Augusta's Famed Eisenhower Tree Removed, 'Ike' Probably Happy

By Jon Ackerman
Monday February 17th, 2014 12:15 pm EST

Getty Images

Do we dare wish a "Happy Presidents Day" to Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower because the tree he so despised at Augusta National had to be removed Sunday? Surely the 34th President of the United States wouldn't wish damage upon anyone or anything, but that 65-foot Loblolly Pine so irked Ike that he asked the members to remove it in 1956.

His presidential powers didn't extend that far, however, so the tree stayed. That is, until an ice storm hit Georgia hard late last week, causing irreparable damage to the famed tree that hugged the left center of the 17th fairway at Augusta about 210 yards from the tee box. It was thought to be 100-125 years old, and had been held together for years by cables.

It became known as the Eisenhower Tree after the president's surprising request. As much as he may have tried to avoid it, the Augusta member since 1948 sent many a tee shot into that tree and felt his time on the course would be so much more enjoyable if the obstacle was simply removed. But Augusta chairman Clifford Roberts felt Eisenhower was out of line, and he quickly ended the club meeting at which the request was proposed.

So Eisenhower never got to enjoy a round without that nuisance, but this year's Masters players will. They might be thrilled.

As you may recall, this is the tree under which Tiger Woods found himself in 2011. After the Masters that year, he mentioned that it was a shot from there that caused injuries to his knee and Achilles, and ultimately led to Woods missing four months of action.

Jack Nicklaus said the tree will be sorely missed, and recalled his strategy navigating the pine.

"When I stood on the 17th tee, my first thought, always, was to stay away from Ike's Tree. Period. ... I hit it so many times over the years that I don't care to comment on the names I called myself and the names I might have called the tree," he said.

Ian Poulter said it was "very sad news."

Big-hitting Bubba Watson, however, never felt the tree was much of an issue.

Related Links: Presidential Golf Facts You May Not Know

Other Hot Links:
- Weekend Recap: Bubba Watson Gets His Win
- The Best of Jimmy Fallon's Funny Golf Gags - Part 2
- Country Music Star Jake Owen Lip-Dubs Video with Golfers
- Helping A Real Hero: The Daniel Meyer Story
- Harold Varner III Tries Out Google Glasses on Driving Range

Bleacher Report

More in Lifestyle

Dinosaurs May (Or May Not) Play Golf In 'Jurassic World'

Dinosaurs May (Or May Not) Play Golf In 'Jurassic World'

Sunday Drive: 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang

Sunday Drive: 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang

9 Best Amateur Golf Videos Of 2014

9 Best Amateur Golf Videos Of 2014

'Be The Ball' Could Feature McIlroy & Murray... If Funded

'Be The Ball' Could Feature McIlroy & Murray... If Funded

Thirsty Thursday: Glenmorangie's 'The Taghta' World's First Crowd-Sourced Scotch

Thirsty Thursday: Glenmorangie's 'The Taghta' World's First Crowd-Sourced Scotch

History Of Golf In 'Grand Theft Auto'

History Of Golf In 'Grand Theft Auto'

Clemson, Missouri Win at NCCGA Fall National Championship

Clemson, Missouri Win at NCCGA Fall National Championship

Must-See TeeV: Shaq, Orange County Choppers Visit TopGolf

Must-See TeeV: Shaq, Orange County Choppers Visit TopGolf

Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden: 'Golf's More Stressful Than Combat'

Navy SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden: 'Golf's More Stressful Than Combat'

First Look: Toyota FT-1 Concept

First Look: Toyota FT-1 Concept