The BWD Tournament Hole of the Week: March 17 – 20, 2016. The 17th at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Home of Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Tournament: Arnold Palmer Invitational – Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FL
Hole: 17th – Par 3, 221 Yards
Architect(s): Dick Wilson and Joe Lee – 1961
Arnold Palmer (renovation) – 2009

Architectural Summary:

The penultimate hole at Bay Hill is a 221 yard par three that will present a scoreable, yet difficult test for competitors. Playing from an elevated tee, competitors must carry the lake which surrounds all but the rear of the shallow green. With a long iron, many players will attempt to hit a very high left to right shot to increase the chances of holding the green. The elongated beach bunker guarding the front of the green provides a buffer between the lake and green. Two additional bunkers protect the front left and rear of the green. Players missing the green will typically prefer to find one of the three greenside bunkers over the thick, over-seeded Bermuda rough due to the fact that players’ lies can be troublesome to judge correctly. Competitors will find that holding the green is made even more difficult by the firm and fast conditions of the green. The green itself measures 25 paces deep by 38 paces wide and is angled from front left to back right. The most difficult pin position during the week will be towards the right side of the green, bringing the water and the two front greenside bunkers into play. The long par 3 will provide a scoring opportunity for competitors able to hit and hold the green, though putting will be emphasized on the firm and fast green in order to avoid scores over par.

Statistical Analysis:

In 2015, the 17th hole played as the sixth most difficult hole at Bay Hill with a scoring average of 3.079. While a majority of all scores were par (71% of all scores), 57 bogeys, eight double bogeys, and one other were recorded totaling 17% of scores. 46 birdies were also recorded, constituting 12% of scores.

Fun Facts:

  • Matt Every will be attempting a three-peat at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week. The Florida native’s only PGA Tour titles have come at the API, where he did not record any bogeys on the 17th hole in his 2014 and 2015 victories.
  • When the Bay Hill Invitational changed its name to the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2007, the tournament became just the second PGA Tour event to be named after an individual; the Byron Nelson Championship was the first.
  • Since 1979 there have only been 16 holes-in-one at Bay Hill, including six aces at the 17th hole.