The Heroines

Judith Bell

is honored with a Medium Paver from Betty Blair Mastio.

Judy Bell was elected in 1996 as the first woman president of the United States Golf Association and served until January 1998. She was the 54th president of the Association, which was chartered in 1894.

Her election was the pinnacle of 32 years of volunteer service to the USGA, golf's governing body in this country.

For more than three decades, the Wichita native helped build the game of golf worldwide with her innate warmth, intelligence, imagination, leadership, humor, generosity of spirit and a strong sense of what was right.

During her USGA service, she implemented golf and work training programs for children of every economic strata. She markedly improved the status of women, upgrading championship sites and promoting a handicapping system for women. Almost single-handedly she elevated the United States Women's Open to prominence as the greatest women's championship in the world, founded the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, and brought the U.S. Women's Amateur to new prominence. As a devoted advocate of amateur golf, she elevated international interest in our national amateur championships for men, women, juniors, seniors and public course players.

One of golf's most respected rules officials, Judy was the first woman rules official at the Masters tournament and for 15 years was a rules official at the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women's Open.

Judy, the daughter of Wichita's Mariam and Carol Bell, has been honored throughout the nation for her leadership. In 1998 alone she received the Patty Berg Award from the Ladies Professional Golf Association for her contributions to women's golf, the Gold Tee Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association, the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and was inducted as a member of The Captain's Club of the Memorial Tournament.

In 1997, she received the Commissioners' Award for her contributions to the Ladies Professional Golf Association and women's golf and for exemplifying the highest order of character and standards.

She was inducted into the Kansas Golf Hall of Fame (1990), the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1976), the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame (1996), and was named Colorado Golf Person of the Year in 1981.

Despite the many high points of her service as a golf administrator, Judy considered her selection to the 1960 and 1962 U.S. Curtis Cup teams as her greatest honor.

A lifelong amateur, her achievements were many. She won the Kansas State Women's Amateur in 1952 at the age of 15 and repeated in 1953 and 1954. She was Broadmoor Ladies Invitation Champion in 1957, 1958, and 1960; Palm Beach Champion in 1960 and 1961; Florida East Coast Champion in 1961, 1963 and 1964; South Atlantic Champion in 1958; and Trans-National Champion in 1963. In 1964, she set an 18-hole scoring record of 67 in the U.S. Women's Open.

In 1998, the United States Golf Association dedicated the championship trophy for the United States Women's State Team Championship, naming it "The Judy Bell Trophy."

November 3, 1998