Arnold Palmer Design Company has completed work on a new two-acre short game facility at Bay Hill Club & Lodge near Orlando, Florida.
The new practice area features four greens of differing style and size, the largest of which is 12,000 square feet.
The greens are complemented by seven bunkers, also of differing style and size, described by Thad Layton, architect and vice president at APDC as: “splash bunker for practicing downhill shots, a bunker with a variable depths of three to six feet, a revetted ‘road hole’ style bunker, a steep faced/flat bottomed bunker built in the Raynor/Banks style, large but relatively shallow teaching bunker, a small pot bunker, and a fairway bunker to practice longer shots.”
The facility also includes a variety of rough and fairway cuts enabling golfers to practice shots from an assortment of lies, to targets within 100 yards.
The practice facility occupies a site that was previously part of the club’s Charger course (the nine of the club’s 27 holes that are not played during the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour).
Layton said: “The initial challenge was finding the space close to the clubhouse to build a robust practice area. The solution was to shorten the ninth hole on the club’s Charger course from 470 yards to a 300-yard par four. In the end we have a new two-acre short game area and Bay Hill's only truly driveable par four. It was a win-win.”
The project has also involved the reshaping of the driving range. This has increased the visibility of target greens, which are now spread in 25-yard increments, and has increased the teeing area size on both ends of the range, as well as adding trees to help golfers visualise shot shaping.
Construction started in May 2018 and finished in July. The short game facility and the renovated ninth on the Charger course are scheduled to open in September and the new driving range is expected to follow in October.