Tour Destinations


Arnold Palmer Invitational


March 2009



The final PGA TOUR event in March of the 2009 season is the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, held at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida. Like its namesake, the tournament is a first class event held on a deceptively tough layout, and requires every club in the bag. The greens are always in good shape and the weather is normally wet and windy. The winning score is whatever Tiger Woods shoots or about 16 under par.


The last shot to the 18th green from approximately 160 yards out is over water and extremely tight. It takes a lot of moxie to go for the pin when a score of seven or eight looms around the green. Hole 18 is a great finishing hole with Arnold Palmer, the King himself waiting to shake hands with all the players as they exit the green (a true honor in itself). I always seem to play well at Bay Hill and I missed not playing in the tournament the past two years.


With consistently warm weather, Orlando is a hot spot for a lot of activities away from the golf course. Bay Hill Club & Lodge is near Sea World, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World. You could spend a month visiting all the sites and still not take in all that Orlando has to offer. Universal Studios has been a favorite of my kids as they enjoyed the thrilling roller coaster rides and the education about the inner workings of movie-making and animation. The night life at Universal Studios is exciting as well. CityWalk, the entrance to Universal Studios, runs along a river and is lined with fascinating shops and dining, and activities for the whole family, including a 20 screen movie theatre. If you stay at the Hard Rock Hotel or Loews Portofino Bay Hotel you can take the ferry from the hotels to CityWalk. Parking for the Arnold Palmer Invitational is at Universal Studios. Be sure to make time for following golf and taking in what Universal Studios has to offer.


Orlando is home for many PGA TOUR players due to easy travel and golf friendly weather. It is a sports town, home to the golf mini-tours, as well as many other professional sports, including the NBA’s Orlando Magic Basketball team. Orlando and the Arnold Palmer Invitational provide more than enough entertainment for a week for fun and golf.