The home of the Masters Tournament not only lost its famous Eisenhower Tree in the February ice storm, but countless other trees as well, giving the golf course a more open look. Brandt Snedeker noted that on the seventh fairway, “you don’t feel like you’re going down a bowling alley as much,” while Mike Weir added that the 17th hole is “much friendlier.”
Augusta National was open for only two hours on Monday, the first full day of the Masters Tournament, because of storms, but it was still enough time for a few players to see changes to the golf course caused by February’s ice storm, the Associated Press reported.
The storm that led to the demise of the famous Eisenhower Tree also cost the club countless other trees, giving Augusta a different look. Instead of a forest of Georgia pines, players can see from the 10th fairway all the way across to the 15th fairway, the AP reported.
Players couldn’t help but notice the number of trees missing from the right side of the narrow, claustrophobic seventh fairway, the AP reported. “You don’t feel like you’re going down a bowling alley as much,” Brandt Snedeker said.
The club lost thousands of limbs that were damaged by the ice storm. Workers were up in the trees with chain saws when golfers came trickling into Augusta a few weeks ago for a practice round, the AP reported.
“I haven’t played here a ton, so I kind of got the feeling you could see down through the golf course a little bit better than you used to be able,” Jimmy Walker said. “I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
Masters champion Adam Scott always assumed the 17th hole, a 440-yard par 4, was a dogleg left because of the 65-foot-high loblolly pine that jutted out from the left side about 220 yards from the tee, forcing shots to the right except for the big hitters who could take it over the tree, the AP reported.
Mike Weir is not one of the big hitters, so when asked how he found the 17th hole on Monday, the Canadian smiled. “Much friendlier,” he said.
The club will determine later what to do with the trunk and limbs of the Eisenhower Tree, which was named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a club member who hit into the tree far too often, the AP reported.