Bill Diddel on the 18th green at Woodland
Bill on the 18th green at Woodland Country Club circa 1972

Bill Diddel, a native Hoosier, is one of America’s great golf architects, yet much of his work is relatively unknown. If a golfer shot his age or better more times than Bill Diddle, there's no record of the achievement. He is said to have recorded that feat over 1,200 times in his life, as well as having won the Indiana Amateur title five times. Bill also holds the record of 12 strokes under his age, when in 1970, he shot 74 at the age of 86 on the tough Country Club of Naples course in Naples, Florida.

Bill was an all-around athlete, and participated in sports at Manual High School and as a senior won his first golf championship - the Indianapolis City Amateur. He went on to Wabash college and became the first to win letters in four sports - basketball, baseball, track and football (there was no collegiate golf competiton at that time). In his senior year at Wabash, he was selected as the best basketball player in the USA. He went on to win the Indiana State Amateur golf title in 1910 and 1912 and the Central States Championship in 1916 and 1917.

But Bill's chief legacy to golf has been a series of strong if under-appreciated courses, most of therm in the Midwest. Recognized as an outstanding golf course architect, he disigned approximately 300 layouts, beginning with Ulen Country Club in Lebanon, Indiana. He was noted for taking advantage of the natural terrain without taking financial advantage of his clients. His courses were known for their subtle contoursthat gave them character. Bill was one of the founders and a Charter Member of the American Society Of Golf Course Architects. He was also a charter member at the Country Club of Naples in Florida.

Bill has been the recipient of many awards and recognitions:

  • The Fred Waring Sportsmanship Award
  • The American Seniors Golf Association Hall Of Honor
  • Indiana Golf Hall Of Fame
  • Sagamore Of The Wabash
  • Honorary Sergeant Of Arms Of the Tennessee State Senate
Helen and Bill Dddel

At Bill's side has been his devoted wife Helen, shown here with Bill outside the Diddel cabin by the 13th tee at Woodland Country Club.

 

 

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