It’s one of the Dalmeny Estate’s least-publicised claims to fame, but fully 70 years after a very special visit there in October, 1946, the USA’s General Dwight D Eisenhower still has a solid presence.
That’s because the leader who became the single most powerful man in the planet during the Second World War planted a young oak during his visit – and it grew to be a lasting memorial to his visit.
Dalmeny Estate Golf Club has developed a fascinating way of reuniting “the General’s Tree” with his home state of Kansas, and after the latest trip to the USA club secretary Wullie Ruffle says he was delighted by how much pleasure it has given US golfers.
Using a fallen bough from the Eisenhower oak the Dalmeny club’s Ian Andrews had crafted nine perfectly-made barrels, beautifully finished and mounted with an inscription.
During the Ryder Cup in 2012 one barrel was presented to Medinah Country Club, and for the same event in 2014, three barrels were presented - one to Gleneagles Golf Club and one each to Captains Tom Watson and Paul McGinley.
This year – again to mark the flagship golf event – three of the barrels have become gifts for the Lake Quivira Country Club, the Hazeltine National Golf Club and The Eisenhower Library.
It means they are going back to the General’s home state, where they will instantly acquire a special importance as mementos of the state’s most famous son, and the time he spent in Scotland.
Wullie Ruffle was able to make the trip to the Lake Quivira club himself, and was delighted by the response.
The presentation came with a letter signed by Dalmeny Estate owners Lord and Countess Rosebery, who are naturally proud of the 1940’s visit by the President of the USA to their magnificent historic stately home.
Wullie Ruffle said: “Lake Quivira Country Club member Doug Catt gave an informational presentation prior to the Barrel presentation at the clubhouse.
“Through the years Doug Catt and I have become friends, and Doug has also had the pleasure of visiting the Dalmeny Estate Golf Club”.
Wullie said the gift had been accepted as a great honour, and it is currently on display in the country club’s golf shop – but will soon be moved to a more prominent spot in the clubhouse.
The presentation to the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene will be linked live to the Dalmeny clubhouse. Abilene was Eisenhower’s home town, and it is also where members of his family were laid to rest.
The historic planting which took place back in 1946 can be seen at 6.12 minutes into this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff0mZycIOK4.