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Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill golf course review

 expert walk-through from our resident pro

Bay Hill golf course tips



The golf course at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club is one of the most respected and time honored golf courses in Florida - as it continues to host the annual PGA Bay Hill Invitational each March, featuring many of the top names in US and international golf.

Find in this course guide the best tips from our golf pro Steve Furlonger, along with a thorough review of 4 of the main holes at wonderful Bay Hill.

tips for hole 1 at bay hill

A beautiful par 4
Welcome to bay hill in glorious HD, at lets golf in Horley. So we’ve got the first hole, a very, very good par 4, a strong par 4. It’s 404 yards and it’s gonna need a good tee shot. It favours a natural draw flight because we've got to take the ball a little bit around that right to left dogleg, curving the hole. So we are going to be taking on a little bit of risk there, going over those trees for those of you that don't hit the long ball off the tee then it'd be better to play something in the order of about 200 yards and play the ball somewhere up the right hand side of the fairway here as you can see on the course planner on the right of the screen. So my line is quite aggressive, I’m going driver, I'm gonna be hittin the bull approximately 280-290 off the tee. Here we go!

Okay, so decent tee shot, up the right hand side with a slight little draw. You can see the ball tracer that we offer here at Lets Golf, that slight right to left, taking on the corner just taking it away from the bunkers up the right hand side. An ideal shot for this hole; a draw off the tee. 


The analysis behind your shot
What we offer here at Lets Golf is comprehensive data on club and ball. We've got four camera's picking up both the club and ball upon launch. The club data is an important factor of how the ball travels and the ball signature is the movement of the shaft across the ball, we call it the club path, and the direction of the club face. So, I hit a slight draw there, as you can see from the shot description on the screen. My club path, the angle or the direction I swing the shaft, you can see here is 2.2 into out. That's the sort of margin that we're working towards, up to about 4 degrees into out is going to produce a right-to-left full flight. 

You can then see my club face was closed to that club path; it was in between my club path and my target which produced that slight right to left full flight. you can see the distance; I wanted to hit it approximately between 280 and 290, so i'm good on my distance judgment, I hit it 281 off the tee. The impact position was center, I'm happy with those numbers, I’ve hit my slight draw shape. I’ve taken the ball to the top right of the fairway to give me a straight shot and a straight look at the green without crossing any hazards as a second shot. 


Second shot
The second shot I've got here: because I’ve positioned it well off the tee up the right hand side, I’ve now got a straight view to the green without having to cross any hazards so I've got a shot here that's got less risk. I'm gonna go 134 at the flag, always a good thing to make sure you've got plenty of club. Play long, play to the back of the green. Most of the time I see my club golfers that I coach leaving the ball short of the green because they under club. I'm going 134 with a pitching wedge to reduce the distance a little.


Working towards the birdie
I’ve hit it just over 16 feet so I’m happy with my second shot. What we get here at Lets Golf with putting is really, really good because we don't have to worry about crouching down and trying to judge the tricky slopes. We get a grid on the screen so you can see the blue lines and you can see the green lines moving across. This is a very slight left to right breaking putt and it’s slightly uphill because I can see the green lines coming towards me. I'm to the left half of the hole, pace wise I'm gonna try and get this. Because it's slightly uphill, I'm gonna hit it and little bit longer to 16 feet to try and stop the ball. I try to imagine I'm gonna hit a hole just slightly beyond it.


Final thoughts on the strategy
Okay! So that’s a birdie on the first hole, a nice score to get me started. Let's take some tips on how one ideal shape is a draw off the tee. if you hit the longer ball, if you're prepared to take on a little bit of risk and take on the corner. If you don't hit that ball flight and you're not so sure about taking on that corner risk, a two hundred yard shot up the right hand side will give you a shot into the green, a look into the green without having to cross too many hazards. Once you hit your tee shot it’s a fairly straightforward shot onto the green with not too much trouble in front of it. Make sure you go long, don’t underclub going into that green. The green doesn't look as if it has too many slopes so we've not got too much trouble reading that part for a birdie, a 4, or even for the club golfer a 5 would be a good score on that hole. We move on.

tips for hole 6 at bay hill

get top tips before your round of golf

First thing, strategy
You've reached Bay Hill, we’re on hole six par 5. Let's have a look at the hole itself. We’ve got a 518 yard par 5 here. Definitely reachable if you manage to get a good driver off the tee however, you have to position the tee ball very well. If you're looking at taking on the water we need to be aiming for these trees we need to be aiming for the third tree in and that's about a 200 yard carry and the run out is in excess of two hundred and fifty. We can go a little bit more left if we’re hitting it further than 250 off the tee. If you go in for the shortest shot off the tee and don't want to take on the risk of the water we aim for this tree here and those bunkers are two hundred yards away and that's the good play for the club golfer to be playing down towards that tree. It doesn't take on too much risk with the water. My club of choice for the par five off the tee: driver. 


Second shot
I’ve hit the tee shot slightly right into the right-hand side bunker. However still a playable shot. I now can’t go for the green in two from a bunker shot, so I’m going to be playing layup now and I'm going to be looking at the course planner on the right hand side of the screen. I'm going to be playing my shots anywhere up to 200 yards which is then gonna leave me about 95 to 100 yard shot into the green. Club of choice is going to be 5 iron. 

I’m happy with that layup shot; got 63 yards so just hit a good iron shot down the right hand side, just slipped out the fairway slightly so there’s a little bit of rough. A good position for you to be on this hole field second shot is up the right hand side it takes away from the hazard because we’ve got the water on the left. So up the right hand side is going to open up the green a little bit more and anywhere on the right hand side as well give you a straight shot, a straight look at the middle of the green where the pin is positioned. I’ve got 63 yards and I'm going to be playing a sand wedge, and I’m going to be playing a slightly lower flighted shot. obviously reduce distance.

Going into the green
Third shot, I’m 56 feet away from the hole, not the best pitch shot but I've now got a two-part pass. I’m looking at trying to get the shot within the dustbin lids. So I’m not trying to hold this, I'm not going to be too aggressive, I’m going to be playing for a two part par. Getting the ball inside that dustbin lid area around the hole. Put for par 7 just over seven feet short of 8 foot. As we can see from HD Golf here that when it's red we don't need to hit the screens we’re trying to lay to get the ball to stop to that first little ramp there before the screen. The break is looking like it’s pretty straight and it's slightly uphill. 

So that’s a par 5, I’m happy with that, definitely a birdie opportunity. However lots of risk on that hole so we need to be plain and conservative off the tee, avoiding the water and then playing down the right hand side on the second shot leaving a wedge or a little bit more into the green, but playing up the right hand side taking the risk out.

tips for hole 11 bay hill
The tricky hole 11
We've reached hole eleven at Bay Hill. I featured this hole in particular because it's actually not the longest on the golf course however it is very, very tricky so we have to talk about strategy. Strategy off the tee; making sure that we put the ball into play, avoiding the hazards as much as possible. And then the strategy for the second shot; we have the predominant feature on this particular hole is the water down the left hand side, so we do have to be playing away from the water however we have bunkers on the right hand side. 

So 371 yard par 4, let's look at our course planner up on the right hand side of the screen, so we can see that the bunker comes into play at about 175 and then the water starts to come into play just over that as well. We’re probably not trying to hit more than about 200 yards off the tee. That's going to leave a fairly decent length second shot for the club golfer and we are looking at playing away from the water. So if we fade the golf ball we can play off that edge of the water, play it back onto the fairway. If we draw the ball we definitely want to be drawing it off the right-hand bunkers.


Second shot
Club of choice off the tee: 5 iron. I hit my tee shot with a slight draw on it which is a curve right to left and I managed to play it down just the left half of the fairway. However I kept away from the water. I was always aiming down that right side of the fairway in case of the draw and that should put me in a position that’s just left half. My shot into the green now, obviously it's all about getting the distance control correct. We can see from our course planner that we’ve got a hundred and fifty yards to the middle of the green, however the water is going to come into play at about 120, so we're making sure that we play the ball longer rather than shorter. So let's take the hole out of the shot. Let's take the 150 distance out of the shot and let's play to the back of the green. Really looking for the club golfer to be looking at the GPS device and looking at their laser and making sure they get the distance to the back of the green, plenty of club making sure you reach your target. I'm going to be playing obviously for the middle of the green, my distance control, I'm confident with a shot of 150 yards so my club of choice it’s going to be a 9 iron. 


Playing close to the green
Okay, so I’ve played up the right hand side, I avoided the trouble which was the left side. I played for a little draw, just didn’t come back into the middle of the target so just missed the green fraction to the right. I’ve got a little 10 yard chip onto the green. I can see that the green is sloping away from me and then very, very slightly sloping right-to-left. I can see that the water comes into play at the back of the green so I’m certainly not going to be long, and I'm just gonna be playing a little chip and run shot with a 9 iron, taking the ball off the back of my stunts, just making sure that I keep my wrists nice and still holding the handle up nice and high and just allowing my arms to swing back and through, turning my chest towards the target. So as you can see from my setup the handle is sitting more up, the butt of the club pointing up through my ribcage, my arms are a little bit more out in front of me rather than as I would play a pitch shot with my hands slightly lower and the club shot slightly on a flatter angle address. Again, handle up, arms out a little bit, just feel the arms swing backwards away from the ball, and forwards towards the target with your chest turning through. 


Recap of the strategy
Okay, so that’s inside of my gimme range, that was a chip and a putt, an up and down for a par 4. Let's recap on the strategy with that hole. The 200 yard tee shot doesn't bring too much trouble into play. We can play for the right side however the fairway is quite wide. Our second shot making sure we've got plenty of club to reach the targets, we’re always aiming to play the ball to the back of the green. Make sure you've got your GPS, you read that distance to the back especially when you've got hazards to play over and on that hole we had to get the ball over the water. Crucial to play to the back of the green. You can miss the green to the right you can't miss the green to the left, so the safe play is playing right of the flag. I just missed the green slightly right, I had a nice little chip shot, 10 yards, which was similar to a 3 very much like a putting stroke. I chipped the ball with a nine iron with a little bit of a run, up to the hole, to give me range. So that was a par 4. A good hole, however just bear in mind your strategy when you set up to play
tips for hole 16 at bay hill
Getting ready for the drive
We've reached the 16th a par five, a hundred and seventy yards off the whites. It's definitely a reachable par 5 in two with a good drive off the tee. However we just need to consider our strategy; so let's discuss the hole and what comes into play at what yardage. We’ve got our course planner up on the right hand side, we can see that the hazards come into play at 250 off the tee. Anyone with the driver needs to make sure that they thread it between those bunkers there. We’ve got two on the right and we've got three up the left hand side. It doesn't quite suit the draw ball because that's going to bring it towards the traps on the left hand side, it will suit a little fade moving it off the left hand traps, that’s if you going for the long ball off the tee. We will be taking a club to hit it less than 250 off the tee, if you want to be getting a good par or you want to be getting playing into an 18 handicap, plan it one over par. My club of choice off the tee hitting between 280 and 290 is going to be driver.


Second shot
I had a good drive, very happy with that. Hit it between my 280-290 distance off the tee. Hit a slight draw and I moved it off that right hand side track that's more natural draw flight. I did obviously consider the move in it too much right to left would be bringing it towards the tracks on the right hand side. I'm happy with that drive, I've now got a second shot to the green of 194 yards. I can be aggressive are gonna make sure that I've got plenty of club I know the water is short of the green and its left so I'm gonna be playing middle to right side making sure I've got plenty club. I want to be hitting this 190 so I'm going to be playing with a 6 or a 5 iron. Distances here are different as obviously here at Lets Golf we're planning ideal situations. If we're playing in the UK this time of the year is very wet andvery cold damp heavy air so we won't be flying it as far as we would due to very warm conditions like we are flying here inside the studio. So I'm gonna be playing a 5 iron actually, I'm gonna be just reducing the distance down a little bit but making sure that I've got enough club to carry the ball onto the green. 

 Happy with that shot. I played a little fade which is moving the ball away from my target so I can have a quick look at the replay of that ball fly. I've moved it off the left hand side. Yes I had plenty of club and I was aiming to get the ball mid to the back of the green just on the back of the green and I've got a little twenty yard chip shot here back onto the green. 


Third shot
Twenty yard chip shot are going to play in the bowl very similar to the one I've just played. Handle standing more out right, arms a little bit more out and just feeling like I just swing the arms very dead wristed no wrist action here, so very dead rested action and you can see as I'm moving the club through my imaginary clock face here, my left arm is traveling with the shaft 8 o'clock to 4 o'clock. Just letting that club swing back and through maintaining that pendulum like action and then the lower loft angle and the 9 iron is gonna send the ball out a little bit lower with less spin. Chip shot now over 8 feet. I've got my putt for birdie, slightly uphill. I've got the distance in feet here in red this means I don't have to get the ball to the screens aren't gonna get the ball to the ramp just at the front of the screen. Looks as if it's just slightly right to left but for this distance I'm not gonna be a min outside of the whole maybe just right edge and just making sure enough speed to get it up that slope.


Let's recap the strategy
That wasn't a great putt time misstating get my birdie however I got my putt so let's recap on the par-five important. If you go for the long shot off the tee you aware of the houses both right and left the fairway if you're not plain for the long shot off the tee making sure that you short of 250 is not gonna bring the bunkers in supply second shot strategy make sure you are long rather than short because of the water short of the green and the water left . So bailing out to the right hand side is good gonna move the ball away from the hazard. We just need to make sure we select the right club to even leave it short of the water will make sure we got plenty to reach target. Then we got a great look at the green as I was at the back of the green snot a too difficult chip back of the green and then you've left yourself apart by chance for a putt for birdie for a two-putt par but good hole just think again about the strategy and how to play.

golf tips for hole 18 at bay hill

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