Heath Slocum hits from beneath the Eisenhower Tree on No. 17 during the 72nd Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in 2008.
(Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports)
(USATODAY.com) - Dwight D. Eisenhower finally got his wish.
The iconic Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club did not survive a recent ice storm and was removed this weekend, according to a release from the club.
Eisenhower, a member at Augusta National Golf Club who played many rounds there during his presidency, proposed in a 1956 meeting of the club's governors that the Loblolly Pine about 210 yards from the tee be cut down. Standing 65-feet tall and more than a century old, the pine was a nuisance for Eisenhower as it got in the way of too many of his shots.
The club's chairman, Clifford Roberts, denied Eisenhower's request and the tree later became known as the Eisenhower Tree.
"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," said Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National and the Masters tournament. "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."
Payne said there was no other major damage to the course, which is open for member play. He added the club will not be affected in preparations for the Masters, which is April 10-13. But Payne did say the club will consider options for the 17th hole.
"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," Payne said. "Rest assured, we will do both appropriately."