Bay Hill Club and Lodge with Arnold Palmer
It has been just over a year now since The King, Arnold Palmer, left us mere mortals here on earth. Grief experts say it takes at least a year to properly mourn the passing of a loved one but I‘m afraid it will take a lot longer than that for us card carrying members of Arnies Army to fill the void since he passed on.
Arnold Palmer had a tremendous playing career winning 62 PGA Tour events including seven majors and another ten on the Senior (Champions) Tour but it was his charismatic personality and ability to connect with the masses with his sheer humanity and common touch that made him the most beloved individual in the history of golf. No one will ever come close to having the impact on a sport that Arnold Palmer had on the game of golf.
Not only was Arnold on the receiving end of much adulation, he was also on the giving end as well. He created the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation that led to the creation of the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies Center, the Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Another part of The King’s legacy that golfers can actually participate in is the Arnold Palmer Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida. Bay Hill was Palmer’s winter home for many years and is the site of the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard held each January.
The King may be gone but his presence is everywhere at Bay Hill. From the unpretentious entrance off South Apopka Vineland Road where you simply drive into a residential neighborhood to the low key check in area, Bay Hill is delightfully understated and inviting just like Arnold wanted it.
Bay Hill Club & Lodge features 70 rooms and suites, 10 two-bedroom cottages, The Spa & Salon at Bay Hill featuring personalized treatments, full hair and nail salon, and state-of-the-art Fitness Center, dining in 4 on-site restaurants, 3 lounges, six lighted tennis courts, a heated junior Olympic size swimming pool, the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy featuring instruction with the same golf philosophies that shaped Arnold Palmer’s career, 9,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space, and 27 holes of golf. Boating and fishing are offered on the adjacent Butler Chain of Lakes with docks available within walking distance of the Lodge. Bay Hill is just minutes from downtown Orlando, Walt Disney World, Disney Springs, Universal Studios and Sea World, as well as endless shopping choices. Bay Hill celebrated its 55th Anniversary in Fall, 2016.
Bay Hill Club & Lodge features 27 holes of golf including the 18-hole Championship course that plays host to the nationally televised Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. The course, comprised of the Challenger and Champion nines, was originally designed by Dick Wilson and Joe Lee in 1961, and officially redesigned by Arnold Palmer in 1980. Recent improvements (summer, 2015) include a complete re-grassing of the greens using TifEagle Bermudagrass. Long respected as one of the best courses in Florida, the course offers four sets of tees from 5,143 to 7,381 yards. Bay Hill’s quartet of par-3 holes are among the toughest on TOUR, with the 18th hole regularly regarded as one of the most difficult finishing holes they play, featuring the “Devil’s Bathtub”.
In addition to the Championship course, there is a third nine, the Charger Course, which plays from between 2,905 and 3, 409 yards and offers a more forgiving layout with open fairways, larger greens and less bunkering. Caddies are available year-round. A forecaddie is required for groups of three or more. Play is available to lodge guests and members and their guests only.
For those that wish to experience Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge soon they have announced the 2017 Fall Bucket List Golf Package which includes a comfortable lodge guest room, full breakfast, and one round of championship golf. The Bucket List Package is offered from $253 per person, double occupancy. The package is offered now through December 22, 2017 and reservations can be made by calling 888-422-9445 or visiting www.bayhill.com.