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Rick Martin

Eisenhower Tree Damaged, Removed at Augusta National

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Augusta National got some snow/ice ---and now there's some earthquakes/tremors/after shocks in the area.  Some worry that Ike's Tree was damaged.

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~~Golf’s most famous pine tree is no longer guarding the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club. The Eisenhower Tree suffered major damage in an ice storm and was removed over the weekend, the club confirmed Sunday. Photos showed major limb damage, particularly on the left side and top of the tree. “The loss of the Eisen­hower Tree is difficult news to accept,” Augusta National and Masters Chairman Billy Payne said in a prepared statement. “We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.” The Masters landmark, also known as Ike’s Tree, was about 210 yards from the tee on the left side of the par-4 hole. The loblolly pine stood 65 feet high and was believed to be 100 to 125 years old. The tree was named because the former president and Augusta National member often hit into it, and at a club meeting in 1956 he proposed cutting it down. Masters co-founder Clifford Roberts ruled him out of order and adjourned the meeting, and the tree has been linked to Eisenhower ever since. “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. Sleet and freezing rain began pelting the Augusta area Tuesday night and continued throughout Wednesday, and photos of Magnolia Lane showed several limbs and branches down as nearly an inch of ice accumulated. Payne said that Augusta National’s layout did not receive any other major damage, and is open for member play. Ike’s Tree isn’t the only notable landmark created by Mother Nature at Augusta National. The magnolia trees that line the club’s famous entrance date to the late 1850s, as does the “big oak tree” behind the clubhouse. It’s a popular gathering spot during Masters Week for players, officials and club members. CLUB STATEMENT Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National and the Masters, released a statement Sunday: “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 loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept. 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. “I can report that the golf course sustained no major damage otherwise. We are now open for Member play and we will be unaffected in our preparations for the 2014 Masters Tournament.” VIGNETTES ABOUT IKE’S TREE LOST BALL 1973 Masters champion Tommy Aaron had a memorable encounter with the tree one year. Here’s Aaron’s story: “I hit a drive there, and it hit in top of the Eisenhower pine and pollen went everywhere. And nobody moved. So I said, ‘That ball stayed in the tree.’ The local caddie with us said they don’t stay in the tree. And I said, ‘That ball stayed in the tree.’ So we couldn’t find it. We looked around, and I go back and I play another under the lost ball rule. And the next day we’re walking by the tree and a ball drops out of the tree, and I know it’s my ball because it had a marking on it and it was a Pinnacle. “So I know it was my ball. Someone told Jack Nicklaus that story and he said, ‘I’m not sure I believe it.’ But I’ve got a witness, my caddie, Rhett Sinclair.” TIGER’S INJURY Tiger Woods, a four-time Masters winner, was sidelined for much of 2011 by injuries to his left knee and left Achilles tendon. He suffered those injuries while squatting to hit a shot under the Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole in the third round of the Masters. His left foot got caught in the pine straw as the momentum of the swing carried him backward, he said. Woods’ shot wound up in the front bunker and he saved par, Woods held a share of the lead in the final round and finished tied for fourth.

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http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/golf/2014-02-16/masters-landmark-ikes-tree-suffers-major-damage-removed?v=1392572685

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http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/masters-augusta-national-eisenhower-tree/ Ice damage to the Eisenhower Tree has required its removal. Wonder how that will effect the Master's play on that hole?
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The whole strategy of the 17th hole depends on that tree. I'm sure the club will transplant another mature tree to that location; I don't know if there's time to do that before this year's Masters.
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Tragic. Hopefully they will have something in its stead before the Masters begins. The article says they'll do something.
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I think they'll make a table out of it or something, I'd be surprised if they replaced it but it's possible they might put a marker of some kind. It's strange that this tree was so damaged while others were spared; is it possible that Ike hooked so many balls into it as to weaken the tree's structure?

As far as how the course will play, if anyone hooks their drive coming down the stretch, there's a bit less stuff in the way now. I think the hole is pretty boring personally and removing its most distinctive and historic feature can't help much.

I bet the announcers won't shut up about it for the entire tournament so I hope there's some big drama this year not involving this hole. If the tournament came down to any shot remotely near the spot the tree was, they wouldn't shut up about it ever again, but if something big happened they'd have another topic to go on about.

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Ike is looking down with a big smile. When I first saw the tree, I thought it was an oak. It had a very rounded shape which is unusual for a pine. All the other pines on the property are very tall and upright. I can't think of another that was shaped like a live oak. It really was a beautiful tree.
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Mother Nature was finally able to do what a president couldn't. The recent ice storm that hit Georgia damaged the tree badly enough that they removed it this weekend. The 17th will never be the same.

http://espn.go.com/golf/masters14/story/_/id/10467524/augusta-national-removes-eisenhower-tree-due-storm-damage

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http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/02/masters-augusta-national-eisenhower-tree/

Ice damage to the Eisenhower Tree has required its removal. Wonder how that will effect the Master's play on that hole?

They'll definitely find a way to make the hole harder like they did on 11 by adding all those trees on the right hand side of the fairway. Might not be in time for 2014's Masters. It'll just ad to the lore of Augusta National.

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Interesting write up from former Sports writer Augusta Chronicle about Ike's Tree.

http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/eisenhowerstree/

Augusta National during Masters week, whatever else you might think of it, is one of the happiest place in the world. By that I mean everyone who is there is happy. Some of them dreamed of coming their whole lives. Some of them have been coming back, year after year, for generations. The weather is warm, the food is cheap, the grass glows green, and every time something good happens you can hear roars ringing through the pines.

I've gone to Augusta National probably 15-20 times between 1995-2006. And every time I walked around the grounds this sentiment is how I felt about being there.

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Typo?-My maths may be off but thats like 12 years right?[quote name="Rick Martin" url="/t/72579/eisenhower-tree-damaged-removed-at-augusta-national#post_951809"] I've gone to Augusta National probably 15-20 times between 1995-2006. And every time I walked around the grounds this sentiment is how I felt about being there. [/quote] Bummer about the tree. They could put a new thing there and itll look like its been there for 120 years in a day and a half. Guarantee it.
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Typo?-My maths may be off but thats like 12 years right?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Martin

I've gone to Augusta National probably 15-20 times between 1995-2006. And every time I walked around the grounds this sentiment is how I felt about being there.

Bummer about the tree. They could put a new thing there and itll look like its been there for 120 years in a day and a half. Guarantee it.

Meaning I went there 15-20 different times over that span.   The tree has been pretty inconsequential to today's players except on a few occasions (like TW's experience with it).  Its importance was more from a historical standpoint.

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Hole 17 - Nandina

Augusta National Golf Club/MillerBrown
The Eisenhower Tree was positioned to the left of the 17th fairway, approximately 210 yards from the Masters tee.

Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, confirmed today that the recent ice storm caused irreparable damage to the Eisenhower Tree, resulting in the loss of most major branches. Accordingly, the tree was removed this weekend.

On Sunday, Payne offered the following 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 this week. Everyone affected remains in our hearts and prayers, and we likewise hope for a speedy and complete recovery for all.

“The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept. 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 17 th hole and to pay tribute to this iconic symbol of our history – rest assured, we will do both appropriately.

“I can report that the golf course sustained no major damage otherwise. We are now open for Member play and we will be unaffected in our preparations for the 2014 Masters Tournament.”

from Masters.com

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I'm thinking that tree will become a desk or a chair, either to be placed in Ike's Cabin or his Presidential Library and Museum.
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I'm thinking that tree will become a desk or a chair, either to be placed in Ike's Cabin or his Presidential Library and Museum.

It ain't gonna be firewood, that's for sure!

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