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From working on a railroad crew as a kid to becoming GCSAA President, William H. Johnson enjoyed an exciting journey through the golfing world. As a kid growing up in Kansas, he would spend his summers working on the railroads. In 1924, he decided to pursue a position on a golf course construction crew with Willie Watson, a move that would define his working life. After a couple of construction jobs, he would secure a position as a greenkeeper for the Los Angeles County Parks System in 1931. He would retain the position for many years, in which he became a turfgrass expert.

Johnson began his career in golf course architecture by designing a nine-hole layout by Griffith Park, which had recently lost its original nine-holes due to outside expansion. Johnson’s golf design career did not fully blossom until after World War II, when he began to work on a number of projects with William P. Bell and later on, his own projects. Johnson focused on improving the foundation of golf in the state of California.

Johnson was elected into ASGCA in 1959 and received Fellow status in 1970. Johnson was a member of ASGCA for 20 years until his death in 1979. Along with being a member of ASGCA and GCSAA President, Johnson would also be elected as an honorary member of the Southern California PGA.

El Caballero Country Club
Tarzana, California

El Camino Country Club
Oceanside, California

Rancho Park Golf Course
Los Angeles, California

DeBell Golf Course
Burbank, California

Knollwood Country Club
Granada Hills, California