Peggy Kirk Bell can rightfully be called the “Belle of the Golf Ball” in Ohio where she started her ascent to golfdom’s highest levels under the tutelage of PGA Professional Leonard Schmutte at the Findlay’s Country Club.
Her record as one of the world’s all-time standouts began with her achievements as an amateur. Voted the best athlete in high school, Peggy concentrated on golf and won the Ohio Women’s Amateur Championships in 1947, 1948 and 1949.
Peggy captured the women’s North and South, the Eastern amateur, the Palm Beach Amateur, and the prestigious Titleholders. She won numerous Ladies Toledo District Golf Association championships.
She was a member of the International Four-Ball with Babe Zaharias and was selected to play on the Curtis Cup team in 1950.
Peggy’s accomplishments as a professional are outstanding. In her first year, she was selected to play on the Weather Vane International Team along with Peggy Berg, Betsy Rawls and Betty Jameson.
On the LPGA tour, driving from one tour stop to another became a grueling chore. As a solution, Peggy bought an airplane, which she piloted from coast to coast.
At her competitive peak, Peggy retired from tour travel in 1953 and married her childhood sweetheart, Warren “Bullet” Bell, a former Ohio State stand out and professional basketball star.
The Bells invested in a Donald Ross designed golf course. They fixed up nine separate lodges with 67 rooms. Today, Pine Needles ranks as one of the top golf resorts in the country.
Peggy has been a Spalding consultant for almost 40 years. She won the first LPGA/Rolex Ellen Griffin Award in 1989; received the USGA’s Bob Jones Award in 1990; named by Golf Digest as “One of the five most influential women in golf” and “One of the best women instructors in the US.” Winner of the National Golf Foundation’s Joe Graffis Award; was named LPGA Teacher of the Year and LPGA Master Professional.
Peggy won the Fort Findlay’s Award for her successful career and achievements; served on the North Carolina governor’s Advisory Council for Travel and Tourism; was one of the first ladies to serve on the Board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; is a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the Carolinas Golf Hall of Fame; author of “A Woman’s Way to Better Golf” and contributes to numerous golf publications.