Augusta National member Dwight D. Eisenhower remembered
Dwight D. Eisenhower had a tremendous influence on Augusta National Golf Club.
The former president, who died on this date in 1969 at age 78, was a close friend of Clifford Roberts. The Masters and Augusta National chairman had helped Eisenhower successfully run for president, and he convinced him to join the private club.
Multimedia: Eisenhower's influence on Augusta National
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.
The Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole at Augusta National was named for the former president, who frequently hit into it.
Less than two weeks after Eisenhower’s death, Roberts talked about the president’s game at his annual meeting with the press on the eve of the Masters.
Roberts revealed Eisenhower’s problems with the tree, and The Augusta Herald wrote about it the next day.
“He introduced a motion to get rid of that tree at one governors’ meeting,” Roberts said. “We had to adjourn the meeting damn quick to save the club property.”
The famous pine tree that was named in his honor is no longer around, but there are plenty of reminders on the golf course and off. Among the most visible:
EISENHOWER CABIN: Built in 1953 by a group of 50 Augusta National members who bought building certificates, the cabin was built to specifications of presidential security. Secret Service agents occupied the bottom floor, while the Eisenhower family had the rest of the spacious cabin to themselves during visits. Numerous family mementos are still in place, and the cabin is available to club members for use.
Photos: Eisenhower in Augusta
IKE’S POND: Now an integral part of the Par-3 course, the spring-fed pond occupies three acres. During his second visit to Augusta National, Eisenhower was walking on the eastern part of the property and discovered what he thought would be an ideal spot for a fish pond. Eisenhower told Clifford Roberts about his discovery - he even had a suggestion for where the dam should be located - and the pond was promptly built.
EISENHOWER CRACKER BARREL: Located in the pro shop, the barrel was presented by George M. Humphrey in 1957. Humphrey was a member of Eisenhower’s Cabinet and was a fellow club member. The inscription reads: “This wood was part of the White House roof erected about 1817 and removed in 1927.”
Plenty of other Eisenhower items are scattered throughout the clubhouse.