Masters Traditions: The Amen Corner
Few phrases in sports evoke as strong an image as “the Amen Corner.” Coined in 1958 by golf writer Herbert Warren Wind, it refers specifically to the second half of the 11th, the 12th, and the first half of the 13th holes at Augusta National, site of the Masters Tournament.
Wind, who was writing for Sports Illustrated, used the phrase to describe the scene of the critical action of the 1958 Masters, when Arnold Palmer earned his first major Championship.
On the afternoon before the start of the recent Masters golf tournament, a wonderfully evocative ceremony took place at the farthest reach of the Augusta National course —down in the Amen Corner where Rae’s Creek intersects the 13th fairway near the tee, then parallels the front edge of the green on the short 12th and finally swirls alongside the 11th green.
Wind later said that he was looking for a phrase like “coffin corner” in football, or baseball’s “hot corner”, but that all he could come up with was the title of the song, “Shouting At The Amen Corner,” by Milton (Mezz) Mezzrow.
Now, sadly, the media industry surrounding the TOUR is trying to force a moniker on a three hole stretch on every tournament: the Bear Trap, the Snake Pit, et. al.
The “Amen Corner” today often becomes the series of holes on which the Masters is won or lost. In 2016, Jordan Spieth blew a five shot lead on the 12th and finished in second.
The yardages, pars and hole names for the Amen Corner are below: