The Story Behind Amen Corner At Augusta National

By Frank LaRosa, Golf To Go

Augusta National’s 11th, 12th, and 13th holes are called “Amen Corner.” The name was attributed to Sports Illustrated writer Herbert Warren Wind who christened it such.

He was describing the way Arnold Palmer played those holes in a somewhat miraculous manner.

In 1958, heavy rains prompted a local rule which allowed a lift, clean and drop for an embedded ball. At the twelfth tee, Palmer hit his ball over the twelfth green and the ball embedded in the soft ground. After speaking with a rules official, he and Palmer agreed that the ball should be played as it lay but that Palmer could play a second ball waiting for a final ruling.

Palmer holed out for a five on the embedded ball. He dropped the second ball and made a three. While playing the 15th hole, he was told that his drop at 12 was proper which led to his first Masters victory.

Wind’s inspiration for Amen Corner came from a jazz record titled “Shouting in Amen Corner.” The apparent center of bible manufacturing in the 1900s was in lower New York City, which became a popular spot for sidewalk preachers to preach old-time religion.

The many “Amen” shouts heard each day led to the term “Amen Corner.”

And now you know.


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