'This alliance is a wonderful opportunity for our members to participate in a competitive, yet nurturing, tournament environment,' says LPGA Foundation President Nancy Henderson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., June 3, 2019 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Foundation announced today that it has extended its partnership with thePeggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf Tour (PKBGT) as an "Approved Tour" of The LPGA Foundation and the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.
The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf Tour is a 501(c)3 non-profit girls golf tour with a mission to ensure the future of the game by providing a "girls only" tour that will help to actively increase participation and interest in girls golf and to enhance the life skills of girls through golf. The largest girls-only golf tour in the nation, the PKBGT grew out of a local LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program in Greensboro, North Carolina, and currently has more than 900 members.
"The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf Tour was an obvious choice for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program to align with as their mission and ours are strategically compatible," said Nancy Henderson, President of The LPGA Foundation. "This alliance is a wonderful opportunity for our members to participate in a competitive, yet nurturing, tournament environment."
LPGA-USGA Girls Golf provides an opportunity for girls aged from 6-17 to learn golf, build lasting friendships and experience golf in a fun, supportive "girls only" environment, preparing them for a lifetime of enjoyment from the game.
The LPGA Foundation will provide LPGA-USGA Girls Golf members with the opportunity to apply for financial assistance to compete in Peggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf tournaments. In line with the program's philosophy, grants will be awarded to girls based on their commitment to and participation in their programs and communities rather than solely on their performance on the golf course.
"We recognize that there are many girls who may never dream of playing on the LPGA Tour, but the competitive experience they can gain by playing on the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf Tour will demonstrate how golf can take them to places where they may never imagine they could go," said Henderson.
The Peggy Kirk Bell Girls' Golf Tour was founded in 2007, starting out with a total of seven events and 61 participants, and an average field size of 25. This year, the Tour will feature 95 events across the East Coast and more than 900 participants, with an average field size of 57 for its national events and 36 for its regional developmental events.
"We are excited to continue and grow our partnership with the LPGA Foundation and LPGA-USGA Girls Golf," said Mike Parker, Tour Director of the PKBGT. "Their support has been instrumental in our growth and this partnership will allow more girls across the country to experience on-course competition in an environment built specifically for girls’ competitive and developmental needs."
Margaret Anne "Peggy" Kirk Bell, who will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next month via the lifetime achievement category, was a professional golfer and golf instructor known for her strong advocacy of women's golf. She took up the game as a teenager and made a name for herself as an amateur star. She went on to become a charter member of the LPGA in 1950 after winning the 1949 Titleholders Championship and participating on the winning 1950 Curtis Cup team. In 1990, she earned the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. In 2002, she became the first woman to be voted into Golf Magazine’s World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame and five years later she received the PGA of America’s First Lady of Golf Award.