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The Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Club & Lodge

The Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Club & Lodge

The Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Club & Lodge

A few days ago I heard the news that golf legend Arnold Palmer (now 84 years old) had surgery to implant a pacemaker for his heart. It was a reminder that our heroes do indeed get older, even if we will always think of them to be in their prime.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Palmer during the filming of my video for the state of Florida at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, FL. I have worked for Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus, but only had met Arnie in passing throughout the years. The interview was a great pleasure for me as I got to know Arnold a little better.

Bay Hill putting green

Bay Hill Putting Green

Mr. Palmer could not have been nicer and accommodating to me and my crew. After the filming he stayed and signed every autograph we asked for and even went over to the huge RV that the film crew traveled in and signed the outside wall for them.

For those of you who may not know, the Bay Hill Club is home to the PGA tour event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, which Mr. Palmer hosts each year. In the winter months Arnold makes Bay Hill his home and, believe it or not, he can be seen practicing, playing, and dining at the club and lodge. Imagine if you were visiting the club and happened to run into Arnie. Guests there see him quite regularly and all say he always takes time to say hello.

I had told the crew how excited I was to do this interview, explaining that, to me, it was like walking by Yankee Stadium and running into Mickey Mantle.

I have stayed at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Club & Lodge on several occasions and Mr. Palmer’s attitude and courtesy is evident with all the folks who work there. The rooms are wonderful and the food is terrific.

You may play the famous golf course if you are staying at the lodge. Here is the link to their web site. The fishing on the nearby Butler Chain of Lakes is pretty good, too.

The best time of the year to stay there is October through February. The Orlando weather is great and if you come around the holidays you’ll get to experience the lodge in its Christmas splendor – pine boughs, wreaths, trees and holly sprigs abound. It looks so nice that Southern Living comes to photograph it for its holiday issue magazine.

You may have a difficult time getting a reservation around the tour event time frame. The lodge is usually booked solid by tour players and their families during this time in March.

So, set up your visit and, who knows, you may get a chance to chat with your golf hero, Arnold Palmer, while you are there. Be sure to say hello to Arnie from me.

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