Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What makes the 18th hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a Kodak moment?

18 hole at Bay Hill Golf CourseFor the second consecutive year, Kodak selected the 18th hole of the Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge as a participant in the $1 million Kodak Challenge competition.

What makes this final hole worthy of a Kodak moment?

According to Kodak, "the Kodak Challenge was created to celebrate the beautiful holes and memorable moments in golf."

Steve Powell, Director of Development for the Kodak Challenge added, " Number Eighteen at the Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge is one of the most historic and exciting holes in golf and is the perfect example of what the Kodak Challenge is all about for players and fans."

The par-4, 485-yard finishing hole looks simple on paper. It's straight away to a wide fairway, but that's where simple ends. The large, kidney shaped green is fronted by rocks and water, requiring a longer carry to the right half. The bunkers left of the green await errant shorts of the hydrophobic.

Tee shots on this great finishing hole must find the fairway to give you a chance to get home in two. From the tee, favor the fairway's left side. Then take enough club to carry the lake. Shots hit over or left of this green will find a bunker or heavy grass. Take deep breath and fire away.

Renovation Notes

A back tee was added to increase the hole yardage by approximately 10 yards. The renovated green is almost a carbon copy of the old green with slight modifications in the green size to accommodate an additional front pin location and middle back pin location.

Despite Tiger Woods' absence from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, it was reported that ticket sales remained unaffected. Although the media questioned whether or not Woods would defend his title (which briefly raised sales for the event) the Masters will benefit from his return.

Look for Woods' image, removed from the top banner of the official Arnold Palmer Invitational web site after the scandal erupted, to be back on the site as the 2009 champion.

This event has now become glory's last stand for Phil Mickelson who has one chance remaining to make his mark this season before having to compete with a hungry Tiger Woods.

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