- 10 апреля 2014, 15:30
Golf's first major of 2014 gets under way at Augusta National
Video: watch our animated fly-through of all 18 holes
The Joy of Six: missed putts (including Scott Hoch )
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General Ike Eisenhower loved Augusta National. It provided a bolthole where he could kick back and relax, swing a round of golf or play a hand of bridge, away from peering eyes and the pressures of public life as a popular erstwhile army commander and, later, 34th President of the United States of America. Eisenhower was a sharp bridge player, but not so accomplished at golf. "Ben Hogan for president!" screamed one bumper sticker during Eisenhower's 1956 campaign for a second term at the White House. "If we're going to have a golfer, let's have a good one!" Ike's putting was so poor that long putts were routinely waved away as gimmes by opponents, so as not to embarrass the President. He hit short, and sliced often. Upon suffering a heart attack in 1955, his first thought was to use his medical mishap as the basis of negotiation to up his handicap to a more generous and competitive level.
Eisenhower's inveterate slice, and lack of length off the tee, invariably caused problems on 17, where a recalcitrant pine tree stubbornly stood on the left side of the fairway, 125 yards from the members' teebox. Poor old Ike found the tree with great regularity, his ball more often than not sent pinballing around in its branches, as back down the hole its dispatcher, the most powerful man in the western world, hopped around in impotent frustration. So at a governors meeting in 1956, Eisenhower stood up and requested the damn thing be cut down. Clifford Roberts, the club chairman, bodyswerved the task of telling the President he was talking through his hat by hastily adjourning the meeting. The pine immediately became known to one and all as the Eisenhower Tree, and remained standing proud and tall, regularly causing bother down the years to half-decent players such as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. General Ike was, if nothing else, in good company.Continue reading...