Tree Talk

Eisenhower Tree

It's seen a lot of good shots and a lot of bad shots. It's witnessed history-making skill, staunch tradition and ongoing controversy. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this tree really could

What's known as the "Eisenhower Tree" is a 65-foot tall loblolly pine that stands to the left of the 17th fairway at the famed Augusta National Golf Club. It's estimated to be 100 -125 years old, and it got its name when U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower wanted it axed.

Eisenhower was a member of the club from 1948 until his death in 1969. During countless rounds of play, he was particularly vexed by the tree's low branches and troublesome location at 210 yards off the tee. The tree got its moniker when Eisenhower went before a club's governor's meeting in 1956 and campaigned to have it cut down. But even the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in WWII was unsuccessful in changing the layout of Augusta National. So as not to refuse the request of a sitting president, Chairman Clifford Roberts denied the request by adjourning the meeting and the Eisenhower Tree legend was born.

These days, the Eisenhower tree doesn't snag as many balls. Today's Masters Tournament players routinely navigate past the pine, but it remains a nuisance for ordinary golfers.

Photo courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club.

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