Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles is a longtime host to Hollywood A-listers. This week, they will stand aside for the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The elite private club has served as the main course for USGA events before: the 1976 U.S. Amateur won by Bill Sander and the 2004 U.S. Senior Amateur won by Mark Bemowski. But this will be the first chance for a top event at the course for women, some of whom likely will return for the 2026 Curtis Cup. Bel-Air also will be the site for the 2030 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship for men.
Bel-Air ranks No. 10 in an incredibly stacked California on Golfweek’s Best ranking of top private courses in each state, and it ties for No. 56 in Golfweek’s Best ranking of top classic courses built before 1960 in the U.S.
This Women’s Am is a continuation of a big year for the architecture of George Thomas, who also laid out Los Angeles Country Club’s North Course, site of the 2023 U.S. Open won by Wyndham Clark. Thomas also designed Riviera, site of the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational.
Thomas’ design – actually a co-design alongside William P. Bell – at Bel-Air opened in 1926, playing through canyons on a small parcel of land adjacent to UCLA. The course required the use of a famed swinging bridge and even an elevator as players traverse the sometimes extreme terrain.
Architect Tom Doak restored much of Thomas’ design in 2018, removing extraneous bunkers that had been added over the decades and angling to have the course play much more as it did when it opened. The restoration has drawn rave reviews and led to the USGA planning more events at the club.
The course is slated to play to 6,187 yards with a par of 70 for the Women’s Am.
Photographer Bill Hornstein captured beautiful shots of each hole at Bel-Air for the USGA.