The Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a private golf resort located in Orlando, Florida within 10 miles of the Walt Disney World Resort. It has been owned by Arnold Palmer since 1976. The club is the host to the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour.

The Bay Hill Invitational has been a PGA Tour event since 1979 when Bob Byman won that first tournament two decades ago. The golf course, which was built in 1961 by Dick Wilson, continues to be one of the top stops on the PGA Tour today. Past champions of the event reads like a who's who of golf -- Ernie Els (1998), Phil Mickelson (1997), Ben Crenshaw ('93), Fred Couples ('92), Tom Kite ('89), Payne Stewart ('87) and Fuzzy Zoeller ('85) to name a few.

The 8th hole at Bay Hill Golf Course
The 17th hole at Bay Hill Golf Course


Golf Digest tagged the course as No. 97 on its list of "America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses" in 1997, which rewards it as No. 14 among the country's best public courses, and No. 6 among the state's best. Golf Magazine ranked it No. 2 among Silver Medal Resorts in 1996 and No. 15 on the "Top 100 Golf Courses You Can Play in the U.S." in 1996.

At least a dozen former or current PGA Tour players have lived along its flowing, bermuda-grass fairways, honing their games or enjoying friendly rounds with its members.

The facility actually has three nines -- the Challenger, the Champion, and the Charger -- but the tournament is held on the Challenger/Champion mix, which plays a long 7,204 yards from the tips (75.1 rating/139 slope). The Charger nine is the shortest of the three at 3,409 yards.