Golf courses everywhere like to tout they're the best in the world. But, ultimately, there's only one course the best golfers in the world call the best, and that's Augusta National Golf Club.
Similarly, there are plenty of golf courses that have a signature stretch of holes, but, once again, none hold a candle to Augusta's "Amen Corner." If you're an over-the-top golf fan you've likely already heard of these three holes, but, if not (and even if you have), here's a quick look at what makes holes 11, 12, and 13 at Augusta a favorite among golf aficionados.
Amen Corner begins with this 505-yard par-4, the most difficult hole on the course. A good tee shot is absolutely crucial here. Drives will need to be a minimum 300 yards if the pros want to clear the hill on this slight dogleg right. From there, players will be left with roughly 200 yards into this green, which is protected on the left and back sides by Rae's Creek. A sand trap guards the right side, and while leaving your approach short and right may look appealing, a large hump will likely make you curse your decision to play it safe. Ultimately, the middle of the green is the safest place to be regardless of pin placement.
Generally considered the most famous par-3 in all of golf, Golden Bell may be a measly 155 yards long, but its every bit as challenging as hole 11. The wind and water are what will have the pros pulling there hair out here. Off the tee you'll see everything from a 6 iron all the way up to a 9 iron being brought out. It all depends on what the wind is doing at the time. Once a club is selected, pros will have to get every ounce of accuracy out of it because this narrow green has three strategically placed bunkers protecting it, and players must also negotiate Rae's Creek. A good shot will have players joyously strolling on Ben Hogan Bridge en route to a potential birdie.
Take one look at number 13 and you'll see why it's named Azalea. Tee to green there are an estimated 1,600 of the shrubs along either side of this hole. Players will find this short 510-yard par-5 reachable in two shots as long as they're aggressive enough. Ideally, the pros will find themselves middle right off the tee. From there they'll have a straight shot at this raised green, which is surrounded by a creek and four bunkers--a classic risk/reward opportunity. A quick trip over Byron Nelson Bridge and you've now experienced the greatest three holes in all of golf.
Kent Lister is a journalist working in the Midwest. He's covered a number of PGA Tour events over the years, and has spent the better part of his life playing competitive golf. From junior tournaments all the way up to NCAA tournaments, and while organized golf has come to an end for Lister, he continues spending a disproportionately large amount of time perfecting his game.