The golf world was struck with some sad, albeit strange, news this weekend when Augusta National announced that due to the awful winter ice storms that have devastated Georgia this winter they will be cutting down the legendary and iconic Eisenhower Tree. The iconic tree guarding the left fairway of the 17th hole has been a fixture at the course for decades and a major obstacle players have had to navigate coming down the stretch. The tree was named for President Eisenhower after he unsuccessfully lobbied to have the tree removed at a member’s meeting and was overruled by the Chairman of Augusta.
The tree caused Tiger to hurt himself and miss 2 majors a few years ago. Crushed guys who can’t shape it right to left around it or bomb it over. Simply put it has been a royal pain in the ass for these guys and made the hole an actual challenge. Now not to say 17 is going to be an easy hole now, but there will be a lot less intrigue at 17 come Sunday in April.
It’s odd to admit that one tree can actually be missed and will certainly be remembered in some awful musically laced montage narrated by Jim Nantz in a couple months, but it truly was an icon of possibly the most notable course in the world. I’m sure players will get asked a million questions about it (insert sly answer by Tiger on media day about missing the tree that hurt him), but we will forget all about it in a few years and only be reminded of its past when someone pipes one down the left side of 17 and Nantz talks about how that wasn’t possible a few years ago.
So as a fan of the game and fan of the history we salute a tree of all things. Strangely enough it will be missed (this year at least).
PS. On a side note this was while Ike was still President and not too far removed from having won WWII … talk about having a set / not giving an F about what others think … Um no Mr. President we won’t do what you want. Thanks.