Golfers discuss missing Eisenhower tree at Masters - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Golfers discuss missing Eisenhower tree at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. - One hole on the Augusta National golf course will have a decidedly different look this year.

It has graced Augusta National since the club opened in 1933, it grew from a small cosmetic enhancement to an obstacle so large and frustrating no less than a United States president asked for its removal. Now, it is no more.

"It" is the Eisenhower tree, a loblolly pine that once stood some 200 yards down the 17th fairway. After this year's ice storm caused irreparable damage, the tree, and a piece of the club's history, was removed.

Sad. It really is sad. I mean, to be honest, I never had a problem hitting over the tree, not like Ike," said Jason Day.

"The history of the tree, it'll be missed, and there's a lot of lore there, but my game definitely won't miss it that much, put it that way," said Jim Furyk.

In 1956, Dwight Eisenhower actually asked for the tree to be removed because he hit it so often! His request was denied. Think about that. Dwight Eisenhower. Five-star general, supreme commander of the allied forces in Europe signed the federal interstate system into law, and it still took an act of God to get the tree off the grounds.

Not that Ike was the only one who wanted the tree gone. Some of today's players could barely contain their excitement when thinking about playing 17 without that tree.

My memorable moments are going to be bad ones. I've hit that darn thing a lot,” Furyk said.

“I don't know if any of the players are sad to see it leave. I'm surprised there isn't a bigger one in place there already,” said Stricker.

I was excited. That hole has changed a lot. For me, it's hard for me to get it over that tree easily. If I have a little bit of a hook on it, that tree comes in to play, so I always kind of had to play right of it,” said Dufner.

The club has not decided how or if they will replace the Eisenhower tree, so for at least this year, players will enjoy an ever-so-slightly easier Augusta National.

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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