trying to hole a putt.
This is truly a one-of-a-kind event, and it provides a unique sports-viewing experience.