Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club
The 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational returns to the Bay Hill Club and Lodge this March 5-8 as the PGA Tour begins its Florida swing. The tournament has a smaller field than a typical PGA Tour event and is fiercely contested. This year the field contains defending champion Francesco Molinari, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and Patrick Reed among others.
The tournament can trace its history to the Florida Citrus Open Invitational, first played in 1966. That tournament was hosted by Rio Pinar Country Club, but the tournament moved to its current home at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in 1979. The tournament began its official relationship with Arnold Palmer in 2007, though Palmer had bought the property in 1974, eventually re-designing the original Dick Wilson course upon buying the property. The course is known for its tree-lined fairways and abundant water, as lakes feature on 12 of the holes. Golfers’ course management will come into play as numerous risk/reward situations face them, particularly on some of the longer holes.
After Palmer’s death in 2016, the tournament has given out a red cardigan sweater to the winner to honor the legendary golfer. The tournament has been won by numerous notable golfers, including Palmer himself in 1971. Other notable winners include Lee Trevino, Fuzzy Zoeller, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. The undisputed king of the event is Tiger Woods with 8 wins, the nearest challengers have only managed 2 wins. The tournament has seen 4 of its past winners come from outside America, with 2015 champion Matt Every the last American golfer to claim the title.
Arnold Palmer (left) after winning the 1972 Florida Citrus Open Invitational. photo courtesy Golf History Today
There are multiple options available for fans hoping to catch the action in person, starting with Any One Day tickets for $65. Any One Day tickets provide grounds access to any single day of tournament. A Weekly Grounds Badge is also available for $135. In addition, a Weekly Clubhouse Badge is $220 and provides grounds access and entry to Bay Hill’s clubhouse where food and beverages are available for purchase. Hospitality venues are also available, with the Mastercard Palmer Patio providing views of the #14 hole, indoor and outdoor seating, complimentary lunch and soft drinks with alcoholic drinks available for purchase with a Mastercard. Tickets to the Mastercard Palmer Patio are $165. For a completely all-inclusive option, Club 8 tickets are $350 and include access to an open-air covered venue and upgraded restrooms, views of #8 green and #2 tee box, a lunch buffet, and full bar service. The Arnold Palmer Invitational also provides Complimentary Any One Day tickets for all United States active duty and military retirees, plus one guest. Discounted tickets are also available for US non-retired veterans, plus one guest at $27.50 per ticket (valued at $55 per ticket).
Television coverage of the event is provided by NBC and Golf Channel, with coverage beginning on the Golf Channel Thursday and Friday from 2-6pm ET. Saturday and Sunday’s coverage begins on Golf Channel from 12:30-2:30pm ET before switching to NBC from 2:30-6pm ET. Streaming coverage is provided by PGA Tour Live and will follow featured groups and featured holes throughout each round. Radio coverage is from PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming online at PGATour.com/liveaudio.