Pat Shingleton: "The Masters-Masterful!"
In 1943, Augusta National, home of The Masters, suspended play; transformed back into a farm to help the war effort. German prisoners-of-war provided renovation work to erect the famous bridge over Rae's Creek. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, became a member of Augusta and a landmark bears his name -The Eisenhower Cabin. The other landmark was a lob-lolly pine, 210 yards from the tee on number 17. Ike hated the tree because his low draw compromised his second shot. In February of 2014, an ice storm toppled the 125 year old pine and it wasn't replaced.However, pine cone seeds from the tree were planted with a plaque designating the tree. "Ike" was honored with the naming of another tree at the Dalmeny Golf Club in Scotland in 1946. An acorn from the tree was forwarded to Augusta to replant his tree. The entrance to Augusta National includes 122 Magnolia trees that canopy the club's entrance. Ten years ago, my son Michael and I enjoyed the final rounds of The Masters. Our friend Paddy Quigley provided guidance, suggesting placement of portable chairs on #18 before walking the course. Our chairs were steps away from the playoff with Tiger Woods and Chris DeMarco. Augusta National embraces tree reforestation and a radar system that conserves water, reducing runoff. The parking area is unpaved to embrace natural absorption. Showers halted play as we were surprised to hear what sounded like an engine. Standing water and puddles on the greens were eliminated as underground suction devices removed the results of the shower; play resumed.