skip navigation




One of the most influential women in the history of golf in the United States, Peggy Kirk Bell will always be regarded as one of the true “First Ladies of Golf.”

Peggy was born in Findlay, Ohio and learned to play golf from Leonard Schmutte, a professional at Findlay Country Club. She was voted best athlete in high school and then went on to attend Sargent Physical Education School of Boston University for two years. She graduated from Rollins College in 1943 with a degree in Physical Education.

A long list of titles and honors were captured by Peggy Kirk Bell in both amateur and professional golf. In 1947, Peggy teamed with Babe Zaharias to win the International Four-Ball. Peggy is a charter member of the LPGA and was the first lady golfer to fly the golf tour from coast-to-coast in her own plane.

Mrs. Bell is the winner of several tournament championships including: Two-Ball, Palm Beach Amateur, Titleholders, Eastern Amateur. She was a member of the 1950 USGA Curtis Cup Team and 1951 LPGA Weathervane Team. Other honors include: LPGA Teacher of the Year, LPGA Master Teacher, Golf Digest’s one of the six Best Women Teachers in the World, member North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, one of five Most Influential Women in Golf, member Carolinas’ Golf Hall of Fame, National Golf Foundation’s Joe Graffis Award, winner of the first LPGA Senior Championship. Mrs. Bell has also received the 1990 LPGA’s Ellen Griffin Rolex Award and the 1990 Bobby Jones Award. In 1994, she was presented with the William D. Richardson Memorial Trophy at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Mrs. Bell is the author of a “Woman’s Way to Better Golf” and “The Gift Of Golf, My Life With A Wonderful Game.” She is an instructor in the ESPN video – “How to Play Your Best Golf” and has been named one of Golf for Women Magazine’s Top 50 Teachers. She has also been named by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 100 Teachers in America and in 2004 she was the first woman inducted into Golf Magazine’s World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.

Peggy and her husband, Warren E. “Bullett” Bell, bought a run-down great Donald Ross golf course in Southern Pines, North Carolina with Julius Boros and the Cosgrove family. After extensive renovations, the Bells bought out the other partners and started building what is now recognized as one of the top resorts in the USA - Pine Needles Resort. Peggy was a consultant for 46 years with Spalding Sporting Goods Company and also gives numerous golf clinics throughout the country in addition to teaching her guests at Pine Needles. Pine Needles was the site of the 1996, 2001 and 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Tournaments. Mrs. Bell and her family also own the Mid Pines Resort.

Since 1977, the Rollins women’s golf team has hosted the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational in early spring to honor Ms. Bell’s legacy in the world of golf. The tournament quickly became one of the premier events as teams both big and small from around the nation traveled to Central Florida to take advantage of the weather and top competition.