Par 3 is for the entire day. Usually there's practice on the regular Augusta National course for about six hours. Then the players head to the Par 3 course. Large crowds around the fairways, greens. I only went to that once, I think. I continued to walk around the course and take pictures with no players - but a lot of greens keepers prepping the course for the start of the tournament. I don't recall anyone telling me that I couldn't walk around the course. There is the possibility for a rain out - that has happened where the entire day gets cancelled. Would be unfortunate to travel all the way from the West Coast and have that happen. I enjoyed the practice round days more than the regular event - I've probably been to 10-15 days out there. I lived in Augusta for 6-7 years while in the Army and would get tickets through the Army, from a friend, and did the lottery once and got in that way. Hotels/motel prices get to be x2-3 priced more. I'd stay in ATL, drive out early (2.5 hr drive), get there about 8 a.m., stay the day, return to ATL that night. Or use Columbia SC for hotel, and drive in (70 miles).