Tree damage beyond Ike’s tree

By |  April 16, 2014
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Photo: Golfdom Staff

I was standing there on No. 7 green at Augusta National, taking some photos of the guys mowing. They loaded up the mower, and a brave patron approached the two crewmen.

“Hey, do you guys, uh… do you put something on the greens between now and tomorrow to make them greener for TV?” the patron asked.

I was surprised the patron wanted greener greens in the first place. But I enjoyed the back-and-forth if only for the response of the crew member: “We’re not supposed to speak to anyone about course conditions, sir.”

So of course this next nugget comes from a “little birdie” who shall go nameless.

A look at the view from No. 17 tee with the Eisenhower tree now gone. Photo: Golfdom Staff

A look at the view from No. 17 tee with the Eisenhower tree now gone. Photo: Golfdom Staff

Augusta National, as well as courses throughout the region, sustained serious tree damage back in February with that ice storm that came through, ultimately dooming the famous Eisenhower tree, a 100-year-old Loblolly Pine. But obviously that wasn’t the only tree to take a hit.

Word is that 20 contractors were brought in to quickly clean up and remove damaged trees and branches throughout the course. Bringing in even one contractor with heavy equipment can make a superintendent sweat… but to bring in 20? And to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National? That had to be another stressful week for the maintenance team.

And the best thing is, the course looked as great as it always does. Did anyone notice trees that were a little less full than they were in previous years? It made for an interesting topic of conversation with the architects I was hanging out with. Do golf fans… or Masters patrons… ever look up?

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at

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