William F. Bell is a renowned golf course architect, particularly within California and, even more particularly, for his contributions to municipal golf in the state. The most well-known example in that lot is certainly the South and North courses at Torrey Pines, however recent developments have helped elevate Soule Park Golf Course — in the mountains northwest of Los Angeles — to among the most highly-regarded munis in the nation.
Gil Hanse, a noted restorer and renovator, undertook a dramatic project to polish off Soule Park. The most dramatic change perhaps was to the bunkers, which were meant to emulate those of William Bell...but it’s important to realize that Hanse was imitating those of William P. Bell, who worked closely with George Thomas at Riviera, Bel-Air and others (and who, of course, is the father of the younger Bell).
Granted, despite the contributions of the Bell(s) and Hanse, much of the credit for the course’s success goes to the beautiful Ojai Valley, which provides photogenic views from most locations, as well as the occasional carry over one of the region’s famed barrancas.