There are few people in the world who you would rather get instruction on how to play a golf hole than Tiger Woods. Undoubtedly the best player of his generation, and a member of the conversation for greatest of all time, Woods knows Augusta National about as well as anyone in the modern era.
Having won four green jackets, the most of any active player, and having been both privy to and the reason for the robust changes that have taken place at Augusta National over the last two decades, Woods is uniquely qualified to explain how to play the most famous 3-hole stretch in the world: Amen Corner.
Amen Corner lived up to the hype. Just beautiful. Here’s a shot of the par 3-12th hole green with the tee box of the par 5-13th to the right. They do not allow spectators back in that area of the course. Players only. #TheMasters pic.twitter.com/vEw3OEKgmW
— Brian Koziol (@BrianWGR) April 3, 2018
Luckily for the viewing public, it would seem that Augusta National followed a similar line of thinking and had Tiger sit down and walk the world through how he plays Nos. 11, 12 and 13.
Tiger details the importance of the tee shot on No. 11, saying that trying to hug the right tree line opens up the green, but an overcompensation and you’re more than likely chipping out sideways. Approaching the green, being on the left side of the fairway takes the water out of play for most of the pros because they are hitting over and away from it, but it precludes them from hitting it tight. Even when the pin is front right, the moguls short of the green can carom an off-line shot into the pond.
Tiger sums it by saying if you play it in 16 — even par — for the week, “you’re doing great.”
On No. 12, Tiger likes to soak in the atmosphere, but also take a peek to see how the wind is reacting. Ideally, Woods says the best way to diagnose the hole is by observation, whether that comes from watching players while he’s on the 11th hole or in front of him in his own group. More often than not, Tiger says it just comes down to committing to where you want to land the shot and delivering the strike to make it happen.
Finally, No. 13 is a good par-5 at a par-4 length, Tiger says. For him, he typically hits a driver or 3-wood to the corner or slightly around it, which usually leaves him with an awkward hanging lie if he wants to go for the green in two. Woods said if going for the green is taken away by his drive or his lie, he has specific lay-up spots depending on the four pin positions. He said he’s “religious” to those lay-up spots.
Overall, Woods said not only can an entire round hinge on those three holes and the wind blowing through Amen Corner, but the entire tournament can be decided there.
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