Eisenhower Tree at Augusta is victim of ice storm

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    The famous Eisenhower Tree, at the 17th hole at the Masters, is no more.

    The Eisenhower Tree, so much a part of Augusta National that not even a sitting U.S. president could have it taken down, was removed from the 17th hole this weekend because of damage from an ice storm, the club said Sunday.

    With the Masters only two months away, Payne said there was no other significant damage to the course.

    The loblolly pine, which sat about 210 yards off the left of the 17th fairway, was among the most famous trees in golf. It forced players to aim away from the tree or try to shape the ball from right-to-left to avoid it.

    And it infuriated one of the club members after whom the tree eventually was named — former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Eisenhower, an Augusta member from 1948 until his death in 1969, was said to have hit the tree so often on his tee shot that he campaigned to have it removed and proposed during an Augusta National governors’ meeting that it be cut down. This was in 1956, when Ike was starting his second term as president. Clifford Roberts, the club chairman and co-founder, overruled the president and adjourned the meeting.

    It has been known as Eisenhower’s Tree ever since.

    In fact, Eisenhower had a new tee box put in more to the right so that he could avoid the tree a little more. That is funny.

    I was looking forward to seeing the tree in a couple of months on my first trip to the Masters, but oh well.

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