What do Golf Channel experts have to say about Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge holds a unique place in Orlando as a private club that also doubles as 70-room lodge open to visitors. It's combination of intimacy and luxury is tough to find in Orlando, where courses are either ultra-exclusive or huge golf resorts.

Even more unique, of course, is that Arnold Palmer owns the place and lives here, and sightings of "The King" are a regular occurrence. With Golf Channel headquarters just a few miles to the east of Bay Hill, its employees get the chance to play here from time-to-time. Many of them have rated the experience on GolfAdvisor.

Golf Channel analyst Jerry Foltz had this to say about Bay Hill:

"Whatever the scorecard says, it seems to play about 300 yards longer," wrote Foltz who recommends amateurs play a tee box or two up here. "I kept waiting to get to the easy holes, and next thing you know, we were finished. Even the shorter holes are made very demanding by the precision required into the greens in order to leave a makeable putt."

Former PGA Tour pro Charlie Rymer echoes Foltz's thoughts on its difficulty.

"The opening three holes are among the toughest on tour," wrote Rymer. "And the closing three are among the most exciting. And the middle 12, well, no slackers there."

Golf & travel expert Matt Ginella, viewing the course from the eyes of an avid amateur golfer, says it's Palmer's mere presence that makes the place so special:

"It's not the best course in Florida and it might not even be in the discussion for best in or around Orlando," Ginella wrote. "But none of the competition has the charm and mystique of The King."

Video: Sonders & Williams take on Hack & Rymer at Bay Hill

GolfAdvisor Senior Writers Jason Scott Deegan and Mike Bailey also had their say on Bay Hill.

"My favorite hole is the crescent moon-shaped par-5 sixth hole where John Daly made an 18 in the 1998 tournament," Deegan wrote. "I might have tossed up a snowman at some point, but at least I beat Big John."

Said Bailey: "It's terrific Florida golf, punctuated by two of the best par 5s in the Orlando and a great finishing hole. As you might expect for a tour level course, conditioning is superb and so is the experience."

So should you ditch Orlando's resorts to enjoy the ambiance of the club and challenge of the course, just heed this warning:

"Warning: Don't wear your hat in the clubhouse," Rymer writes. "Mr. Palmer is not a fan of that.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
Related Links
The PGA Tour spends the next month in the state of Florida, and each venue is accessible to the public. Here's a breakdown of where to go.
4 Min Read
If you're planning a trip to Orlando to visit Mickey Mouse or are coming in for business, be sure to bring your golf clubs. In fact, Disney itself has four golf courses, three of which have been used for the PGA Tour. Here's a look at some of the must-play golf courses in the Orlando area.
3 Min Read
From Bay Hill to Winter Park C.C., there's golf for a variety of skill-sets and budgets. Here are a few of my favorites, as well as dining and nightlife.
4 Min Read
More from the author
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
5 Min Read
November 2, 2021
Some U.S. cities have frighteningly few public-access courses for its residents. If you like variety, you may not want to live in these metros.
6 Min Read
October 27, 2021
Kick up the jams and drop some putts with the best portable speakers for the golf course.
4 Min Read
October 21, 2021
What began with just a par-3 course and learning center, this 2,000-acre sporting ranch between Austin and Houston is finally going all-in with an ambitious championship course.
2 Min Read
November 3, 2021
The Kohler-owned Hamilton Grand building has an apartment on the market. The price is steep but the location is almost impossible to beat.
5 Min Read
November 11, 2021
The D.C.-based community golf organization's first-ever Symposium on Municipal Golf brought industry heavy hitters and passionate golfers alike to brainstorm the future of golf’s foundational facilities.
11 Min Read
November 8, 2021
Pelican Women's Championship host golf course seeks to mount a major championship-quality test in a changing LPGA Tour landscape.
2 Min Read
November 15, 2021
Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and world-class instructors help you get up-and-down more often.
Load More
Now Reading
What do Golf Channel experts have to say about Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando