This past week, Augusta was hit hard by an ice storm, causing irreparable damage and the loss of most its branches, which forced the club to uproot the famous Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole, according to a statement from Billy Payne, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.
“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 Payne in a press release. “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.
As for the Masters Tournament in April, no worries — everything is on schedule and the golf course fortunately didn’t endure further damage beyond repair.
“I can report that the golf course sustained no major damage otherwise,” said Payne. “We are now open for Member play and we will be unaffected in our preparations for the 2014 Masters Tournament.”
What will Augusta National do about honoring the fallen tree?
Added Payne: “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 – rest assured, we will do both appropriately.”
I’m pretty sure it’d surprise no one if there were a replica Eisenhower Tree in place by the time the Masters rolls around.
(Photo via Masters.com)