William P. Bell

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William P. Bell ( April 19, 1886, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania - June 21, 1953, Pasadena, California) was a noted golf course architect, active from the 1920s into the 1950s.


Bell studied agriculture at Duff's Business Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He moved to California 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.[1]

Most of Bell's courses were designed and built in Southern California. He is considered one of the most important golf course architects in California, with more than 50 courses credited to his work and design, and he designed and built courses in other Western states as well, including Nevada, Arizona, 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 (born in Pasadena in 1918) 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 World War II, 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 founder member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and served as ASGCA President in 1952.[2]

Golf Courses designed and built by William P. Bell[edit]

(List of courses:[3])

  • Adobe Course at Arizona Biltmore Hotel (Resort), Phoenix, AZ
  • Altadena Golf Course (Public), Altadena, CA
  • Apple Valley Country Club (Private), Apple Valley, CA
  • Bakersfield Country Club (Private), Bakersfield, CA
  • Bel-Air Country Club (Private), Los Angeles, CA
  • Bonneville Golf Course (Public), Salt Lake City, UT [1]
  • Buenaventura Golf Course (Public), in Ventura, CA
  • Chevy Chase Country Club (Private), Glendale, CA
  • Del Rio Country Club (Semi-Private), Brawley, CA
  • Eighteen Hole at Balboa Park Municipal Golf Club (Public), San Diego, 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
  • Hill at Castlewood Country Club (Private), Pleasanton, 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
  • 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
  • Alondra Park Golf Course, North, (Public), Lawndale, CA
  • North at Randolph Golf Course (Public), Tucson, AZ
  • North Ridge Country Club (Private), Fair Oaks, CA
  • Number One at Brookside Golf Course (Public), Pasadena, CA
  • Number Two at Brookside Golf Course (Public), Pasadena, CA
  • Oak/Bluff at Del Rio Country Club (Private), Modesto, 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
  • Red Hill Country Club (Private), Alta Loma, CA [with George C. Thomas, 1921]
  • Regulation at Marine Memorial Golf Course (Military), Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Riverside of Fresno Golf Course (Public), Fresno, CA
  • 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, The (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
  • Valley at Castlewood Country Club (Private), Pleasanton, CA
  • 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 Golf Course, by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981, New York, The Rutledge Press, ISBN 0-8317-3947-9, p. 166
  2. ^ The Golf Course, by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981, New York, The Rutledge Press, ISBN 0-8317-3947-9, p. 166
  3. ^ www.worldgolf.com