Peggy Kirk Bell
Although Peggy Kirk Bell was born in Finlay, Ohio, she moved to North Carolina in 1953 where she and her husband, Warren, began developing Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.
Mrs. Bell has had a long and illustrious career in golf as both an amateur and professional, as a teacher and a golf resort owner-operator. After being voted the best athlete in her high school, she went on to the Sargent Physical Education School in Boston, and finally graduating from Rollins College in Florida with a degree in Physical Education.
As an amateur, she won the North and South at Pinehurst, the Womens Eastern Amateur and the Titleholders in Augusta, Georgia, where she was the first to break 300 in that tournament. In 1947 she teamed with the late Babe Didrickson Zaharias to win the International Four-Ball. Then in 1948 she was invited to play as a member of the US Curtis Cup Team against the United Kingdom. Twice Mrs. Bell was beaten in the fourth round of the USGA Womens Amateur.
Mrs. Bell turned professional in 1950 and qualified ten times to play in the USGA Womens Open; her best finishes were 9th place in 1955 at Wichita, and tied for 10th in 1956 and 1957 at Duluth, Minnesota and Mamaroneck, New York, respectively. She was a Charter Member of the Ladies PGA. After a brief try on tour, she turned to teaching. In 1966 she published a book of instruction, A Womans Way to Better Golf.
In 1953, the year she claimed North Carolina as home, she married Warren (Bullet) Bell, a former professional basketball player, and the couple, with Julius Boros and the Cosgrove family, bought a rundown golf course in Southern Pines. Two years later, the Bells bought out their partners and began building the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club, which she still operates today. Pine Needles is ranked among the top of the nations golf resorts and teaching centers. Mrs. Bell was inducted into the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame in 1983 and is also a member of the NC Sports Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Bell's Honors:
1947 -Winner, Womens International Four-Ball
1948 - Member, US Curtis Cup Team
1949 - Winner, North and South Womens Amateur
1949 - Winner, The Titleholders, Augusta, Ga.
1950 - Winner, Womens Eastern Amateur
1961 - Named LPGA Teacher of the Year
1981 - Received National Golf Foundations Herb Graffis Award for Service to Golf Bobby Jones
1981 - Named LPGA Pro of the Year