Bay Hill to play to par 70 for Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer's golf course isn't getting
harder, but it might look that way on the scorecard.

Bay Hill Club and Lodge will play to a par 70 for the first time
next month in the Arnold Palmer Invitational by converting two
holes to par 4s. The 558-yard fourth hole will measure about 480
yards, while the 517-yard 16th hole will play close to 500 yards.

"It's something I've been thinking about for a few years now,
and I figured it was time, simply for the way the game is
progressing along," Palmer said. "Most of the guys are hitting
irons into 16. It's playing as a par 4, anyway. So I thought we should
take a look at this. I think this will make it more interesting for
the overall tournament in relation to par."

It certainly will change the dynamics of the closing holes, a
time for players to protect the lead with pars instead of trying to
make up ground with birdies. The 17th is possibly the toughest par
3 at Bay Hill, and the 18th is a daunting par 4 with a pond
protecting the front and right side of the green.