It was in 1960 that ground was broken in a South Orange County wilderness that 50 years later would be known as the home of one of golf’s finest golf courses.
Surrounded by natural hills and valleys, lakes and streams, the one thing the earth at Bay Hill Golf Club could not grow was citrus. The land was lacking enough nutrients or the water holding capacity to grow citrus economically. So in 1954 Dr Phillips sold his holdings to Granada Groves, a subsidiary of the Minute Maid Corporation, and retained only the raw land.
Tom Barnes, a native of Minnesota, who had always wanted to build a championship golf course, took an option out on the land with his partner, Tom Dore, a Michigan businessman who surveyed the land and saw an immediate vision of what this land could become. They broke ground on the golf course in 1960 and christened the area “Bay Hill”
The original golf course architect was Dick Wilson, Bay Hill was the first golf course planted with Tifway (Tifton 419) Bermuda grass. Wildlife still inhabited the land including a family of bobcats that resided around the 17th green.
In 1965, Walt Disney announced the purchase of over 27,000 acres of land nearby, where the Walt Disney World Resort would soon emerge. The same year, Arnold Palmer played in and won a charity exhibition tournament at Bay Hill, Arnold fell in love with the course and the area, so much so he wanted to own it.
In the summer of 2009 Arnold decided to redesign the course with his design company. He redesigned all 18 greens, reworked of all the bunkering and made major changes to four holes. The yardage went up from 7,103 to 7,196.
My tips to win are:
Hunter Mahan’s 25/1 record so far this season reads, played five, made the Top 25 in all five events, made the Top 10 in two and won the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, pretty impressive golf and I think he will do well again this week.
I did tip Bo VanPelt 28/1 for last weeks Transitions Championship, but he missed out on making the Top 5 by one shot and making the play off by two shots. Bo has three other Top 10s this season and I don’t think it will be long before he will adding to his only PGA Tour win.
Graeme McDowell 40/1 seems to have got his game back together after an indifferent year last season. His only played three events on the PGA Tour so far this season but has made the Top 15 in two of them and with this being part of GMacs preparation for the Masters look for him to do well here this week.
My each way tips:
Another player coming back into form is Jeff Overton 60/1 who had a great finish in last weeks Transitions Championship and has finished in the Top 20 in his last three tournaments.
Jason Dufner 50/1 has had three Top 20 finishes so far this season from seven starts. Jason has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but I think he has the game to become a multiple winner on the tour.
It was tough on Sang-Moon Bae 50/1 coming up against an inform Luke Donald in last weeks play-off, but Sang-Moon has been playing some great golf this year, he has three Top 15 finishes this year, with two of them coming in the Top 5 and at these odds his got to be worth a punt.
For updated betting odds during the tournament Click Here