||The first hole grabs the player's attention from the start, as Bay
Hill flexes it muscles, beginning with a 461-yard par 4. During
Palmer's 2009 renovation, bunkers 180 yds off the tee to the right
were eliminated and converted to rough. Bunkers outside of dogleg
were enlarged to provide visibility from the tee. Greenside bunkers
were moved closer, deepened, and flashed higher to frame the green.
Interior of the old green surface was replicated and the edges
softened to provide better hole locations closer to the bunkers.
||The second hole is a long par 3 at 231 yards and is typical of all
the par 3s on the course. This is the second-longest par 3 on the
course, but plays slightly downhill. One of the few "major" changes
during the 2009 renovation, this green was rotated 30 degrees
clockwise to enable players to hold long iron and woods into green.
With the green now rotated and back tee expanded, this hole can
play as long as 245 yards.
||The third hole is a 434-yard par 4 that makes a dogleg left around
the largest lake on the course, requiring a careful tee shot.
Players must know where to place their drives in order to set up
the approach to a green that sits at water's edge over a natural
rock wall. Players who misread the wind at No. 2 and didn't take
note will be playing into a crosswind that will force the ball left
and into the lake.
||The fourth hole is a 561-yard par 4 infested with pesky hazards
from tee to green. During Palmer's 2009 renovation, this hole was
converted into a true par 5 without lengthening the hole. This was
achieved by moving out the fairway bunkering into the 270-300 yard
range, a new lay-up bunker was added to the left of the fairway 100
yards from the green to guard the lay up area, bunkers adjacent the
the green were re-configured, a reduced green size with an elevated
green surface with tightly mown surrounds and deep bunkers.
||No. 5 is the shortest par 4 on the front nine at 390 yards, but the
premium is on an accurate short-iron approach to a convex green.
The tee shot is most tricky in order to avoid the bunkers scattered
on each side of a narrow landing area. Players who hit a safe tee
shot and follow with a tight iron shot are looking at 3.
||The sixth hole is always a topic of conversation. The 555-yard par
5 curls around the lake players first saw at No. 3. This hole
produces some eagles, a few birdies and some scores that resemble
||The seventh hole, the shortest par 3 on the course at 199 yards,
provides some relief. Most players will take a mid-iron into the
slightly uphill par 3 but the large green offers a variety of pin
positions beyond the bunkers that front the green.
The final two holes on the front nine are par 4s that make a
par-par finish look pretty good.
||No. 8 is a 460-yard dogleg right with a bunker on the left side. A
grove of trees forces a tee shot aimed to the left into a landing
area shaped like a saddle. The approach is over a small lake to a
right-to-left sloping green that requires a longer carry the
farther left you aim.
||The longest of the par 4s at Bay Hill,this subtle dogleg left
requires a long-iron or fairway metal to a large, well-guarded
green framed by rear mounds. Players take par here, get to the back
nine and don't look back.
||The tenth is a 400-yard par 4. The long hitters will take their tee
shots over a series of bunkers in the elbow of the dogleg
right to set up a short-iron shot to a two-tiered green.
||No. 11 is similar in design to the third hole. The only difference
on the 438-yard par 4 is a slightly more open target area off the
tee. The diagonally situated green brings the lake into play on
left pin placements and the bunkers into play on right hole
||Players can step on the gas at the 574-yard, par-5 12th hole. In
Palmer's 2009 renovation, the old shaping and mounds that blocked
views into the bunkers and green complex were removed. The lay-up
shot sets up an approach with a wedge. The green is heavily
protected by bunkers to thwart off any thought of running the
second shot up.
||The 13th offers a brief respite for short hitters at only 370
yards. Before Palmer's 2009 renovation there were three hidden
fairway bunkers on the left side of the golf hole. During the
renovation this bunker complex was reshaped to include two highly
visible bunkers that were shifted and repositioned closer to the
fairway to become more in play off the tee. The demand is placed on
the short-iron approach to the wide, shallow green. A lake that
will surely catch any misfires fronts the putting surface.
||No. 14 is a slightly uphill par 3 of average length at 215 yards.
The key to making birdie here is an accurate tee shot. Before
Palmer's 2009 renovation, 90% of the bunkers on this hole were not
visible from the tee and neither was the green surface. The old
green had sharp rolls along the edge that did not allow for
perimeter pin locations or pins behind the bunkers. The front right
bunker complex was eliminated and a tightly mown grass slope along
the entire right side of the green was created. The left greenside
bunkers were reshaped and moved closer to the green to better
protect pin locations on the left side of this green. The greenside
bunkers behind the green were reshaped, made visible and shifted
closer to the green surface to protect back right and back left pin
locations. The green surface has been smoothed out to allow for
more pinnable space but still retains a hint of the old green
||The dogleg-right, 429-yard, par-4 15th hole features magnolia trees
on both sides of the landing area. These heavy leaved trees help
narrow the preferred driving area. The approach is to a large green
that rolls softly, making long putts most treacherous.
||The 16th Hole is the beginning of a three-hole stretch to the
clubhouse that is among the best in golf.
||The 17th hole is another good opportunity to gain ground or lose
control. The elevated tee is 221 yards from a green that's
surrounded by water on three sides while bunkers protect the left.
During Palmer's 2009 renovation, the most dramatic change on this
hole is the expansion of the beach bunker. The green was shifted
seven to ten feet to allow for the beach bunker to be reshaped and
contoured for drainage, playability and visibility. A rather small
green by Bay Hill standards, it is firm and fast, making birdie a
||The finishing hole looks simple on paper. At 458 yards, the par-4
18th hole is straight away to a wide fairway, but that's where
simple ends. The large, kidney shaped green is fronted by rocks and
water, requiring a longer carry to the right half. The bunkers left
of the green await errant shorts of the hydrophobic. This hole is
the 9th hole in the Kodak Challenge competition which celebrates
the most beautiful and memorable holes in golf.