Where Is the Bay Hill Golf Course?

Golfing is a popular sport in Florida, and there’s no lack of courses and competitions in the state where golfers try to prove themselves. But where is the Bay Hill golf course, the most famous Floridian fairway, to test one’s skills? Let’s learn more about it today.

The Bay Hill Club and Lodge is a golf course and resort in Florida. It was owned and operated by Arnold Palmer until his death in 2016 and is now run by his daughter and son-in-law. The resort hosted the PGA Tour’s Bay Hill Invitational from 1979 to 2016, which later got the name Arnold Palmer Invitational.

A golf hole near water

Where Is the Bay Hill Golf Course?

Is a country club a golf course? In the case of this clubhouse, it is. It offers amenities for members under the official name of Bay Hill Club and Lodge. Only members can access the courses and clubhouse amenities, including golfing lessons, tennis, a spa, a fitness center, and a marina.

To become a member here, you must come down to the area of the same name in Florida, just thirty minutes away from downtown Orlando.

There Is a Suburban Community Southwest of Orlando, Florida

Bay Hill is a suburban area nearby Orlando, Florida. Orlando is one of the biggest cities in the state and a popular tourist destination. It’s known for numerous amenities and features, such as:

  • Walt Disney World Resort,
  • Universal Studios,
  • SeaWorld,
  • Gatorland,
  • Discovery Cove,
  • Lake Eola Park,
  • Orlando Science Center,
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens.

The History and Significance of the Club and Lodge

While this may not be one of the oldest American golf courses, it’s undoubtedly one of the most famous ones. Its connections to Arnold Palmer, Walt Disney, and other big names have brought it significant fame.

Way before Palmer’s ownership, though, others established the fairway and gave it its well-known name. The club’s founder was Dick van Arsdale, a professional golfer who played on the PGA Tour for many years. He was also an accomplished course designer and architect.

Dick and his wife Helen founded Bay Hill in 1963. The couple’s goal was to create a private clubhouse offering its members a world-class golfing experience. Today, this is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers.

The Golf Course is Near Walt Disney’s World Resort

In 1965, Walt Disney purchased 27,000 acres of land on Bay Lake. He founded Walt Disney’s World Resort there the same year that Arnold Palmer played and won a charity tournament at the resort.

 A golfer hitting the ball hard off the tee

The Resort Was Owned by Arnold Palmer For a Long Time

Nobody expected the glory that came to the club later on, which was primarily due to the involvement of one of America’s greats, Arnold Palmer. He was a professional golfer and one of the most famous athletes in history.

He is credited with popularizing golfing in the US and was known for his aggressive play style, which earned him the nickname “the King.” Palmer was widely respected by his peers and fans and is considered one of the greatest golfers ever.

Bay Hill Club and Lodge found its fame when Arnold Palmer purchased it in 1975; he took out a five-year lease with an option to buy in 1970, which ultimately led to him being the owner until he died in 2016.

Palmer made many improvements to the greens and facilities, including adding a lodge in 1992. Because of such changes in looks, style, and reputation, it’s been ranked among the top golf resorts in the world by numerous publications.

A green area and some trees

Play a 27-Hole Game at the Champion/Challenger and Charger Links

Organize your golf clubs, drive down to FL, rent a golf cart, and hit the fairways of Bay Hill. You can play at the 18-hole fairway called Champion/Challenger or at the one called Charger with nine holes. These links span 270 acres of land along the Butler Chain of Lakes.

The Champion and Challenger nines make up one 18-hole fairway; they were designed by Dick Wilson and built by Bob Simmons. This fairway is deemed one of Wilson’s greatest works since he created practical and challenging holes. The Charger is an additional course of nine holes designed and built by Simmons after Wilson passed away.

The Champion/Challenger nines are the greens played at the PGA Tour called Arnold Palmer Invitational; the first hole is a challenging par-4 of 461 yards, where Palmer managed to score a hole-in-one during the 1977 Invitational.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Is One for the Books

The resort has hosted the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational every year since 1979, and it’s one of the most prestigious PGA events. Many of the world’s top golfers come here to compete in the event.

The tournament attracts some of the best golfers in the world, and the field is always full of top talent. The fairway is challenging, and players must be on top of their game if they hope to win. The purse for the tournament is quite large, and the winner takes home a nice chunk of change.

Here are some of the most famous players and the number of times they won the Invitational.

PlayerNo. of winsYears
Tiger WoodsEight2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013
Matt EveryTwo2014, 2015
Ernie ElsTwo1998, 2010
Loren RobertsTwo1994, 1995
Tom KiteTwo1982, 1989
Gary KochTwo1977, 1984

Bay Hill Club and Lodge Is the Pinnacle of Golfing in Florida

If you’re considering paying for a golf clubhouse membership, this lodge might be the place of your dreams. Adapted into a full-fledged members lounge, it’s the greatest achievement of one of golf’s most famous men.

You can have fun, improve your strokes and swings on the ball, and get a great run for your money here. Don’t wait too long; head to FL, contact the resort and start your golfing career.