The 12th hole at Augusta, known as The Golden Bell, is the shortest hole on the course, measuring just 155-yards. However, what this hole lacks in length, it certainly makes up for in difficulty. The 12th has claimed its fair share of Masters hopefuls over the years and with a stroke average of 3.28 showing just how difficult the world’s elite have found this little par 3. Jack Nicklaus even claimed that the 12th is the hardest hole on tour.
So, what makes this par 3 so difficult? First of all, the hole is protected by water at the front of the green meaning anything short will tumble back down into the water. It has bunkers at the front and back which both leave difficult up and downs. However, the main difficulty of the short par 3 is the tricky swirling winds that it produces, with players finding it almost impossible to judge the direction and speed of the wind. Tiger Woods once stated that he picks how far he wants to hit the ball, selects the club and then hopes he doesn’t get a gust of wind. This shows just how difficult it is to select the right club. However, executing the tee shot is not the end of the difficulty, the green is also one of the hardest on the course to read due to the shade created by the overhanging trees.
It is fair to say that The Golden Bell has provided plenty of drama and unforgettable moments over the years and we look forward to seeing what will unfold at the little par 3 this year.
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