Eisenhower Tree, R.I.P.
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/17/14
The most famous loblolly pine tree in all of golf is no more:
Augusta National Golf Club's famous "Eisenhower Tree" was shredded in the winter storm that ripped through Augusta last week.
Club chairman Billy Payne broke the news in a prepared statement:
Like so many of our family, friends, and neighbors in this community, Augusta National Golf Club has been busy cleaning up after the historic ice storm last week. Everyone affected remains in our hearts and prayers, and we likewise hope for a speedy and complete recovery for all.The tree got its name from club member and 34th President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower, who often hit into the tree during his rounds there. At a now-famous club governors' meeting in 1956, then-President Eisenhower proposed cutting down the tree. Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts ruled the American president out of order and adjourned the meeting.
The tree was estimated to be between 100 and 125 years old made the tee-shot at 17 difficult for some players. The 1973 Masters champion Tommy Aaron once lost a ball in that tree and it didn't fall until the next day, when he walked past. Tiger Woods suffered knee and Achilles' tendon injuries in 2011 when he squatted to hit a shot from the base of the tree. In 1999, José María Olazábal hit a punch 5-iron from the base of the tree to the green, helping him prevail over Greg Norman and win his second Masters Tournament.
This is been an especially bad week in the Augusta region; first they suffered the terrible winter storm on Tuesday and Wednesday, then residents were jolted by a Mw 4.1 earthquake on Friday night.
Usually when bad news in golf breaks, it is due to the death of a notable person. This is the first time your correspondent has been shocked by news of the loss of a tree.
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Image via Twitter, Scott Michaux
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