the despair
a hack like me
Pines for the blessed Ike

Yes, the most famous tree in golf, the Eisenhower Tree, is a mere memory.

In February, Mother Nature accomplished what the 34th president of the
United States couldn’t--deliver a knockout punch to the 80-foot-tall loblolly pine that stood 210 yards off the 17th tee at Augusta National.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s tee shots tangled with
the tree so often in the 1950s that he asked club officials to remove it.
Request denied, Mr. President. But we will name the tree after you, sir.

There’s no denying Mother Nature. Her ice storm damaged
the tree so extensively that it had to be taken down, forever changing the landscape of the Masters Tournament.

Your Bogeyville Blogger snapped this shot of the Eisenhower Tree last year at Tuesday’s practice round for the Masters. (Who let this hack on the grounds, anyway?). 

fond farewell
thee old friend
indeed is a sad end

The best signature in golf? I’ll go with Bobby Jones, a smooth, free-flowing, effortless autograph, much like his own golf swing.

Five Hall of Famers follow--Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino--elegant signatures written with flair and

There’s a link between how we write our signatures and how we play golf, legendary teacher and PGA Tour winner Bob Toski contends.

In his 1971 classic book, “The Touch System for Better Golf,” Toski says “the person who writes fast and smooth with big loops like I do usually makes a full, free, rhythmical swing.”

Those of us who write with herky-jerky pen strokes tend to own herky-jerky swings.

Try writing your name holding your pen as tight as possible, Toski writes. “…your writing suddenly becomes slower, and less legible than normal. Why? Because you over-control the pen.”

If you over-control a golf club in the same manner, you’ll lose clubhead speed and rhythm and won’t hit the ball as far. This sound advice comes from one of the greatest all-time teachers.

My problem? The Dennis Keenon signature resembles an Etch-A-Sketch scrawl. Maybe I need to spend less time on the practice tee and devote more effort adding pizazz to my signature.