March 18, 2015 – PGA Tour players participating in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard will notice some significant course changes at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, thanks to new superintendent Chris Flynn, CGCS, and his team.
“In addition to extensive tree trimming, we widened and lengthened all the fairways,” said Flynn. “To balance out the fairway changes, we also removed a lot of the rough areas in front of water hazards and bunkers. These areas have traditionally served as backstops for players, but now there’s a higher chance of your ball rolling into those hazards. We’ve also made the traditionally high rough even higher than in the past.”
In addition to the course changes, Flynn and his team were faced with a challenging winter, which took its toll on Bay Hill’s greens.
“Almost the entire month of December was overcast with very little sun,” said Flynn. “That really stressed our bermudagrass greens. But they’re looking good now and ready for the tournament.”
In mid-May of this year, Flynn will transition the greens to TifEagle bermudagrass.
Chris Flynn came to Bay Hill Club & Lodge less than a year ago from the Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort in Orlando, where he served as director of grounds for ten years. Flynn also spent several years at Pebble Beach, serving as an assistant superintendent at Spyglass Hill Golf Course and superintendent at the Links at Spanish Bay.
Like his new home course’s namesake, Chris also grew up with turf in his blood, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by working at a golf course in Westchester County, New York.
Flynn and his crew maintain Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge with a fleet of equipment from Jacobsen, including ECLIPSE2 walking greens mowers, LF510 fairways mowers, AR522 rough mowers, Tri-King trim mowers, and Cushman Turf-Trucksters. Flynn’s team is also using a specially-equipped prototype of Jacobsen’s new Truckster XD heavy duty utility vehicle to refill gas generators located throughout the course.
“All the Jacobsen equipment has been great for us and the support has been fantastic,” said Flynn. “The relationship between Jacobsen, Arnold Palmer, and Bay Hill goes way back and we’re thrilled to continue that today.”