12th Hole at Augusta National: Golden Bell

Augusta National 12th hole is named Golden Bell

  • Par: Par 3
  • Length: 155 yards
  • Name: Golden Bell
One of the most famous par-3 holes in all of golf, the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club is named "Golden Bell." It sits down in one corner of the course with Rae's Creek crossing in front of the green. Golfers walk over the Hogan Bridge to cross Rae's Creek and reach the 12th green (and then re-cross the creek over the Nelson Bridge to move on to the 13th fairway).

Augusta's 12th hole is the shortest par-3 on the course, but one of the course's toughest holes. That's due to the well-guarded green — protected not just by Rae's Creek, but by three daunting bunkers around a shallow green — and to the shifting, swirling winds that are difficult to read from the teeing area. Add in trees and shrubs very close behind the green and the shaved bank in front of the green, and trouble is easy to find.

The 12th hole's name, Golden Bell, is for the deciduous shrub (scientific name forsythia intermedia) that blooms around the hole. A plant native to the Far East, Golden Bell puts out bright yellow blooms every year around Masters Tournament time.

Hole No. 12 at Augusta National is by far the most photographed hole on the course, and is often featured on posters, prints and framed photos.

Scoring Stats on Augusta National Hole 12

The all-time cumulative scoring average is 3.27 strokes over the 13th hole in the history of The Masters. That makes Golden Bell the fourth-toughest hole on the golf course.

There has never been a Masters Tournament in which the 12th hole played under par for the field. The closest that came to happening was at the 2002 Masters when the stroke average on No. 12 was 3.03. The highest field average on No. 12 for a Masters was 3.556 for the 1966 Masters.

All-Time Best and Worst Scores on Augusta's 12th Hole

Highest score ever on No. 12: 13 by Tom Weiskopf in 1980. Weiskopf hit five balls into Rae's Creek.

Lowest scores ever on No. 12: The best scores ever on the 12th hole are aces. In Masters Tournament history, there have been three of them on Golden Bell:

  • Claude Harmon, 1947, using a 7-iron
  • William Hyndman, 1959, using a 6-iron
  • Curtis Strange, 1988, using a 7-iron
Best 4-round tournament score ever on No. 12: Only one golfer in the history of The Masters has birdied the 12th hole all four rounds. In 2003, Scott Verplank scored a cumulative 8 (2-2-2-2, 4-under-par) on No. 12 with birdies in all four rounds.

Worst 4-round tournament score on No. 12: In 1951, Dow Finsterwald made a cumulative 22 (10-over-par) on Golden Bell. He parred it in the first round, bogeyed it in Round 3 and had another bogey in Round 4. The real problem was his second round, in which Finsterwald made an 11 on the 12th hole.

See more: Augusta National scorecard and hole names

Photo credit: "The US Masters, View of 12th Green, Augusta National" by Oliver Gunning is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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