What would you do for a chance to play at a golf legend’s home course? We got up several hours before dawn on Monday to head to Orlando to make our tee time at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge and it was beyond worth it!
After covering the Arnold Palmer Invitational from the PGA TOUR studios the past three seasons I just HAD to get out there and see the course for myself. Making the short, two-hour drive from Jacksonville, FL, to Orlando — we were able to step back in time to the days of Arnie.
From the minute you walk inside the tastefully preserved Bay Hill Clubhouse you feel like you are stepping back in time to the 1970’s. Almost imagining that you could run into him in the hallway, the spirit of Mr. Palmer lives on.
While his iconic statue looks out over the golf grounds and Arnold’s multi-colored umbrella can be spotted in the many details around the course, Bay Hill has also recently has made moves to stay current.
The club just opened its new practice grounds late this summer and they were impressive! According to Bay Hill’s head pro Brian Dorn, they have renovated the driving range, put in a fantastic short game practice area and a new irrigation system on their Championship Course.
It was so cool to play that Championship Course where so many TOUR pros have won, including Tiger Woods a record EIGHT times. We’d love to go back, spend more time at the lodge and check out their 9-hole, fun-course — Charger.
My impression of the course is that it is a very similar to your prototypical Flordia golf course, many of which were built in the 1960’s & 70’s. What sets Bay Hill apart — aside from the luster of Arnold Palmer, the exceptional service and pristine resort and scenery — is the difficulty around the greens. As an amateur I had some trouble in the bunkers, with my chip-shots and putting. I can see why the pros are tested around the greens when they visit for the annual PGA TOUR stop in March.
We continued our already fabulous day, by visiting family in town at Disney Springs. What a Monday!
Do you have any comments or questions about our visit? Let me know below or reach out to me on Instagram!