Courses Architect William H. Diddel

William H. Diddel - 59 Courses

Golf architect Photo, William H. Diddel

1884 - 1985

Born: Indianapolis, Indiana

Died: Zionsville, Indiana at age 100

President: 1954 - 1955, American Society of Golf Course Architects

President: 1965 - 1966, American Society of Golf Course Architects

In 1921 Bill, a member of Highland Country Club, helped with construction of their new course that was routed by Willie Park Jr. Following this experience, he then began full-time practice as a Golf Course Architect. It is believed that the first course he designed was Ulen Country Club in Lebanon, Indiana. Most of his courses are located in small Midwest towns.

In the late thirties, Bill was intrigued by the idea of smaller golf courses to bring more people into the game, and he developed and patented a golf ball which flew about half the distance of regular balls of that era. The idea never took root at that time; over 40 years later others developed the "Cayman" ball which had similar characteristics to Bill's short ball.

Bill was a master at routing a golf course, using the natural terrain to provide definition and strategy. His green designs were creative, difficult yet fair; they were integral in the strategy of each hole as well as the entire sequence of holes.

In 1928 Bill purchased 168 acres in Hamilton County, Indiana. He managed to hang onto it through the depression. In 1951 he designed and built Woodland Golf Course. Originally the course was to have no bunkers, only contours to provide strategic components of the golf course. The course was opened as a public facility, but in 1954 he leased it to the newly formed Woodland Country Club, and it became private. Woodland was Bill's pride and joy and he and his wife lived in a log cabin near the 12th tee.

Diddel became famous for many %u201Cstrategic school%u201D courses throughout the Midwest. The strategic school concept was to keep the terrain natural looking while testing both golfers' cerebral skills and physical skills.

A five-time Indiana State Golf Amateur Champion, Bill died just short of his 101st birthday.

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