When snow and ice storms hammered Augusta National Golf Club earlier this year, a series of pictures of a white-covered golf course spread around social media. But those photos were all old, mostly from the late 80s, and mistakenly identified as the current conditions.
Getting past Tiger
Getting past Tiger
The green jackets are notoriously guarded about access to the club, especially media with cameras when it's not Masters week. We got pictures from outside the gates of branches scattered along an icy Magnolia Lane, but there were no photos of the actual course. Then reports came that ANGC lost the famed Eisenhower Tree, a massive loblolly pine that lorded over the left half of the 17th fairway. We also heard as recently as last week that the course had been "shredded" by the ice storm, and would look totally different than what we're used to seeing each April.
Well the Masters, in their effort to embrace the modern world, has fired up an Instagram account and provided a photo of a snowy 17th:
The caption claims it is the last official photo of the Eisenhower Tree. The tree did not have the same impact on today's bombers, but players still occasionally got tangled up in it. It's most recent moment of infamy came in 2011, when Tiger Woods injured his knee and Achilles trying to punch out violently from the pine straw underneath (read more on the origins of the Eisenhower Tree, and its death, here).
Here's the view from the 17th now that it's gone (again via the Masters Instagram account)
It's definitely a little more open without the Eisenhower Tree's branches encroaching into the fairway, but the hole shouldn't play much different for the pros. And contrary to some speculation, the club did not haul in a comparably sized pine to try and recreate the same setup before this year's Masters.