Bay Hill
Golf Club

Featured 18th Hole:

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Our 'Featured Hole of the Week' at this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour is the famed 441 yard par four finishing hole.  The Bay Hill Invitational historically attracts a strong field in late March every year.  It's  Arnold Palmer's tournament and a prestigious event as well.  The higher you can hit your golf ball and avoid those dreaded wrong side misses into the greens, the better your chance of shooting a good score here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.  Three years ago there was some controversy about the new putting surfaces on the Bay Hill Golf Club which we're unreceptive to the approach shots and unfair.  Last year the golf course was again strengthened the by making it play as a par of 70 with #18 as always a very tough test of golf and one of the most difficult finishing holes in tournament golf.  

Here is a view of the bridge and short walk from the par three 17th hole as you would walk onto the 18th tee box.  (left)

It's a great time of the year to be in the Orlando area as Spring is often peaking and the flowers are in full bloom.

This year Tiger Woods will try to win again after winning four in a row and failing to win his fifth straight Bay Hill Invitational.  (The way he's playing right now I'd say he's a good bet this year!)

Will Tiger be making this walk on Sunday to the 72nd tee with a lead or another chance to win the tournament?  One would think that's a good probability but hardly guaranteed.

Here's a look of the second shot landing view from down the right side of the fairway off the 18th tee.  (pix right)

After hitting a drive over the crest of a small hill which is about a 250 yard carry, the fairway then runs out here down the right side at 305 yards.

If it's down wind particularly you must be careful not to hit it through into the rough in front of the lake which guards the entire right side of the second shot all the way to the green.

The green is long and narrow and requires a high shot with some spin on the ball struck from the fairway cut of grass.

The left side landing area is about 313 yards through the fairway and in the picture (left) you can see how the opening is narrow playing away from the water into the left front of the green.

Should you miss your tee shot into the left rough then you would have to play a releasing type of second shot  into this narrow and long opening to the 18th green.  

This is the hole where rookie Robert Gamez holed out his second shot from this fairway for an eagle two in 1990 on the 72nd hole before a national television audience to defeat Greg Norman.

Here's a look at the 18th hole scoreboard visible to players and fans from the 18 greens vantage point back across the lake.

It's blank right now but will be filled with scores in the old fashioned manual way of the earlier tournaments like the Masters with Arnold Palmer staying with that tradition at his host course.

The TV boxes reside above the board and hold the announce teams for the national television coverage each year at Bay Hill.

Here (in pix left) you have a good overall look at the hole looking back from above and behind the 18th green.  

You can see the tee shot landing areas -both right and left off the tee and can appreciate the narrowness of the angular finishing green here at the Bay Hill Club.

There's only 12 yards of green in the back right portion, (far left in pix left), to safely land your golf ball into.  The bunkering behind the green is banked towards the water,  with the green falling away in that direction, making it a difficult up and down for par should you miss it long.

Imagine coming into this one on the last day with a one shot lead, swirling winds and a back right pin position, needing a par four to win.  The pressures on and then comes the question from your player "Man, what club do you like here.....!?" 

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