Courses Architect William P. Bell

William P. Bell - 53 Courses

Golf architect Photo, William P. Bell

William Park Bell, "Billy Bell"

(1886 - 1953)

Born: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Died: Pasadena, California, at age 67

1952-1953, President: American Society of Golf Course Architects.

William Park Bell moved to California as a young man in 1911 where he served as caddie master at Annandale Golf Club and then greens keeper at Pasadena Golf Club.

He went on to serve as a construction superintendent for golf course architects Willie Watson and George Thomas, Jr. before his eventually stepping up to golf course architecture on his own. He spent his first years as a course architect collaborating with Thomas on his great designs of the 1920s, (including the Bel-Air, Riviera and Los Angeles country clubs), he also designed a number of courses on his own during that time.

From the 1930s forward, Bell (also known as Billy Bell) was one of the West's most prolific course architects. Among his most significant designs were the La Jolla Country Club, both courses at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, and the San Diego Country Club. And although it's design has often been credited as the work of Max Behr, officials recently concluded it was William Park Bell who was responsible for the design of the Hacienda Golf Club.

During World War II, Bell was a turf consultant to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war, he was joined by his son William Francis in the family design business, William P. Bell and Son.

Bell, Jr. (often called Billy Bell, Jr.) and his father collaborated on a number of well-known courses, including the Bakersfield and Newport Beach country clubs.

Billy Bell Sr. died in 1953, leaving behind his vision for the design of Torrey Pines. Billy Bell, Jr. went on to make that vision a reality and oversaw the course's creation in the late 1950's.

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