Who started skipping golf balls across the pond on No. 16 at the Masters?

Who started skipping golf balls across the pond on No. 16 at the Masters practice rounds?

If you attend the Masters as a patron, one of the things you have to do during the practice rounds is head to the par-3 16th and watch Masters contestants and their caddies try to skip golf balls across the pond guarding the green to get them on the green. It's become a Masters tradition, and it's really a treat to see these world-class players be able to innovate a shot like that.

However, the Augusta National members weren't thrilled when the first balls were skipped across the pond at No. 16 in practice rounds.

Marc Calcavecchia and Ken Green were the first two players to start skipping balls across the pond at No. 16. They started doing it in 1987, and, as Calc told it on Twitter, then-Augusta National chairman Hord Hardin wasn't happy.

However, the patrons and players ultimately won out it seems, as not only is Augusta National OK with players skipping balls onto 16 green in the practice rounds, but they Periscope when players do it!

As far as we know, only two players have ever managed to skip the ball across the pond and then hole out for a hole-in-one.

Vijay Singh is the guy who made that hole-in-one in a practice round ahead of the 2009 Masters.

In the lead-in to the November 2020 Masters, Jon Rahm became the second player to successfully make an ace after skipping his ball across the pond in the front of the 16th hole.

Obviously there have been better, more important shots in golf history, but you can't say you're not extremely impressed.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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