MORE IMPROVEMENTS COMING AT BAY HILL
Greens to undergo comprehensive re-grassing following the Arnold Palmer Invitational
Bay Hill Club & Lodge, one of the top golf resort destinations in America, is planning a comprehensive re-grassing project on the putting surfaces of its Championship Course following this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. Acknowledging that a 2009 upgrade of the greens did not meet an anticipated level of excellence, club officials announced their intentions to install TifEagle Bermuda grass, a project that is consistent with several other upgrades that have occurred at the club in the last year. The decision was made after the club found that portions of some greens on the Championship Course were not 100 percent healthy after a harsh winter. However, tournament officials of the Arnold Palmer Invitational anticipate that though some areas are aesthetically weak, the greens will be in tournament shape and will not have an adverse effect on playability or scoring. “We always strive to have the very best playing conditions, not only for the tournament, but also for our members and guests,” said Roy Saunders, vice president of Bay Hill Club. “By taking this step, the club is positioning itself to better achieve its overall objective of offering superior conditions throughout the year.”
The re-grassing process to be undertaken is called the “no-till method,” which will ensure that all of the topographical features and contours will be preserved. The project will commence in May and should be completed by early August.
Chris Flynn, the Director of Grounds for Bay Hill Club’s 27 holes, will be working closely this week with Bland Cooper, Competitions Agronomist for the PGA TOUR, to ensure that the greens remain in the best possible condition during the 37th edition of the prestigious invitational tournament hosted by Arnold Palmer.
An upgrade of the greens is just the latest improvement to the Palmer-designed Championship Course. In the months leading up to this year’s tournament, Flynn has overseen a number of upgrades that dramatically improve the overall golf experience for both daily play and for competitors in this week’s invitational.
Those measures include the infusion of new “G-Angle” bunker sand that is approved by the PGA TOUR spread over Bay Hill’s 84 bunkers. The G-Angle sand is a more angular sand that holds up the ball better and makes it more difficult for balls to bury in the bunkers. Additionally, five more acres of fairway are available after Flynn expanded the fairways to reflect the original course design intent. The approach areas and bailout areas around the greens also were expanded. Finally, an aggressive tree-trimming program has improved the visual presentation of the course as well as restored shot values.
Located just minutes from downtown Orlando and area attractions, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge is the site of the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard golf tournament. The 70-room property features 27-holes of golf, the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy, tennis on four Har-tru and two DecoTurf courts, a full service spa and salon, fitness center, a heated Jr. Olympic-size pool, three dining locations, 3 lounges, and 9,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. For reservations call (888) 422-9445 or (407) 876-2429.