The Masters 2013: Skipping balls across No. 16 water a fun tradition at Augusta National

Mike Ehrmann

Before Thursday's first round of The Masters, fans at Augusta flock to No. 16 to watch what has become a practice round tradition.

One of the more interesting -- and fun -- traditions you will see every year at The Masters is the march of players "skipping" their tee-shots on Augusta's 16th hole during the practice rounds before Thursday. As you can see above, the trio of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, and 14-year old amateur Tianlang Guan all skipped their balls at No. 16 during a Monday afternoon walk around Augusta.

Fittingly coined "Skip It!" over the years, what can only be described as a type of parlor game has become quite the fan favorite. Fans will cajole players on the short par-3 to line up a second tee-shot to test their luck at hitting the green by way of a low, worm-burning shot meant to carom off the pond's surface. Think of skipping stones as a youngster at your uncle's lake house.

Bragging-rights are the only prize in this contest, however the "ooh's" and "ahh's" offered to each glancing golf ball would have you believe much more was at stake. When a player does reach the green successfully, the eruption that follows would rival any late-round birdie on Sunday.

This spectacle has yielded many memorable shots to date, including a handful of aces, such as Martin Kaymer's in 2012:

In 2009, former Masters champion Vijay Singh accomplished a similar feat.

Some of the game's legends have also participated in this tradition, including Jack Nicklaus. In 2008, Nicklaus woke two turtles in the pond by aiming his skip-shot at the mound they were using as their perch. It is said that one of the turtles was so frightened by the shot that it began "racing" toward the green before stopping just short.

Augusta is a place full of stuffy traditions, but this is certainly one of the more entertaining annual spring rites on the grounds.

More Masters from SB Nation:

How all 94 players earned entry into the most exclusive major in golf

14-year old prodigy to tee it up at Augusta

Clarke's Masters week ends on Monday

Wozniacki will caddie for boyfriend Rory

Condi & Lefty practice at ANGC

Tiger the overwhelming favorite of oddsmakers

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