- Hyp Kate
Course in Focus: Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Located in Orlando, Florida, Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge is one of the most famous and prestigious golf courses in the world. Bay Hill is a challenging course that requires precision and accuracy, as well as strategic thinking. The area was named “Bay Hill” for the bay that touched the Northwest boundary and for the hills that surrounded the lakes and wetlands, all of which affect the course itself. The course has a variety of water hazards, bunkers, and undulating greens that can be difficult to read; even so, the course's natural beauty and lush landscaping make it a pleasure for both amateurs and professionals to play.
The History of Bay Hill
The piece of land that would later become Bay Hill began with a problem: this large plot of land located in Central Florida—a state known for its sweet produce—would not grow citrus. The land was surrounded by the some of the finest citrus spreads in Central Florida, and one of the largest tangerine groves in the world... but this plot itself simply could not grow fruit sustainably.
And thank goodness for that, because it meant the land had to be used another way. Two businessmen took control of the land in 1959, one of whom had a lifelong dream of creating a championship golf course. So they got to work.
The 18-hole course first opened in 1961, having been designed by golf course architect Dick Wilson. A second 9-hole course—now known as The Charger—also opened on the property in 1969, designed by Bob Simmons.
In 1965, Arnold Palmer played in a tournament at Bay Hill. Mr. Palmer won that tournament, and the Bay Hill property won his heart. He told his wife, Winnie, that he wanted to own it—and by 1975, he did.
Bay Hill Today
Thanks to Mr. Palmer's successful negotiations, the course has been host to the Arnold Palmer Invitational (formerly the Bay Hill Invitational) since 1979. The tournament, which attracts some of the world's top golfers, is one of the most highly anticipated events on the PGA Tour.
In addition to its world-renowned golf course, Bay Hill also boasts an array of amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and several dining options. There's even an actual Lodge on site, where guests can stay in suites or cottages on property, and enjoy all the perks and facilities available to Bay Hill members. The Club's luxurious facilities and unparalleled service have made it a popular destination for golf enthusiasts and vacationers alike.
Whether you're looking to play a round of golf, relax at the spa, or simply enjoy the beautiful Florida weather, Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge is a must-visit destination. And now you can experience it without even having to travel, by playing the course any time you'd like in Ultimate Golf!