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Arnold Palmer Golf Courses

from the Experts in Golf Holidays

⏱ 6 min read

Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill

The King

Legendary golfer, course designer, businessman and record-setting aviator, Arnold Palmer is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most charismatic golfers in the sport's history.

His golfing career spanned six decades with 95 professional wins and his course design company, APCD, has created golf courses in 25 countries throughout the world.

Arnold Palmer Facts

Name Arnold Daniel Palmer
Born 10 Sep, 1929
Died 25 Sep, 2016
Nickname The King
Nationality American
Majors 7

(4 Masters, 2 Open Championships, 1 U.S. Open Championship)


Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Course

At its peak, the breathtaking layout of the Bay Hill golf course can be stretched to 7,381 yards and spans 270 acres of stunning land alongside the Butler Chain of Lakes.

Originally designed by Dick Wilson in 1961 the courses were renovated by Arnold Palmer Course Design in 2009. The 27-hole complex is made up of three loops of 9, Champion, Challenger and Charger.

The Champion & Challenger layouts are used for the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour.

Champion Course
Par: 36 | Yards: 3,765

Challenger Course
Par: 36 | Yards: 3,616

Charger Course
Par: 36 | Yards: 3,309

Best Arnold Palmer Designed Golf Courses

  • flights included
Image of King’s North Golf Course, Myrtle Beach National

King’s North Golf Course, Myrtle Beach National

Myrtle Beach

Rated 8.8 by 8 golfers (Read reviews of King’s North Golf Course, Myrtle Beach National)

Flights, 7 Nights, 4 Rounds

About Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer is simply one of the greats of golf. His incredible popularity generated by Arnie's Army was something that the game had never seen before.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Palmer's golfing career started through his father who was the Head Professional and Greenkeeper at Latrobe Country Club. Palmer quickly excelled at the game, earning a scholarship at Wake Forest before enlisting with the US Coast Guard between 1951 - 1954. He returned to college after his term and continued his competitive golf career, winning the US Amateur in August 1954 at Detroit Country Club which led to his decision to turn pro that November.

His career started quickly with a win in the Canadian Open in 1955. It wasn't a long wait before the charismatic Palmer made waves within the Major Championships. His 1st Major victory came in the 1958 Masters where he held off a chasing pack to win by 1 shot, even allowing for a bogey on the closing hole.

Palmer was a firm believer in international travel as part of his professional golf career. So he quickly set about following in the footsteps of the likes of Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead as American's who travelled over to capture The Open Championship and it's Claret Jug.

His travels to the UK were quickly rewarded, with victories in 1961 and 1962 Open Championships, narrowly missing out on the 1960 Championship which would've seen him emulate the achievements of Hogan in 1953 where he claimed the 1st 3 Majors of the year.

While his career included 7 Major Championships, it was the US PGA Championship which eluded him in capturing golf's Grand Slam. Despite tying for 2nd in 1964, 1968 and 1970, Palmer was unable to add this final championship to his impressive trophy cabinet.

Palmer's achievements on the course were rewarded with accolades that had not been seen in the history of golf. Palmer's popularity saw the game grow exponentially with large crowds following his progress which in turn saw more golfers taken up the game which is regarded as one of the key reasons golf has grown to the levels we see today.

Off the course, Palmer is recognised as a philanthropist, raising vast sums for a number of charities with the Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation creating the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and The Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. His home PGA Tour tournament at Bay Hill contributes significantly to these projects and draws a field that includes the world's best golfers each year.

Palmer's golf course designs are enjoyed across the globe. Whether it is the breathtaking links golf course at Tralee Golf Club in Ireland, the PGA Tour venue where Palmer made his home at Bay Hill, the Home of the 2006 Ryder Cup and multiple European Tour Venue, The K Club near Dublin or the ever-popular home of The Portugal Masters at The Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, golfers are sure to find themselves with numerous holes that matched The King's playing style.

With an intricate use of water hazards, risk and reward par-4's and an incredible test off the tee, Palmer's golf courses are enjoyed by both tournament professionals and amateurs alike.

Arnold Palmer Golf Courses in Europe

The King was a legend in the game of golf but he also designed some of the best and most popular courses around the world. Starting in Ireland, Tralee was Palmer's first creation in the Emerald Isle. This traditional links boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean with many of the holes playing directly along the coastline. From the coast he moved to Dublin and put his name to The K Club renowned for hosting the 2006 Ryder Cup and being a challenging inland track.

You can also follow in the footsteps of your favourite Tour players at Dom Pedro Victoria in the Algarve, which has hosted the Portugal Masters for over 10 years. This creation by Arnold Palmer is dubbed a 'must-play' in the region or for those heading to Spain for a golf holiday, we highly recommend checking out La Manga's south course.

Arnold Palmer Golf Courses in North America & Canada

If you've heard of Whistler in BC, Canada it's likely due to the epic ski resort but golfers, listen up. In the summer months Whistler is transformed into an activity haven with a handful of fantastic courses including one of Arnies designs Whistler Golf Club.

If a holiday to the USA is more your style, be sure to check out Saddlebrook in Florida, with both on-site courses here designed by the legend as well as the HQ his international golf academies. America is the home of a great selection of Arnold Palmer courses including another beauty, Half Moon Bay on the coast of San Francisco set upon a clifftop, Kingsmill (not the bread) in Virginia and Arroyo in Nevada.

All these courses have a dramatic backdrop in the form of mountains or rugged coastline and are known for their outstanding condition.

Arnold Palmer Golf Course Design Philosophy

A golf course should be a thing of beauty. An oasis of green grass, tall trees and silence set apart from the noise and visual chaos of urban areas.

This is the essence of good golf and the soul of the game. Sound strategic design separates average courses from the great ones.

From short par-5s to drivable 4s, there should always be a tempting reward for taking risks on the course.

This is the whole point of playing golf, isn't it? Spending the better part of a Saturday afternoon chasing a little white ball around should be an exercise in enjoyment.

Taking great responsibility in restoring iconic features of courses with sound strategic rationale and research.

Integrating, as seamlessly as possible, one of the largest playing fields in sport into the natural environment.

Environmental Stewardship
Golf is one of the few sports with playing fields that are dynamic, forever changing with the natural flow of the earth.

Growth of the game
Forging dynamic creations in over 27 countries around the world. Way before China's recent boom, an Arnold Palmer design was firmly planted at Chung Shan Hot Springs, known as the country's first "modern" golf course.

If variety is the spice of life, then design variety sweetens golf-course architecture. This mind-boggling game has sunk its teeth into everyone through its intriguing riddles, mysterious strategies and deceptive hazards.

Making the complex task of designing and building a golf course simple.

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