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A tree at Augusta National ’s 17th hole, at left, proved tricky for many golfers, but was bested by a storm.

David J. Phillip • Associated Press file,

Fore: Eisenhower tree comes down

  • February 17, 2014 - 7:58 PM

Dwight Eisenhower’s wish was finally granted — 45 years after his death. A 65-foot tree named after the president on the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club was removed after sustaining “irreparable damage” during an ice storm at the home of the Masters Tournament. Billy Payne, chairman of the private club in Augusta, Ga., said that the tree had lost most of its major branches and was unable to be saved. “The loss of the Eisenhower Tree is difficult news to accept,” Payne said. “We obtained opinions from the best arborists available and, unfortunately, were advised that no recovery was possible.” The Loblolly Pine tree, which the club estimates at up to 125 years old, was about 210 yards from the 17th tee on the left side of the fairway. The tree’s position often made tee shots on the course’s penultimate hole more difficult. Eisenhower, a former club member, hit his ball into the tree so often that he lobbied to have it removed, according to the club. When Eisenhower proposed cutting it down during a club’s governors meeting in 1956, former Chairman Clifford Roberts ruled him out of order and adjourned the meeting, the club said. The tree has been linked to Eisenhower ever since. “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,” said Payne, who added that the course will be unaffected for April’s Masters. “Rest assured, we will do both appropriately.” Bloomberg news service

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