William P. Bell

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William P. Bell
William Park Bell

(1886-04-19)April 19, 1886
DiedJune 21, 1953(1953-06-21) (aged 67)
Resting placeMountain View Cemetery
Altadena, California
OccupationGolf course architect
TitleASGCA President
Board member ofAmerican Society of
Golf Course Architects
Spouse(s)Anna K. Bell
ChildrenWilliam F. Bell

William Park Bell (April 19, 1886 - June 21, 1953) was a noted golf course architect, active from the 1920s into the early 1950s.[1]


Born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, Billy Bell studied agriculture at Duff's Business Institute in Pittsburgh. He moved west to California at age 25 in 1911, and held a series of golf jobs at the Pasadena Country Club, including caddymaster and course superintendent. Bell worked on golf course construction for architect Willie Watson, including serving as Watson's superintendent, before going into golf course design and development on his own in 1920.[2]

Most of Bell's courses were designed and built in southern California. He is considered one of the most important golf course architects in the state, with more than fifty courses credited to his work and design, and he designed and built courses in other western states as well, including Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii.

Early in his design career, Bell worked closely with famous designer and fellow Pennsylvanian George C. Thomas, Jr., on courses which included the Riviera Country Club, often cited as one of the world's best courses. Although Thomas is listed as architect of record, Bell made significant contributions to many of the designs. Bell's son William F. Bell (1918–1984) trained with him, joined him in partnership after World War II, and later became an important golf course architect in his own right. Bell Sr. served as a turf consultant to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the war, and was awarded a commendation by the Southern California chapter of the PGA, in honor of his work creating golf courses for wounded servicemen. Bell Sr. was a founding member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and served as ASGCA President in 1952.[3]

Bell died in Pasadena at age 67 in 1953 and is buried at Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum in Altadena.


Golf courses designed and built by William P. Bell:

  • Adobe Course at Arizona Biltmore Hotel (Resort), Phoenix, AZ
  • Altadena Golf Course (Public), Altadena, CA
  • Apple Valley Country Club (Private), Apple Valley, CA
  • Antelope Valley Country Club, Palmdale, CA
  • Bakersfield Country Club (Private), Bakersfield, CA
  • Balboa Park Municipal Golf Club (Eighteen Hole) (Public), San Diego, CA
  • Bel-Air Country Club (Private), Los Angeles, CA
  • Bonneville Golf Course (Public), Salt Lake City, UT [1]
  • Brookside Golf Course (36) (Public), Pasadena, CA
  • Buenaventura Golf Course (Public), Ventura, CA
  • Castlewood Country Club (Hill, Valley) (Private), Pleasanton, CA
  • Chevy Chase Country Club (Private), Glendale, CA
  • Country Club of Rancho Bernardo (Private), San Diego, CA
  • Del Rio Country Club (Semi-Private), Brawley, CA
  • Del Rio Country Club (Oak/Bluff) (Private), Modesto, CA
  • Encanto Park Golf Course (9) (Public), Phoenix, AZ
  • Encanto Park Golf Course (18) (Public), Phoenix, AZ
  • Forest Hills Golf Course (Semi-Private), Cornelius, OR
  • Forty Niner Country Club (Semi-Private), Tucson, AZ
  • Hidden Valley Country Club (Private), Sandy, UT
  • Industry Hills Golf Club (Public), Industry, CA
  • Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course (Military), Kaneohe Bay Oahu, HI
  • Kern River Golf Course (Public), Bakersfield, CA
  • Kona at Kona Country Club (Public), Kailua Kona, HI
  • La Cumbre Country Club (Private), Santa Barbara, CA
  • La Jolla Country Club (Private), La Jolla, CA
  • Lake Wildwood Golf Club (Private), Penn Valley, CA
  • Lakewood Country Club (Public), Lakewood, CA
  • Las Vegas Golf Club (Public), Las Vegas, NV
  • Marine Memorial Golf Course (Regulation) (Military), Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Meadowlark Golf Course (Public), Huntington Beach, CA
  • Mesa Country Club (Private), Mesa, AZ
  • Mission Trails Golf Course (Public), San Diego, CA
  • Navy Marine Golf Course (Military), Honolulu, HI
  • Newport Beach Country Club (Private), Newport Beach, CA
  • North Ridge Country Club (Private), Fair Oaks, CA
  • Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (Resort), Ojai, CA
  • Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course (Public), Palo Alto, CA
  • Palos Verdes Country Club (Semi Private), Palos Verdes Estates, Ca.
  • Rancho Park Golf Course (Public), Los Angeles, CA
  • Rancho Bernardo Inn (Public), San Diego, CA
  • Randolph Golf Course (North) (Public), Tucson, AZ
  • Red Hill Country Club (Private), Alta Loma, CA [with George C. Thomas, 1921]
  • Riverside of Fresno Golf Course (Public), Fresno, CA
  • Rolling Hills Golf Course (Private), Tucson, AZ
  • San Clemente Municipal Golf Course (Public), San Clemente, CA
  • Soule Park Golf Club (Public), Ojai, CA
  • South Hills Country Club (Private), West Covina, CA
  • Stanford University Golf Club, (Private), Palo Alto, CA
  • Sunnyside Country Club (Private), Fresno, CA
  • Tamarisk Country Club (Private), Rancho Mirage, CA
  • The North - Earl Fry at Chuck Corica Golf Complex (Public), Alameda, CA
  • Tilden Regional Park Golf Course (Public), Berkeley, CA
  • Trini Alvarez El Rio Municipal Golf Course (Public), Tucson, AZ
  • Tucson Country Club (Private), Tucson, AZ
  • Virginia Country Club (Private), Long Beach, CA
  • Wickenburg Country Club (Semi-Private), Wickenburg, AZ
  • Willowick Golf Course (Public), Santa Ana, CA
  • Woodland Hills Country Club (Private), Woodland Hills, CA



  1. ^ "The Bells: California's first family of golf course design". (California): City of San Diego. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  2. ^ The Golf Course, by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981, New York, The Rutledge Press, ISBN 0-8317-3947-9, p. 166
  3. ^ The Golf Course, by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981, New York, The Rutledge Press, ISBN 0-8317-3947-9, p. 166
  4. ^ www.worldgolf.com

Mesa Verde Country Club is in Costa Mesa Ca. Not Mesa Arizona

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