Three and easy
Armed with Jack Nicklaus' advice, Rob Lee's Masters Breakfast guests play Augusta National's 12th.
Last Updated: 06/04/12 1:04pm
Six-time Masters Champion Jack Nicklaus says pulverising the par-threes is the secret to winning at Augusta.
Sky Sports guest Nicklaus, who claimed the coveted green jacket in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986, revealed that picking up shots - and avoiding disaster - on the course's shortest holes is crucial for any player who wants to shoot up the leaderboard.
All four of the course's par threes played over par on the opening day of the 2012 Masters, with the 240-yard hole four proving the toughest with a stroke average of 3.2737.
Nicklaus reflected: "Almost every time that I won this tournament I was under par on the par-threes. I played the par fives well but I think everybody is going to play them eight to 12 under par if they play pretty well.
"You are going to play the par-fours usually a little bit over par but under-par on the par-threes you can make up for an awful lot of ill.
"The par threes here are dangerous par threes. The fourth hole - if you put the ball in the front bunker you are not going to make a lot of fives but you are going to make a lot of fours.
"The sixth hole should be a birdie hole but, my gosh, you see a lot of bogies on it. You get to the 12th hole - it's dangerous; you've got to be conservative on it. You can take advantage of 16, except when the pin is usually up in the back right.
"So you've really got a good opportunity at six and 16; don't mess up 12 and don't mess up four."
The iconic par-three 12th yielded 13 birdies, 58 pars, 18 bogeys and six double-bogeys on the opening day - its stroke average of 3.1789 making it the seventh-hardest hole - so what's the secret of playing it under par?
"I always played it at the front bunker - I didn't care where the pin was," said Nicklaus.
"If the pin was front left, I would play it over the left side of the bunker and I would probably go ahead and hit an eight iron or something and let the ball spin.
"If the pin was in the middle, I would probably play seven iron and I would probably still do the same if the pin was on the right so I wouldn't hit it too far - or eight if the wind changed a little bit.
"But mostly I'm trying to hit the ball in there, except for the front left pin position, with not a lot of spin but a farily soft shot and just get it somewhere between the right edge of that bunker and the left edge of that bunker and over it.
"And even if I go over the green a little bit, I didn't really worry about it."
Armed with those wise words, Masters Breakfast host Rob Lee and his guests Simon Holmes and David Howell ventured onto the Sky Shot Centre to try their luck on the 12th at Augusta.
Click on the video above to find out how they got on...
Don't forget - you can catch up with the highlights of day two and join in the discussion by tuning in to Masters Breakfast at 9am on Saturday on Sky Sports 3 HD.