Hally’s ‘Hood: My Mission to Get Peggy Kirk Bell into the Hall of Fame
Some of you may never have heard of Peggy Kirk Bell; others know her as the First Lady of Golf. She’s an accomplished amateur and professional player, an esteemed instructor a charter member of the LPGA. A part of the American golf fabric, she’s helped pave the way for players like me. She’s also about to turn 95 years old.
I first met Mrs. Bell during my second year at Rollins College during a tournament held at Mid Pines Golf Course in Southern Pines, N.C. Full of stories about her good friends, including the likes of Babe Didrickson Zaharias and Jack Nicklaus, she mesmerized us with anecdotes about how she liked to practice her short game growing up, and the importance of having a good attitude.
Bell was born in Findlay, Ohio, and started playing golf at 17—an age we would now consider relatively late for someone who goes on to turn professional. In the early 1940s, Bell won multiple Ohio State Amateurs, then attended Rollins College and rounded off her amateur career as a member of the victorious 1950 United States Curtis Cup team.
Mrs. Bell turned pro that summer and became one of the first members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She only captured one tour victory during her time as a professional, but her impact on the women’s game transcended trophies. Partnering with Didrickson Zaharias, Bell would drive all over the country to work with golf clubs and sponsors in hopes of creating opportunities for the women on the tour to showcase their talents. Read more.