Arnold Palmer Invitational 2022 Overview
The PGA Tour makes its way to Bay Hill Club and Lodge just southwest of Orlando this week. The Arnold Palmer Invitational, otherwise known as the Tiger Woods Invitational.
Arnold Palmer’s development of Bay Hill and relocation to the area not only transformed Central Florida into a recreation destination prior to the opening of Disney World in 1971, but also transformed the entire state of Florida into a golfing mecca. Mr. Palmer purchased the course in 1975, and the course has hosted a PGA Tour event every year since 1979. Players often talk about about this event having a major feel to it. There is special feel to this event at Arnold’s place, this is one trophy outside the 4 majors that every player wants in their cabinet.
Bay Hill was given a makeover in 2015. The fairways have been widened and the number of trees have been reduced, making driving here much easier than at the other Florida Swing stops at PGA National and Copperhead. Driving Distance is now a key factor here which could go way to explaining the success of Bryson and Rory in recent times, two of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour. Generous fairways encourage golfers to use their driver frequently, but missing fairways creates some issues, with Bay Hill ranking as one of the most difficult courses to get the ball close to the hole from the rough so player will need to compete brute strength with finesse off the tee .
The 7,454-yard, Par 72 course features a number of difficult par-4s, as well as three par-5s that are over 550 yards long but it’s Par 3’s that stand out, they are the longest of all stops on the pga tour circuit playing 199- 235yards in length. There will be high majority of shot from 200 yards plus this week. The worlds best long iron players will be licking their lips, Bay Hill provides the opportunity for them to show their ball striking prowess.
Bay Hill was the first golf course in the world to be planted with Tifway bermudagrass. The greens were re-grassed in 2015 and are larger than average, with greens averaging 7,500 square feet according to the tournament fact sheet. The putting surfaces are smooth and undulating. There are 84 sand bunkers to avoid, and water plays a role on nine of the holes.
We have seen winning scores of 4under all the way to 18under par in the last 6 years, the whether can play a huge factor in determining the score her at Bay Hill. I expect fast and firm condition this week with a winning score in the low teens.
A great week ahead with a much improved field from last year this is an event fans, player and pundits look forward to , I can’t wait for the action Thursday. A confident portfolio to attack this weeks action with can be found below.
5 Key Skills Set Required
- SG T2G – When we arrive on these Florida courses T2G performance is the foundation players require to tackle them. The courses are much more demanding off the tee box and in approach play than the west coast events. Look for players who excel with their ball striking and have the ability to flight the ball at different trajectories both ways with there irons.
- Proximity from 200+ yards – It is expected players will face 30% off all shots this week from over 200+ yards this is significantly higher than a standard PGA tour event. We have 4 par 3’s measuring 199-235yards and then 5 – par 4’s from 450-500 yards. Look for players who are consistent with their long irons and this will dictate there fate come Sunday evening.
- GIR gained – Hitting greens here is harder than the average PGA tour venue. Hitting a high percentage of greens will take pressure of other parts of the game, and in these harder events this is key. Stress free pars are vital to building solid rounds. Not the biggest greens on tour, players who hit a high majority will by default give themselves plenty of birdies looks and that’s the recipe for success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- Par 3 Scoring – Some of the toughest Par 3’s on the PGA Tour circuit face the players this week. This week the the Par 3’s are the longest of any the players face all year round. 199yards is the shortest of the four par 3’s on show, the second hole can play 235yards. We want to pay particular attention to player who strike there long irons well, this is not only relevant for the par 3’s but the long approaches that face the players throughout the week.
- Par 5 Scoring – There is four par 5’s in play this week and the successful player come Sunday evening will have certainly dominated these. When looking at the historical data it’s apparent the players must take advantage of these scoring opportunities. They can be few are far between on these Florida course especially here at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.4 of the easiest 6 holes her at Bay Hill are the par 5’s.
- SG Putting Bermudagrass – Having spent the majority of this year playing on the west coast, players now return to Florida swing where the Bermudagrass greens are what face the players. Although the Florida course place more emphasis on T2G and Iron play , it’s important to consider those who excel on the Bermudagrass.