Famous Eisenhower Tree is removed after storm damage

The 17th hole will never be the same again after it was announced that the famous Eisenhower Tree was removed from its iconic spot due to suffering severe storm damage.

The Augusta National golf course, which is the host for the Masters tournament, sought advice about how the tree could be saved, but were told there was nothing which could be done. In a statement from the Chairman of the Augusta National, Billy Payne, he said: "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.

"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 can report that the golf course sustained no major damage otherwise. We are now open for member play and we will be unaffected in our preparations for the 2014 Masters tournament."

Jack Nicklaus, six-time Masters champion, said he was sad to hear of the tree's untimely demise even though he had endured previous altercations with the historic pine. He said: "The Eisenhower Tree is such an iconic fixture and symbol of tradition at Augusta National. It was such an integral part of the game and one that will be sorely missed.

"Over the years, it's come into play many, many times on the 17th hole. When I stood on the 17th tee, my first thought, always, was to stay away from Ike's Tree.

"I hit it so many times over the years that I don't care to comment on the names I called myself and the names I might have called the tree. Ike's Tree was a kind choice. But looking back, Ike's Tree will be greatly missed."

Eisenhower was an Augusta member from 1948 until his death in 1969. In that time he launched a campaign to have the tree removed in 1956 after hitting it several times.