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Amen Corner: 13 things you need to know about Augusta’s 3 most famous holes

by Sean Goff | April 9, 2013

Amen Corner | U.S. Masters 2013

It’s steeped in history so don’t go looking for giggles here. How the players fare at Amen Corner could decide the Masters. All the final-day contenders will want to get through 11 and 12 with their score intact before letting loose on the par 5 13th. But you miss the fairway and you’re chance of Masters’ glory could be gone.

Amen Corner

1. The 11, 12 & 13th holes at Augusta were christened Amen Corner by Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Warren Wind in a piece he wrote on April 21, 1958 – the same year Elvis Presley joined the U.S. Army and seven Manchester United players died in the Munich Air Crash.

2. Amen Corner came into popular usage from the 1959 Masters on  after Wind used it to describe where he thought the tournament was won and lost as playing partners Arnold Palmer – the eventual champion took a two-shot lead over Ken Venturi (who eventually finished fourth). Venturi argued for decades that the ‘local rule’ – that gave Palmer a three instead of a five on the 12th – before he recorded an eagle three on the 13th should not have applied – but to no avail.

3. Wind wanted to create a catchphrase for golf’s first Major similar to Basketball’s “hot-corner” and NFL’s “coffin corner”.

4. The phrase Amen Corner is taken from a 1935 jazz classic Shoutin’ in that Amen Corner.

5. Amen Corner was reportedly an area of New York City where preachers gathered to give the good word to their flock.

6. Wind picked holes 11, 12 & 13 because: “the pressure was on when you came to those three holes. It created its own history there because of where it was at.”

GOLF: U.S. Masters 2013

7. Despite the legendary status in sport golf’s infamous three-hole stretch had been in existence for 25 years – with little comment – before Herbert Warren Wind coined the immortal phrase.

8.  The Nelson Bridge & Hogan Bridge are two famous commemorative landmarks at Amen Corner.  Nelson’s Bridge reflects Byron Nelson’s birdie-eagle charge at 12 13 to win the 1937 Masters while the Hogan Bridge honors Ben Hogan’s score of 274 in 1953, then the lowest 72-hole score in the Masters.

9.  Birdies are as rare as a Reading home win on the 11th which has ranked the toughest hole on the course since 2002.

10. Reigning champion Bubba Watson parred, bogeyed and birdied Amen Corner in his final round last year ahead of his second-hole sudden-death win over South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

11.  White Dogwood, Par 4, 505 yards: Only 10 birdies were recorded in all four rounds at this hole last year. Not hard to see why the 11th has decided all but three of the Master’s 16 sudden-death play-offs since 1934.

12. Golden Bell, Par 3, 155 yards: While the 12th is the shortest hole on the course – it’s also the most notorious par three in golf. Accuracy is key and – depending on the wind – a six to a nine iron can be required. If you’re not on the dance-floor when you cross Rae’s Creek – you’re in big trouble.

13. Azalea, Par 5, 510 yards: If two contrasting toughest holes haven’t wrecked your head – the 13th offers a little respite. A ‘risk-and-reward’ par 5 allows the adventurous to reach the green in two allowing for eagle – and certainly birdie opportunities. But your head must be in the right place as you prepare to exit Amen Corner.

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