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Eisenhower left mark on National

February 16, 2012 - 4:46 pm
Ike's Cabin, named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower  File/Staff
File/Staff
Ike's Cabin, named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower
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By John Boyette |

It's almost impossible to get around Augusta National Golf Club without bumping into reminders of its most famous member, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The former president of the United States and supreme commander of the Allied Forces in World War II joined the club in the early 1950s at the urging of Masters Chairman Clifford Roberts. He soon became friends with Bobby Jones, who co-founded the club with Roberts, and remained a member until his death in 1969.

The club ran into a problem after Eisenhower won the 1952 election: Where do you house a sitting president, and the staff and security he requires, during visits to Augusta?

A cabin for Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, turned out to be the right answer. Built in 1953 by a group of Augusta National members who bought building certificates, the structure met presidential security requirements and provided space on the bottom floor for Secret Service agents.

The cabin is one of a handful of residences on Augusta National grounds, and it stands alone. A gold presidential seal hanging over the front porch distinguishes it from other cabins.

The dining room of the spacious cabin offers views of Ike's Pond and the Par-3 Course. Upstairs, a portrait of Eisenhower's grandson David hangs above the fireplace.

Eisenhower made 45 visits to Augusta National - five before his election, 29 while he was president and 11 after he left office - and his trips were often lengthy.

While at the club, he would play golf and bridge, and he conducted his business affairs in an office that was built for him over the club's pro shop.

Although Eisenhower wasn't known for his skills as a golfer, his mark can be found all over the Augusta National grounds.

It was he who discovered an ideal spot for a fishing pond, and Ike's Pond was soon built.

And it was Eisenhower who kept hitting into the loblolly pine in the left-center of the 17th fairway. The president wanted to have the tree removed, and in a 1956 club meeting, he proposed that action.

Roberts ruled Eisenhower out of order and adjourned the meeting, and the tree has been known ever since as Ike's Tree.

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