We take a look at Augusta National's Par 3 Course ahead of the start of the Masters Par 3 Contest. Pictures by Robin Barwick, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Global Sponsor of the 2014 Masters

The famous Masters Par 3 Championship takes place later today, with Masters legends – both past and present – descending on Augusta National’s Par 3 Course.

The likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy will be taking part in the traditional pre-Masters competition that was inaugurated in 1960.

Ted Potter Jnr. won the title in a play-off over Mickelson and Matt Kuchar last year, but he’s not exempt for the tournament proper this time around.

Players will secretly be hoping they don’t win the Par 3 Contest, though. No one has triumphed in the warm-up event and gone on to win the Masters Tournament.

he Par 3 course at Augusta National was designed by George Cobb and Clifford Roberts, the autocratic founding chairman of Augusta National.

The current holes eight and nine, which both play over Ike’s Pond, were added in 1987. The par-27 course runs to 1,060 yards, and holes 4 and 6 bring the DeSoto Springs Pond into play. The shortest hole on the course is the 70-yard second, while the longest is the 140-yard sixth.

The course record of 20 is shared by Art Wall (1965) and Gay Brewer (1973).