The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2017
GOLF & LEISURE 51 BELOW: Defensive ‘deadweight’ putting is the secret to succeeding on Augusta’s lightning-fast greens. QWhat’s the best strategy for successfully navigating Amen Corner? Zach Johnson: Every hole is a challenge. To take out and segment 11, 12 and 13 would be unfair to the rest of the course. That being said, the 12th hole is probably my favourite at Augusta. It’s just brutal because it’s a smaller green, and very tricky with the wind. The flag on 11 could be going one way and the flag on 12 could be going the opposite way. It’s about commitment and experience. A conservative approach is usually your best bet. All said, it’s just an absolutely beautiful hole. Number 11 is just hard – period. You step on that tee and you’re just trying to make a four, that’s really what it boils down to. On 13, you can make a four in different ways, whether you get there in two or you lay up and wedge it in. There’s plenty of opportunity to make a birdie on 13, that’s the way I see it as a competitor. Charl Schwartzel: The key for the journey around Amen Corner is not to think about it too much. Once you start getting into your own head about it, you’re creating something in your mind that’s not really there. People make a big deal of it, that those holes are so vital. But there are so many holes at Augusta that are very difficult, it’s not just those ones. So you have to let that approach guide you through 11, 12 and 13. I think what makes Amen Corner interesting is the wind changing all the time. I think that’s where you’ll see guys hitting some real mystery shots. But if you get these three holes on a quiet day you can be aggressive and they’re not as difficult as everyone thinks. You have to play confidently and let each shot be simple. Larry Mize: The back nine has all the water, so there are many dramatic opportunities for things to happen, especially at Amen Corner. You want to drive it well on 11 on the right edge of the fairway to set up the ideal approach to that green. Without question, the best shot of my career was that pitch and run I hit on 11 (1987 play-off vs Greg Norman). That’s got to be number one because of the degree of difficulty from that position off the green. The 12th hole demands a strike with conviction. There is no wiggle room for marginal shots with the bunkers and the water short. The 13th is one of those dramatic opportunities. You must find the fairway at all costs then strategise for a good score from there. Copyright Golf World “ONCE YOU START GETTING INTO YOUR OWN HEAD, YOU’RE CREATING SOMETHING IN YOUR MIND THAT’S NOT REALLY THERE” – CHARL SCHWARTZEL ON AMEN CORNER.
The Cut - Summer 2017
The Cut - Winter 2017