If you’ve stepped foot onto a Southland golf course, a few degrees of separation would tell you that property had a Bell family influence. The dynamic design duo had a major role in shaping Los Angeles’ golf scene.
In 1911, William Park “Billy” Bell was hired by the Annandale CC as a greenkeeper and caddie master. By 1919, Billy Bell was supervising and building architect William Watson’s redesign.
During the 1920s, Billy Bell’s career led him to work with renowned architects such as George O’Neil, Jack Croke, Max Behr and George C. Thomas Jr. His work with these legends produced Pasadena GC, Griffith Park, Ojai Valley, La Cumbre, Bel-Air, Riviera and Los Angeles North. Billy Bell designed and built over seventy golf courses, including Palos Verdes, Woodland Hills, Brookside, San Diego and La Jolla, to name a few. By the 1930s Bell had earned a reputation as the most prolific architect in the west.
His partnership with his son, Billy Bell Jr. (William Francis Bell), started after junior’s return from the war. By the early 1950s, Billy Bell Jr. was clearly carrying on the family tradition. He would go on to design, build and renovate, over 100 golf courses. Their work together included Tamarisk, Torrey Pines, Tucson, Bakersfield, Buena Ventura, Newport Beach, and Rolling Hills.
While on his own, Billy Bell Jr. gave us Malibu, Industry Hills, Antelope Valley, California, Jurupa Hills, Monarch Beach, Newport Beach, Palm Desert, Saticoy, Skylinks, Los Verdes, Lake Arrowhead and Sandpiper, among others. Both Bells continue to be remembered as legends within the golf industry.