While there have been hundreds of golf course architects that have designed or redesigned courses in California, few have had the lasting impact of William P. "Billy" Bell, one of the earliest, and his son William F. Bell.
It started with William P. "Billy" Bell, who was born in 1886 and moved to California in 1911. He went to work as caddiemaster at Annadale Golf Club and later became the greenskeeper at Pasadena Golf Club.
Bell Sr. then served as construction superintendent for George Thomas Jr. before working on design projects with Thomas in the 1920s including Bel-Air, Riviera and the Los Angeles Country Club. Bell designed several courses on his own in the 1920s and 1930s including the La Jolla Country Club and both courses at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena and the San Diego Country Club.
Riverside Golf Course was built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project of the city of Fresno. In a picturesque setting along the San Joaquin River, this parkland-style course features expansive tree-lined fairways stretching over gently rolling terrain. Very small greens with classic "Billy" Bell bunkering put golfers on notice to keep their thinking caps on. Riverside's championship history is long and distinguished. It continues to host the Fresno City Championships, the premier amateur event in the region.
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