Experts rate Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando | Florida Golf

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
5 Min Read
December 7, 2021
It may be the private club capital of Florida, but golfers endorse these public-access courses.
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
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.
15 Images
July 13, 2022
Golfers love showing off their pics from the Swilcan Bridge and other landmarks at the Home of Golf.
25 Images
July 27, 2022
Time off from school and work means more time on the greens!
3 Min Read
July 13, 2022
Scottish tour operator Bonnie Wee Golf has put together a collection of some of the oldest and most memorable links courses in the world.
5 Min Read
August 1, 2022
Tips to enjoying special golf trips to Scotland, Ireland and Pinehurst highlight this month's Secrets column.
Load More
Now Reading
What do Golf Channel experts have to say about Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando