Masters History in Abilene
KSAL Staff - April 11, 2016 7:37 am
An iconic piece of Masters golf history has a permanent home in Abilene. A cross-section of the “Eisenhower Tree” is a part of the history collection at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene.
During last year’s events in Augusta, Georgia, Masters Tournament Chairman Billy Payne announced that a cross-section of the Eisenhower Tree, the infamous three that used to reach out over the fairway leading up to the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club, will be presented to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene.
The Eisenhower Tree was a loblolly pine located on the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. In the 1950s it was named after then U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower who unsuccessfully lobbied to have it taken down after it interfered with his golf game. Due to its size, history, and location, it is considered iconic of the Augusta golf course and is one of the most famous trees in American golf
The Eisenhower Tree has played a prominent role in the annual Masters Tournament. One year, the Tree came into play as Tommy Aaron hit a shot off the 17th tee which became known as the “Lost Ball Incident”. The ball could not be located and a drop was given. The next day according to Aaron, while playing on the 17th again, the ball apparently fell from its perch within the tree. Jack Nicklaus stated “I’m not sure I believe it.” In 2011, Tiger Woods was playing a shot from underneath the Eisenhower and damaged his left knee and Achilles tendon when he slipped on some pine straw. The injuries sidelined him until August 2011 and his world ranking dropped to 58th.
In February 2014, the Eisenhower Tree was removed after suffering extensive damage during a major ice storm. It stood about 65 feet tall. It was estimated to be 100 to 125 years old at the time it died.
Shortly after the Master tournament ended last year, a large section of the tree was sent to Abilene.
Eisenhower’s green jacket, which goes along with membership to the Augusta National Golf Club, is on display with the tree. The jacket is currently at the club in Augusta, where it is sent every year to be displayed during the tournament.
A similar cross-section of the Eisenhower Tree permanently remains at Augusta National.