Jack Nicklaus says: Probably one of the most difficult wind-condition par-3s in all of golf. Not a hard hole without the wind. When the wind blows, it can be anything from a 5-iron to a 7-iron. I prefer the play the ball over the bunker no matter where the pin is, except if it's front-left. I never shoot at the right pin placement on purpose.
One of my most embarrassing Masters memories occurred here in 1964. Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts had come down to the 12th to watch meóand I shanked the tee shot right over their heads! Believe it or not, I actually gave myself a chance for par with a good pitch to about 12 feet, but I lipped out the putt and made bogey. Iíve not only shanked balls here, Iíve hit them in the water and in the bushes. But Iíve also made a bunch of birdies. The 12th hole is one of the great par 3s in championship golf. The key is to aim at the center of the front bunker and choose a club that will get the ball just over that spot. I slightly favor the side where the hole is located. If the flagstick is right, I shoot at the right side of the bunker. If itís left, I shoot at the left side of the bunker. This hole perennially plays as one of the toughest on the course. When I was in the middle of my run on the second nine in 1986, I birdied Nos. 9, 10 and 11 but I bogeyed here. That setback could have gotten me off my game, but I knew I was still in the hunt. I used the bogey to re-focus myself down the stretch.
Fuzzy Zoeller says: This plays anywhere from 140 to 170 yards, and you'll hit anything from a 6 to a 9 iron depending on the wind. The wind can be very deceiving, but if you watch the trees on the right, they'll tell you what it's like around the green.
Tiger Woods says: One of the hardest par-3s in the world; you don't know where the wind is coming from. You look left at No. 11, the wind is blowing one way, you look at No. 12, you see it blowing another way. One of the scariest tee shots you have to hit because that green is only, in it's deepest spot, 15 paces deep, and that's in the middle section. It's guarded by two bunkers and a shaved bank. Anything on the bank -- except for Freddie -- will roll in the water. Last year I made three 3s and a 2 and was a very happy man.
Fred Couples says: This is probably the most dangerous par-3 around besides maybe the ones at Pebble Beach or Cypress. I think it's an unbelievable hole. I either have trouble with it or I don't, there's very little in between. If I'm cutting the ball well with a 7-iron, I can hit a soft little cut. If not, then I try to hit a hard 8-iron.
You have a tendency to leave it to the right and if it doesn't carry it hits the bank and goes in the water. And a lot of times if you're trying to cut it and you pull it, it will go further and I'll hit it in the back bunker.
It's kind of hit or miss with me. There are weeks where I've been very comfortable and hit the green every time and there have been weeks when I've hit it in the water and hit it over and I just don't feel comfortable on the hole. It doesn't seem to be that difficult of a shot, but it can be.
(In 1992's final round) The ball hit so far down the bank that it really never gave itself a chance to trickle and go in the water. It was very lucky. Now the bank is totally shaved. Back then it had rough so it stayed up. The only thing I thought about then was chili-dipping the chip and having it hit and roll right back down and in the water. I sat there and put a little more pressure on it like everyone else. No one stands there with the lead and says all I have to do is hit this green.
Very rarely do you think about that except for Augusta because it's (hitting into the water has) happened so many times. For me, I just got the break of a lifetime. I know it and everyone else does. If I never get another break I can say I got one and it was at a pretty good time for me.
Bernhard Langer says: The tee shot here is by far the scariest shot on the course. In fact, you often see players pull out one club and then put it back in the bag. In 1985 I made a birdie on Sunday with one of the gutsiest shots I've ever hit. I had heard Jack Nicklaus say that you never go for the flag here in the final round, but I was going after all of them that day. I went straight at it, pulled off the shot and made a 10-footer. From the tee, the green angles away from you and is only 14 yards deep on the left, nine yards deep in the middle and 13 yards deep on the right. You must hit the right club or you're in trouble. Perhaps the toughest challenge is reading the wind because it is constantly changing. The flags on 11 and 12 never seem to blow the same way. I normally go with the Nicklaus theory of hitting toward the middle of the green. With that line, I know I have bunkers short and long, so there's little risk of going in the water. Players definitely sense they can win or lose the tournament in Amen Corner. And a par 3 at 12 on Sunday would make anyone very, very happy. It played as the second-toughest hole last year.