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PEGGY KIRK BELL SELECTED AS ONE OF “AMERICA’S 50 BEST WOMEN TEACHERS” BY GOLF DIGEST MAGAZINE

SOUTHERN PINES, NC, July 13, 2012 – Peggy Kirk Bell, owner of Pine Needles and Mid Pines Resort and LPGA pioneer, has been named in Golf Digest’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Best Women Teachers”.

The list is generated on votes from over 1,600 female Class A PGA of America and LPGA Teaching and Club professional members along with teachers who rank for “Golf Digest’s Best Teachers in Your State”.   All of the professionals recognized offer lessons to the public.

Ranked 5th on the list, Bell has long been recognized for her efforts in golf instruction.  She has received honors including LPGA Teacher of the Year, LPGA Master Teacher, a member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and in 2004 was inducted into Golf Magazine’s World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.

Mrs. Bell, as she’s still fondly referred to, started her women’s only golf schools in the 1960s naming them “Golfaris” after describing her lessons as a “safari of golf”.   These week long golf schools offer women of all experience levels instruction from PGA and LPGA professionals, on-course playing lessons, meals, lodging and nightly entertainment.  Mrs. Bell and her family offer the Ladies Golfari as well as an Adult Golfari for both men and women and a Youth Golfari.

Pine Needles and Mid Pines Resort, owned and operated by Peggy Kirk Bell and her family, is a premier golf resort located in Southern Pines, NC.   The resort offers two classic Donald Ross golf courses as well as two lodging facilities equipped with full service restaurants, an outdoor pool and renovated fitness center.  Pine Needles has been host of the 1996, 2001, and 2007 U.S. Women’s Opens.

For more information about Peggy Kirk Bell and Pine Needles and Mid Pines Resort, visit www.pineneedles-midpines.com.

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Peggy Kirk Bell: A Women's Golf Pioneer

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - By and large, the decision to stage the men's and women's U.S. Opens in back-to-back weeks at the Pinehurst No. 2 course here has received rave reviews. One dissenter, at least initially, was Peggy Kirk Bell, who has owned and nurtured the nearby Pine Needles resort since 1953.

Peggy Kirk Bell, left, with Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1946 in Des Moines, Iowa. Associated Press

"The USGA called me the night before they made the announcement that both events were going to No. 2," Bell said Monday, when I found her eating lunch with friends at the Pine Needles Lodge. "I was furious."

She had reason to be disappointed. Pine Needles had hosted the three most recent Women's Opens in North Carolina. Annika Sorenstam won there in 1996, Karrie Webb in 2001 and Cristie Kerr in 2007. Pine Needles, like Pinehurst No. 2, has a cherished and well-preserved Donald Ross-designed course. Bell contends it was Ross's favorite.

But Bell, a twinkly-eyed 92-year-old, isn't the type to stay mad for long. "Oh well," she laughed. "It will be fun to see what the women do with No. 2 after the men have had their chance." She said she expected to watch the action every day, from a privileged spot on the veranda overlooking the 18th green and on the course.

Bell isn't a Southerner by birth—she grew up in Findlay, Ohio, the daughter of a prosperous wholesale grocer—but over the last 60 years she has come to epitomize the hospitality and golf-centeredness of this very Southern golf resort community, particularly when it comes to female golfers. "She's a pistol," said Kerr, who Monday night hosted a wine-tasting at Pine Needles, with Bell holding court. "She is so solid and inspiring and has done so much for women's golf."

On Tuesday about a dozen former Women's Open champions played a round at Pine Needles, with Bell viewing some of the action from her cart. The previous week Lucy Li, the pig-tailed 11-year-old charmer from Northern California who is the youngest ever to qualify for a U.S. Open, practiced at Pine Needles and had lunch with Bell several times.

"She's phenomenal. She didn't miss a shot," Bell said. "I told her she had the skill to win here this week." That is not going to happen but the generation-spanning marvel of their friendship is a pleasure to ponder: A woman who took lessons from Tommy Armour, the 1927 U.S. Open champ and an influential early instructor, encouraging a girl who, when she is 24, might well be a contender for the 2027 Women's Open.

Bell was one of the early members of the LPGA. The legendary Babe Didrikson Zaharias was one of her best friends and is the godmother of her eldest daughter. In the LPGA's early barnstorming years, she flew a small, single-prop plane from event to event, about the time Arnold Palmer was starting to do the same thing on the men's tour. One of the stories you might be lucky enough to hear Bell tell, if you catch her around the lodge at Pine Needles, is how she was forced during a snowstorm in 1959 to make an emergency landing in a farmer's field and swore never to pilot again. She used the proceeds from the sale of the plane to pay for the pool at the lodge.

Despite a sterling amateur career—she won three consecutive Ohio amateurs and was a member of the 1950 U.S. Curtis Cup team—Bell never won on the LPGA Tour. By the 1960s she had turned most of her attention to teaching golf, her family and building up Pine Needles, which she and her husband, Warren "Bullet" Bell (a former professional basketball player), had purchased for $50,000 in 1953.

In her prime, Bell was always recognized as one of the country's top instructors. She taught both men and women, but was most renowned for the "Golfaris" for women she started in the 1960s and which continue today. These are essentially weeklong golf schools, but with a relaxed, supportive and enthusiastic social attitude that set them apart from anything else. For decades the Golfaris routinely maxed out at 150 golfers per session—in many cases a majority of them repeat customers.

"Over the years, Peggy gained a unique reputation across golf for bringing people and women in particular into the game very successfully. They didn't just improve and learn to play, but they stayed with it," said Judy Rankin, the 26-time LPGA winner and NBC/Golf Channel analyst. Afterward many of the attendees traveled regularly to play at each others' home courses and formed friendships for life.

In 1994, Bell and her actively involved children acquired the Mid Pines resort across the street, with its own Ross gem that was recently restored in much the way Pinehurst No. 2 was, with wire-grass native areas and superfast contoured greens. The Pinehurst Resort, now with nine courses, gets most of the glory in the North Carolina sand hills, but the homey, boutique charm of Pine Needles and Mid Pines is hard to beat.

"There are an awful lot of players, and you can count me among them, who would love to leave a place like Pine Needles as their legacy," Rankin said.

—Email John Paul Newport at golfjournal@wsj.com

Mid Pines Fairway
 

Fairway View

Sandhills Highlighted in Global Golf Post Magazine

Check out the latest issue of the Global Golf Post to read an article about the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area written by Mike Purkey.  You can view the article here.

Tournament Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Graham Gilmore
Director of Golf   
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
1010 Midland Road
Southern Pines, North Carolina 28387
910-692-7111


18th Annual Pine Needles Invitational Championship

Southern Pines, March 6, 2012 – A field of 68 teams (36 Open Division & 32 Senior Division) from 12 states as well as Quebec, Canada, teed off Friday, March 2nd in the 18th Annual Pine Needles Invitational Championship at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club and Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.  This has become one of the most popular amateur team events in North Carolina and the Southeast.  The event is a 54-hole team competition playing both Four Ball and Modified Alternate Stroke formats over the first weekend of March.  The Open and Senior Divisions competed on both Donald Ross designed layouts, which are constantly ranked among two of the best in North Carolina.

The Open Division played a Four Ball format for the first two rounds, with Friday’s round taking place at Mid Pines and Saturday’s round at Pine Needles.  We had 36 teams begin play in the Open Division and after the 2nd round the field was cut to the low 25 teams.  The Final round was played at Pine Needles using the Modified Alternate Stroke format.

Brett Williams from Cockeysville, MD and Brandon Lacroix from Roanoke, VA were named the Champions of the Open Division with a score of 65-65-68-198.  We had a tie for 2nd place with a 54-hole score of 200.  Adam Horton from Chesapeake, VA and Garland Green from Tazwell, VA tied with Gary Carpenter Jr. and Josh Upton both from Crofton, MD.  We also had a tie for 4th place with a 54-hole score of 201.  Scott Campbell from Greenville, NC and Barry Dyche from Charlotte, NC tied with Thomas Parker from Charlotte, NC and Will Huntley from Pinehurst, NC.

The Senior Division also played the Four Ball format for the first two rounds with Friday’s round at Pine Needles and Saturday’s at Mid Pines.  The Senior Division required both players to be at least 50 years old to qualify.  We had 32 teams begin play and after the 2nd round the field was cut to the low 24 teams.  The final round was played at Pine Needles using the Modified Alternate Stroke format.

Gary Strickfaden from Southern Pines, NC and Dennis Helms from Monroe, NC were named Champions in the Senior Division with a score of 68-68-64-200.  Allen Barber from Yorktown, VA and Charlie Green from Tazewell, VA finished in 2nd place with a score of 65-68-68-201. Spike Smith from Pinehurst, NC and Jim Macallister from Fort Washington, PA finished in 3rd place with a score of 65-68-70-203. Rich Lownes from Fort Washington, PA and Jim Muller from Huntingdon Valley, PA finished 4th with a score of 66-68-71-205.  Roy and Chip Hunter, both from Charlotte, NC finished in 5th place with a score of 72-68-66-206.

A full scoring summary from the weekend is available at www.pineneedles-midpines.com.  We want to thank all the players for a great weekend of golf and are looking forward to next year’s event.  The 19th Annual Pine Needles Invitational will be held February 28-March 3, 2013.


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GOLF.com Features Pine Needles and Mid Pines

GOLF.com's feature "Ask Travelin' Joe Passov" highlighted the Pinehurst area on his November 29 video as he answers a viewer's question about which courses to play on their visit to the Sandhills.

While he discusses the renovations of Pinehurst No. 2, he also recommends our two Donald Ross classics, Pine Needles and Mid Pines.

Check out the video posted on GOLF.com!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - November 9, 2011


From:  Graham Gilmore
Director of Golf   
Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
1010 Midland Road
Southern Pines, North Carolina 28387
910-692-7111

2011 Mid Pines Hickory Open Championship

Southern Pines – A field of 88 competitors from 18 states as well at Toronto, Ontario, France and Sweden, teed off Saturday, November 5th in the 8th Annual Mid Pines Hickory Open Championship at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.  This has become one of the most popular events using clubs primarily from the 1920’s and where players dress in plus fours and ties.  The event is played over the first weekend in November on the Donald Ross Designed layout, a course that is valued among one of the best in North Carolina.

Fred Muller from Frankfort, MI won the gold medal in the Donald Ross Division (Gross Division) with a score of 77-80-157.  Kelly Miller of Southern Pines, NC finished second and won the silver medal with a score of 85-73-158 and Roger Andrews from Jenks, OK finished in third place winning the bronze with a score of 79-79, 158. 

Richard Schmidt from Southern Pines, NC won the gold medal in the Julius Boros Division (Net Division) with a score of 136.  Jonathan Broga of South Riding, VA finished second and won the silver medal with a score of 147 and Richard Grula of Winter Park, FL finished in third place winning the bronze medal with a score of 149.

Rusty Wells from Pinehurst, NC won the gold medal in the Skip Alexander Division (Gross Senior Division) with a score of 161.  Ken Holtz of Sun City, AZ finished second and won the silver medal with a score of 167.  Bill Turville from Thornhill, Ontario won the bronze medal with a score of 170. 

William Tanner from Scotland won the gold medal in the Old Tom Morris Division (Senior Net Division) with a score of 135.  During the prize presentation Will was not recognized as the winner of this division and congratulate him on his fine playing during the event.  Jim Hollon of Evansville, IN finished second and won the silver medal with a score of 137 in a scorecard playoff over Jim Davis of Grand Rapids, MI.  Jim finished third and won the bronze medal.

Bill Engelson & Jonathan Broga won the gold medal in the Bobby Jones Gross Division.  The Bobby Jones Division is a Father/Son Team Better Ball Competition played on the final round

Barbara Kopec from Niceville, FL won the gold medal in the Peggy Kirk Bell Ladies Division with a score of 192.  Tien Panigel won the gold medal in the Peggy Kirk Bell (Net Division).

Pine Needles hosted a Foursomes Competition on Friday, November 4, 2011 for the Mid Pines Hickory Open Weekend.  We had 20 teams compete using a true Alternate Stroke format. 

Dennis Joy and Chuck McMullin finished first in the Gross Division of the Foursomes Competition and  David Ellis Rick Woeckner came in second place.  John Duffy Charles Mitchell Jr. finished first in the Net Division and Richard Grula and Brian Schuman finished in second place. 

The 9th Annual Mid Pines Hickory Open will be played on November 2-4, 2012.

September 20, 2011

Interview with Peggy Kirk Bell

featured in the September/October 2011 edition of the Virginia Golfer

In this month's issue of the Virginia Golfer, Rhonda Glenn (Manager of Communications for the USGA), sits down with golf legend Peggy Kirk Bell to reflect on her past accomplishments and her feelings of turning 90 in just over one month.

Click here to read the full interview.

August 29, 2011

CAROLINAS GOLF ASSOCIATION


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:
Jack Nance, CGA Executive Director
Phone:             910-673-1000     
E-mail: info@carolinasgolf.org

CGA Address:                                                    
Carolinas Golf Association
PO Box 319
West End, NC 27376

Web Site: www.carolinasgolf.org
E-mail: info@carolinasgolf.org
Fax: 910-673-1001

 

 

CAROLINAS GOLF ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BUILD CAROLINAS GOLF HOUSE AT PINE NEEDLES



WEST END, NC -- The Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) has announced plans to build a new center, Carolinas Golf House, in Southern Pines, N.C.
The CGA has acquired land on the Pine Needles Resort property. Carolinas Golf House will be headquarters of the CGA and also will house the Carolinas golf heritage museum and the Carolinas Golf Foundation.  The museum/headquarters building will be 13,000 square feet.
Founded in 1909, the CGA is charged to promote and protect golf in the Carolinas by providing competitions, education, support and benefits to golfers. The CGA is the second largest amateur association in the country. With its 102-year-old legacy, championship traditions and commitment to the future of golf, the CGA has been a steward of the game in the Carolinas for over one hundred years.
The CGA offers membership services to more than 168,000 golfers at CGA clubs.  These include: an extensive tournament program for golfers of all ages and abilities, an agronomy program, a quarterly magazine mailed directly to members, USGA handicapping service, USGA course ratings, Rules of Golf and handicap system education, handicap licensing and certification along with USGA outreach programs. The CGA also serves as a vital link for the USGA to golfers in the Carolinas.
The CGA’s sister organization, the Carolinas Golf Foundation, was created in 1977 and raises and donates money to Carolinas golf-related causes focusing on junior golf, turfgrass research and scholarships.
Carolinas Golf House will be built on a tract of land adjacent to the conference center at Pine Needles. In addition to providing a building site to the CGA, the partnership with Pine Needles allows the CGA to have access to meeting and banquet facilities at the resort.
Carolinas Golf House will provide office space for staff, conference rooms, and a museum display area showcasing the history of golf in the Carolinas. The Carolinas Golf House design allows easy access to the Pine Needles reception center and will be complemented with a new courtyard.
The CGA, founded in Charleston, S.C., has been headquartered in Seven Lakes, NC, near West End, NC since 1991, moving at that time from rented space in Clemmons, NC.  “After moving here 20 years ago, Seven Lakes and Moore County have embraced us,” notes CGA Executive Director Jack Nance.  “Simply, we have run out of space in our current office building.
“Carolinas Golf House, however, is more than a new office building for our staff.  It will be a focal point for the game.” he said.
“We have talked for years about building this,” noted CGA President Walter Todd of Laurens, S.C. “We have wanted a way to display the history of the game in the Carolinas.  Now we will be able to portray accurately the ideals and traditions of golf.”
“This is the first time in 102 years that we have taken on such a project, and it is overdue,” Nance added.
“We are excited about the CGA keeping its home and headquarters in this area and more thrilled that the Association selected Pine Needles/Mid Pines for its future home,” Pine Needles President Kelly Miller said.  “This is the first property the Bell family has sold since acquiring Pine Needles in 1953.  While we waited 58 years to do so, we think we have the right partner in the CGA.”
The Carolinas Golf Foundation, which will also be housed at Golf House, has donated more than $1.5 million in 34 years to over 50 golf-related programs including the First Tee and disabled golfer programs.
For further information, please visit www.carolinasgolf.org and www.settingthecourse.org to get updates on Carolinas Golf House progress.