Masters holes: Augusta National’s par-3 12th hole, explained by Fred Couples

In the 65 years since the Masters Tournament was first televised, golf fans have seen every inch of Augusta National’s beauty in high-def close-up. What you’ve never seen is the course — hole by hole, tee box by tee box — through the eyes of 18 living Masters champions, from Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Dustin Johnson, Ben Crenshaw and beyond. Until now. Eighteen holes, 18 winners, 18 ways of seeing Augusta National anew.

Hole No. 12: Par-3 / 155 yards (Golden Bell)

By Fred Couples (1992 Masters champion)

What you see off the tee: “Well, this past year I saw a triple-bogey 6 after I hit it up in the shrubs. But off the tee I try to picture the shot in my mind, and most of the time I see a little cut 7- or 8-iron.”

What you don’t know until you’ve played it: “First of all, just how small the green is. Then, what the wind is going to do. If you’re lucky enough to play Augusta once and the wind’s blowing, you’ll have no clue. But, really, that’s true even for Tour players, no matter how many times you’ve played it. Sometimes you look at the way the ripples are going [in Rae’s Creek], or you look at some trees way over there.”

Where you will gain the greatest advantage: “Just get it on the green.”

Who played it best: “Normally, I’m pretty good at the hole.”

Why it’s unforgettable to me (from Couples’ 1992 winner’s press conference, after a near disaster at 12): “I don’t know why [the ball] stopped [from rolling into the creek]. I have no idea whatsoever. I was nervous, probably as nervous as I have ever been in my life. … As I watched it, I knew it was going to be close. If that ball goes in the water like everyone else’s, I’m not sure what would have happened.”

Did you know… Though only 155 yards in length, No. 12 is ranked ANGC’s fourth most difficult hole since 1942.

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Augusta National Golf Club via Getty Images

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Augusta National Golf Club via Getty Images

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Augusta National Golf Club via Getty Images

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