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Posted March 07, 2019 05:03 pm
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Arnold Palmer's presence felt at Bay Hill

  • Article Photos
    A giant statue of Arnold Palmer is on display at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. (John Boyette/Staff)
    Photos description

    A giant statue of Arnold Palmer is on display at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. (John Boyette/Staff)

  • Article Photos
    A replica of the Masters Trophy that he received for one of his four wins at Augusta National is on display at the Arnold Palmer Experience.
    Photos description

    A replica of the Masters Trophy that he received for one of his four wins at Augusta National is on display at the Arnold Palmer Experience. (John Boyette/Staff)

  • Article Photos
    A workbench that Palmer kept in his garage in his Orlando home is part of the exhibit at the Arnold Palmer Experience.
    Photos description

    A workbench that Palmer kept in his garage in his Orlando home is part of the exhibit at the Arnold Palmer Experience. (John Boyette/Staff)

Four-time Masters champion Arnold Palmer died in September 2016.

But his spirit lives on wherever golf is played.

That’s especially true this week at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. The Arnold Palmer Invitational began Thursday, and a stellar field is competing for a chance to win Arnie’s tournament.

You can’t go many places around Bay Hill without seeing a reminder of the man known as the King.

There’s a huge statue that’s near the clubhouse. There is signage everywhere for the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, and of course there is the famous umbrella logo that was synonymous with Palmer.

One of the neatest things fans can do while at Bay Hill this week is visit the Arnold Palmer Experience.

The free event begins with a 360-degree domed theatre where fans are treated to a short film that highlights Palmer’s life from young boy in Latrobe, Pa., to seven-time major champion to “the most important” person to ever play golf.

After that, fans can take a gander at a wide array of memorabilia. This includes several Masters items, including a replica of the Masters Trophy that he received for one of his four wins at Augusta National.

The interactive exhibit also includes golf simulators that gives golf fans a chance to try their hand at one of three iconic shots hit by Palmer.

Those are the opening drive at Cherry Hills in the U.S. Open in 1960; the shot from the rough at Royal Birkdale in the 1961 British Open; and the driver off the deck on the 18th hole at Bay Hill in 2004.

The goal of the exhibit is to inspire others to live a “life well played.”

Palmer certainly did that.