Tom Addis III, Executive Director and CEO of the Southern California Section of the PGA and former PGA of America President, was inducted into the Southern California Golf Association Hall of Fame along with father and son William F. and William P. Bell, renowned golf course architects, at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena.
Addis (pictured), who has been involved in the California golf community for more than 45 years, is a longtime golf professional who served as president of the PGA of America from 1995-1996.
“You don’t know how meaningful today is to me,” said Addis, who was surrounded at the ceremony by family and friends. “I started in golf at 10 years old, caddying for $1 a round in Fresno. To have the opportunity to do what I’ve done since then means the world to me.
“What it’s really about is what we all mean collectively to this great game. All of us here in this room, all of the great people and organizations I’ve worked with, we love the game and we love what we do.”
Addis has received numerous honors during his career, including the Joe Graffis Award (National Golf Foundation), the Horton Smith Award (PGA of America), the Herb Graffis Award (SCPGA), the Langley Legends Award (NCPGA), the Conrad Rehling Award (Special Olympics) and National PGA Golf Professional of the Year (PGA).
William Park Bell, most commonly known as Billy Bell Sr., and William Francis Bell, nicknamed Billy Bell Jr., were legendary golf course architects who made significant contributions to Southern California golf during the 20th century.
Billy Bell Sr. moved to California as a young man and served as caddiemaster at Annandale Golf Club and then greenskeeper at Pasadena Golf Course. During the 1920s, he collaborated with legendary George C. Thomas Jr. on famed designs such as Bel-Air Country Club and Riviera Country Club, to name a few.
During World War II, Billy Bell Sr. was a turf consultant to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Bell Sr., who was president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1952, is credited with designing more than 50 courses, including La Jolla Country Club, San Diego Country Club and both courses at Brookside in Pasadena. He passed away in 1953, leaving behind his design of Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.
Billy Bell Jr., a graduate of USC, joined his father’s design business in the post-war years and created some of Southern California’s best-known layouts, including Sandpiper Golf Club in Santa Barbara, Industry Hills Golf Club and Bermuda Dunes Country Club.
Bell Jr. also oversaw the creation of his father’s designs for the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines. He died in 1984.
On hand to accept the honor on behalf of his family was Jim Bell, the oldest living relative of the honorees.
“This is a great chance to reminisce,” said Jim Bell, who was also joined by the founder of The Bell Society, Mark Stuart. “I have fond memories of Uncle Billy and this induction means a lot to my family.”
Addis and the Bells joined a Hall of Fame that includes George C. Thomas Jr., Paul Runyan, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Billy Casper, Charlie Sifford, Mickey Wright, Dinah Shore, Craig Stadler, Corey Pavin, John Cook, Amy Alcott, Gene Littler, Jerry Barber, Dave Stockton, Al Geiberger, Jim Murray and Eddie Merrins.