Earlier this winter Augusta suffered through a major ice storm that destroyed trees all over the region. Augusta National Golf Club was no exception and the Eisenhower Tree, one of the most significant landmarks on the course, was damaged to the point that it had to be removed in February prior to The Masters Tournament. The course layout was apparently so dramatically different that Augusta National Golf Club chose to correct and reprint 2,000 media guides:
Augusta National had already mailed out some 2,000 media guides, with a glossy cover, color photos and 420 pages of information.
A week or so after the tree came down, the club sent the media guide back to the printer to update the mention on page 28 of the tree. Everything was changed to past tense, and it mentioned how it was taken down in February 2014 after an historic ice storm.
That is a LOT of paper consumed just to indicate a single course change that could be construed as a defect. Was it really necessary to invest in the extra time, paper, money, and printer capacity? Instead of allowing the media guides to serve as a de-facto memorial to the history of the hole, Augusta National decided to change all references to the Eisenhower Tree and absorb the costs of doing so. And believe me, the excess to which Augusta National Golf Club goes through to make everything look spectacular, the media guide is probably exquisitely produced.
The media guides weren’t the only things subject to reprinting. Other pieces of merchandise were replaced as well.
It (the club) removed all the calendars on sale in the merchandise shop because they had photos of the Eisenhower Tree, redoing the calendars with a different image of the 17th hole. It also changed the yardage books and spectator guides that are on sale this week to reflect that the tree is no more.
While the media guides were shipped out and put into use before the Eisenhower Tree came down (thereby making the media guides “defective” and not excess inventory that became defective while waiting on a shelf), the calendars and guides would not have been available for public consumption until this past weekend with the opening of the golf shops and entrance gates. That means that defective materials were produced far in advance of when they would be needed.
Augusta National Golf Club certainly prides itself on its commendable attention to detail. However, they did not catch everything. I’m fairly certain that they did not nail down The Augusta Chronicle’s coverage of The Masters online, where it appears they still have a computer image of the 17th hole with the Eisenhower Tree:
I believe that tree forcing itself into the fairway on the left side is the Eisenhower Tree. Oops.