Bay Hill (Challenger & Champion)


Bay hill was built on the site of a florida orange grove and is strategically situated near downtown orlando. The bay hill club & lodge was conceived by a consortium of nashville businessmen, who hired architect dick wilson to design the course. The 18-hole course first opened for play in 1961.

The "king" himself lived in bay hill. After the tennessean owners welcomed jack nicklaus, don cherry, dave ragan, and himself to play in an exhibition match to advertise the club in 1965, arnold palmer fell in love with the venue. Palmer acquired bay hill club & lodge in 1976 and used it as his winter home until his death in 2016.

The florida citrus open has been a pga tour favorite and a forerunner to the masters since 1966. The event was transferred to bay hill in 1979, and the bay hill invitational was born. The arnold palmer invitational, as it is now called, draws major sponsors as well as the best golfers in the world.

The winner, challenger, and starter are the titles of the three nine-hole loops at bay hill club and lodge, which is a 27-hole facility. The invitational is played over the champion and challenger loops, and this long, tight course is regarded as one of the most difficult on the tour, especially the two long par threes on the back nine (14 and 17), which have shattered the dreams of many would-be champions.

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