Hinkle Rises

by Jay Nordlinger

Today’s Impromptus is a typical mélange: the baneful use of the word “Nazi,” the spiral of American culture, the wisdom of Mike Ditka . . . I also have an item about Ike’s Tree — the pine on the 17th hole of Augusta National, named for the president who belonged to the club. The tree was felled by an ice storm in recent days. I actually have a political point to make about the tree, not a golf point or an arboreal one.

It occurs to me to say, here on the Corner, that the most famous tree in golf is now the Hinkle Tree — another pine, this one on the 8th hole of the Inverness Club, in Toledo, Ohio.

The U.S. Open was played there in 1979 (as in previous years). Lon Hinkle decided he’d take a shortcut on No. 8. The USGA didn’t like that very much. So, before the beginning of play the next day, they planted a tree, to prevent Hinkle’s maneuver. That tree has borne his name ever since.

Inverness means something to me. I have never been there. But I grew up not far from the course. And a golf mentor had worked there, under Byron Nelson. But this, as the kids say — or used to say, at this point? — is TMI, too much information.

In any event, the Hinkle Tree, with Ike’s Tree dead, is now king.

The Corner

The one and only.