The Boneyard

W.H. Diddel - Designer of the Original Fendrich Golf Course (1951 -1969)

W.H. Diddel (1885 -1985), 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 Diddel, 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 them in the Midwest. Recognized as an outstanding golf course architect, he designed approximately 300 layouts, beginning with Ulen Country Club in Lebanon, Indiana, and included the Original Fendrich Golf Course, Rolling Hills Country Club and the Evansville Country Club. He also designed the Northwood Country Club in Dallas, Texas, that hosted the 1952 U.S. Open.

W.H. Diddel is a member of both the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. *


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