Bay Hill Key Fantasy Stats

Arnold Palmer Invitational

March 7th – 10th, 2019

Bay Hill Club

Orlando, FL

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,419

Purse: $9.1 million

with $1,638,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Rory McIlroy

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for Bay Hill, based on data from last years Arnold Palmer Invitational, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2018. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at Bay Hill last year was 72.89, almost a shot over par with it ranking 9th hardest on the PGA Tour. In 2016 it was 71.48, so the average score was a half a shot under par, making Bay Hill the 28th hardest course to score on in 2016 (only 22 courses played easier). So why the big difference? In 2016 it was dry and hot (except for light rain on Saturday) with the temperature climbing into the mid to high 80s each day. But the big factor was the winds which blew below 10 MPH except for Sunday when it was between 10 and 15 mph. But in 2017 Thursday and Friday were below 70 and even with it getting to the high 70s over the weekend, each day saw winds over 10 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph on Sunday. This course needs the elements to make it a really hard course, with rough and plenty of water, it’s sometimes hard to guide a shot into the right area. Now the course has the reputation for playing tough, between 2011 and ’14 the course played over par including 2011 when it played an average of 73.20 and ranked 8th hardest.
This year I suspect that the course will play easier than in past years due to the weather. Just look at the forecast for the four days, perfect conditions with great temperatures in the 70s/80s and hardly any wind. So look for low scores this week.

In looking at the stats for Bay Hill last year Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, Proximity to Hole and Rough Proximity are important. First is Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, last year Bay Hill ranked 37th hardest in fairways hit, but 7th in greens hit for a 5th place ranking in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. Last year’s winner Marc Leishman was T-17th in fairways hit and T-1st in greens hit for an overall 13th ranking in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green. As for our second category Proximity to hole the course was the 3rd hardest while Leishman was T-43rd. As for Rough Proximity, Bay Hill was 3rd while Leishman was T-57th. But were Leishman made his biggest gains it was on the greens, he was 2nd in Strokes Gained Putting as he was 3rd in Putting inside ten feet while the course ranked 20th.

In looking at the stats for all the winners the one thing that stands out each year is that they either hit a lot of greens and don’t putt that great, or they are super in putting but don’t hit a lot of greens. Just look at this chart below of all the winners from 1997 and you can see they either putt lights out and hit the ball subpar, or they hit the ball great and don’t do as well on the greens:

One thing about the greens, they are some of the best on the PGA Tour and with little undulations, lot’s of putts are made. Last year Leishman was 2nd in Strokes Gained Putting and was T-5th in Total Putting. He had 58 putts of seven feet and in and only missed one, the true key for him winning. The same thing with the 2016 champion Jason Day. He was 6th in Strokes Gained Putting and 7th in Total Putting. As for putts inside 7 feet, he had 60 and only missed one so you can see that you can not hit the ball that great but win, but it’s easier if you can hit the ball great.

But again, the weather is always the barometer for good play at Bay Hill


*Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green: Stat is good barometer on overall play from drives to hitting into the greens. For years Bay Hill is always in the top-15, in 2010 it was T-4th. Last year it ranked T-5th.

*Proximity to Hole: Average length that a player hits from the pin with shots from the fairway, last year it was T-3rd with each shot ending up 39 feet, 10 inches from the hole.

*Rough Proximity: Average length that a player hits to the pin from out of the rough. Showing how hard the rough is at Bay Hill it was the hardest course to get close to the hole from the rough in 2016, players were only able to average 51 feet, 2 inches on each shot from the rough. Last year it ranked 3rd with the average ball ending up 52 feet, 3 inches from the hole so it’s important to drive it well and keep it out of the rough.

*Putting inside ten feet: No matter how good your game is, you have to make these putts in order to win. In 2016 Bay Hill ranked the hardest of the 37 courses ranked, while last year ranked 20th out of 38 courses so it’s a hard stat for players on this course.

106 of the 123 players from this year’s field with stats from this year:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.


  1. says

    do you have your pics ready for that weeks tourney by what time today?

  2. It’s up now, how some technical issues in getting it posted, sorry.

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