Greens Refurbishment on Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & LodgeORLANDO – The golf course maintenance project which began this spring at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge continues on schedule, with the course looking to fully re-open this October.

In May, Bay Hill began refurbishment work on its Championship Course, resulting in temporary closure of that course over the summer. While the primary focus of the project is to re-grass the greens, other key elements include the addition of a few more runoff areas and the elimination of some unnecessary bunkers in exchange for new sand traps which will be more visible from the tee areas. 

While it sounds like a lofty project, members and players can rest assured they won’t be seeing a complete transformation of the world-famous course. As Mr. Palmer indicated during the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, the changes to the greens and undulations will be very subtle. Players can expect the look and routing of the course to be much the same as it was prior to maintenance.

The overall goal of the project was not to completely alter the course, but rather elevate its architectural and aesthetic standards to the modern level one would expect from an Arnold Palmer designed course.

Efforts for this venture began well before excavators ever broke dirt on the first green at Bay Hill.

“In November 2008, we created a test green near the end of the Charger range in which we planted seven different types of grass to determine which might be best suited for conditions at Bay Hill,” explains Ray Easler, general manager at Bay Hill. “Of the seven, Emerald Dwarf was the top performer - in part because its longer root system allows it to be more resistant to ground pests, and its growth rate reduces the transition time between seasons.”

Refurbishment work takes place near the course's famous Rolex clock

The selected Emerald Dwarf was cultivated at Champion Turf Farms in Bay City, Texas, a company owned and operated by father-son team Morris and Mike Brown. This spring, Bay Hill’s golf course superintendent John Anderson traveled to Texas to inspect the new turf firsthand and was more than pleased.

“We were very impressed with the quality of the turf and the first-class operation of Champion Turf Farms," Anderson said. "Morris and Mike have been extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and even committed to personally overseeing the installation of the Emerald sprigs at Bay Hill. We all look forward to seeing the final results of this project on the course.”

Work at the course is being done in phases, typically three holes at a time, as to minimize the impact on the environment. While the Championship course isn’t scheduled to re-open until October, the Charger course remains open throughout the entirety of the maintenance project.

In addition, Bay Hill Golf Shop has arranged for special discounts at many area courses to accommodate its golf members.  

 

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