News

Augusta’s iconic Eisenhower tree victim of winter storm

Augusta’s iconic Eisenhower tree victim of winter storm

EISENHOWER TREE: In this April 8, 2008, file photo, Toru Taniguchi of Japan tees off on the 17th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club, with the Eisenhower Tree at left, during practice for the 2008 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. The Eisenhower Tree was removed this weekend because of damage from an ice storm, the Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne said Sunday, Feb. 16. The loblolly pine was among the most famous trees in golf and it infuriated one of the club members after whom the tree eventually was named — former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photo: Associated Press/David J. Phillip

(Reuters) – Augusta National’s famed Eisenhower tree, an iconic image at the Masters tournament, survived an attempt by the former U.S. president to have it chopped down but it could not survive a severe winter storm.

The loblolly pine, believed to be at least 100 years old, had to be removed from its position on the 17th fairway after being damaged by an ice storm that swept through the Masters venue in Augusta, Georgia last week.

“The loss of the Eisenhower tree is difficult to accept,” Augusta National and Masters chairman Billy Payne said in a statement on Sunday.

“We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.

“We have begun deliberations of the best way to address the future of the 17th hole and to pay tribute to this iconic symbol of our history – rest assured, we will do both appropriately.”

Payne said that Augusta National had sustained no further major damage and that the course had been opened for its members to play with ongoing preparations unaffected for this year’s Masters.

The tree, which was about 65 feet tall, guarded the left side of the fairway at the par-four 17th and was strategically situated 210 yards from the tee.

It received its name because former U.S. president and club member Dwight Eisenhower hit into the tree so often he campaigned to have it removed.

David Owen, in his book ‘The Making of the Masters’, wrote that “Eisenhower hated the tree, because it invariably interfered with his slice.

“At the governors meeting in 1956 … Eisenhower took the floor to propose cutting it down.

“(Clifford) Roberts (club chairman and co-founder) immediately ruled him out of order and adjourned the meeting, and the pine has been known ever since as the Eisenhower tree.”

The 2014 Masters will take place from April 10-13.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

Fresh
nirvana

A look back at some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Sports

James leads Cavaliers past Bulls, 114-108 in OT

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James poses at the NBA basketball team's media day Friday, Sept. 26, 2014, in Independence, Ohio.

James was at his best after struggling the previous night

in Sports

Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon looks on during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Joe Maddon has been hired as manager of the Cubs after the team fired Rick Renteria.

in Sports

Kentucky earns No. 1 nod in AP preseason poll

Kentucky men's coach John Calipari

Kentucky is No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 for the second straight season.

in Sports

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigns

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announces that athletic director Dave Brandon resigned during a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett will serve as Michigan's interim athletic director.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon resigned Friday, setting the stage for new leadership at the top of one of the nation's most prominent athletic departments.

Bellingham Traffic