Peggy Kirk Bell Dies At 95
Peggy Kirk Bell, a member of the 1950 USA Curtis Cup team, winner of the 1990 Bob Jones Award, one of golf’s foremost instructors and an inspirational ambassador for the game, died on Nov. 23 at the age of 95.
Bell was born Margaret Anne Kirk on Oct. 28, 1921, in Findlay, Ohio, and cited her father as a strong early influence.
“My dad made a lot of money in the wholesale grocery business,” Bell told Golf Digest in 2010. “Financially, we were comfortable, but he made us work. He paid me 10 cents an hour, but the other two women got 20 cents an hour. When I asked him why, he said, ‘Because you're the boss' daughter.’ I grew up believing it's important to teach kids to work early on. If you start them young, they'll learn to enjoy work.”
From those early days all the way into her 90s, Bell rarely stopped working. In a lifetime in the game, she compiled an outstanding record as an amateur in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and was a charter member of the LPGA. She then became renowned as masterful instructor and the owner/proprietor of Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
Bell is largely credited with being the driving force behind Pine Needles’ hosting of three U.S. Women’s Open Championships – in 1996, 2001 and 2007. Pine Needles was also selected by the USGA as one of the first two host sites of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, which debuts in 2018 and will be held at Pine Needles in 2019.