By Rob Pavey
Morris News Service
While thousands of patrons were focused on golf, I took some time last week to think about fishing.
In particular, I was interested in Ike's Pond-three spring-fed acres of dark water surrounded by towering pines and azaleas.
The much photographed landmark, which turns 60 this year, is part of
the legacy of the Augusta National Golf Club's most famous member,
Dwight David Eisenhower, who joined the club in 1948 and later became
the nation's 34th president.
Eisenhower, who also served as commander of the Allied Forces in World
War II, was a close friend of Masters Chairman Clifford Roberts.
During his second visit to Augusta after the end of the war, Eisenhower
suggested to Roberts that a new pond be constructed on the eastern edge
of the property, just downhill from the existing DeSoto Springs Pond.
The club, after asking a professional engineer to evaluate such a plan,
decided to build the pond, which was completed in 1949 and stocked with
bass and bream, according to an exhibit at the club. Today, the pond is
part of the club's Par 3 course.
Having worked at the Masters all week, I found some time early Tuesday
morning to visit Ike's Pond, where Eisenhower fished throughout 29
often lengthy visits during his presidency, and 11 more visits
In 60 years, it has changed little from the early photographs. Near the
back of the pond, an aging magnolia straddles the waterline, its
gnarled, heavy limbs almost touching the dark water.
I walked beneath the Par 3 scoreboard, by a flagstone wall with two
drainpipes, where bream beds dotted the sandy bottom like dinner plates.
At the headwaters, below the dam of the Desoto Springs Pond, I could
see a form in the shallow water. It was a huge bass, hovering
motionless near the grass and ivy.
We made eye contact briefly. It blew a bubble, and then vanished with a turbulent swirl.
The place was like a cemetery: eerily quiet, yet relaxing and
strikingly beautiful. It was a sanctuary, a place where a president
Reach Rob Pavey at 868-122