Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is a professional golf tournament in Florida on the PGA Tour. It is played each March at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, a private golf resort owned since 1974 by Arnold Palmer in Bay Hill, a suburb southwest of Orlando. This was in my old stomping grounds. I used to walk or jog past this golf course all the time but this was my first time watching a tournament.

"Formerly the Bay Hill Invitational, the re-named Arnold Palmer Invitational bears a special aura in professional golf. The tournament, one of the premiere-event jewels on the PGA Tour, annually attracts one of the strongest fields of the season to one of the circuit's finest courses with the entire production overseen and directed by one of the game's all-time greats" - Arnold Palmer.

Large crowds follow their favorite golfer from hole to hole and some stake out a spot ahead of the pack to watch all the golfers on one particular hole. I decided that second option had to be my strategy to capture the crowd at one spot. I sat in the shade of a tree and got to work. The golfers are the tiniest of specks from this distance but I could tell if a putt was good or bad by the gasps from the audience.

This was my favorite spot because there was a nice water hazard and bleachers had been set up close to the hole. An anhinga aired his wings in the sun oblivious to the human activity around him. I didn't follow the scores. I don't know a birdie from a bogie, but I love the spectacle. It was an awesome day of people watching and sketching. Rory McIlroy gave an amazing performance on this day. You  have to admire this almost inhuman level of accuracy. He won a purse of  $8,900,00.

The next Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament will be March 2-8, 2019. Tickets are available online.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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