Davie Bell was born in Carnoustie in1880 his parents resided in Kinloch Street close to Willie Smith's family. On leaving school Davie apprenticed as a grocery assistant/clerk and was a talented golfer.
He was said to be an outstanding foursomes and four-ball player never having lost a match. His old partner at Carnoustie Golf Club was R.B.Cant who said that Davie was the finest player ever to have left Carnoustie.
He emigrated to America in 1899 and joined Willie Smith at Midlothian Country Club, Illinois. October 5, 1900 Bell finishes behind Harry Vardon and J H Taylor for 3rd place in the United States Open Championship held at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois. His 3rd place came with a prize and fame all of its own.
It transpired Spalding Sporting Goods offered the top American finisher $150 and a gold medal. Bell, was now an American resident ended up the top money winner, receiving a total of $275.
The USGA awarded him the official title Resident United States Open Champion. He followed this up in the 1901 Western Open, held at Midlothian Country Club, where he was second behind Laurie Auchterlonie.
With his new found fame and another Carnoustie member Willie Smith they decided to issue a challenge that they would play any two professionals for $1000. In the picture it shows the open invitation to all comers and there is a record of them playing some exhibition matches in Santa Barbara in 1901. The Los Angeles Herald reported that in addition to their excellent abilities as golfers, they were genial, gentlemanly fellows, modest and unassuming.
The following winter Davie Bell returned to Southern California as instructor at Santa Catalina Island Golf Club. Sadly in 1902-3 he went with Alex Baxter to New Orleans. There he slipped down a flight of stairs on his way to breakfast and incurred severe neck, arm and leg injuries from which he died a few days later.