Clubhouse Eats: Pine Needles’ burgers are just as famous as the Lodge’s late owner

The Bell Burger and the Grand Bell Burger at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club go great with a Moscow mule.

The Bell Burger and the Grand Bell Burger at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club go great with a Moscow mule.

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Welcome to Clubhouse Eats and Drinks, where we’ll introduce you to our favorite food and drink at some of the best golf courses, golf resorts and golfy locations around. Cheers!

The late, great LPGA star and World Golf Hall of Famer Peggy Kirk Bell loved the game in which she spent her life. You know what else she loved? A really good burger. At Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, the noted North Carolina resort that Bell owned and operated for 60-plus years, the kitchen honors her with just such a dish.

The item comes in two iterations, the Bell Burger and the Grand Bell Burger, the latter a super-sized version of the former. Where the Bell Burger features an eight-ounce patty of fresh ground beef, garnished with shaved lettuce, apple-smoked bacon, tomato and American cheese, the Grand Bell Burger lives up to its billing with twice the amount of beef (that’s 16 ounces if you’re keeping score at home) and all of the same fixings, plus two additional cheeses, onion rings and BBQ sauce. Both options are served on a toasted brioche bun, with the Pine Needles logo branded on the top half, and a pickle spear and French fries on the side.

Over the years, the property has run assorted promos around the burger, including the Silver Oak Bell Burger, which comes with a bottle of Silver Oak wine. There’s no going wrong with that. But as late spring gives way to warmer summer weather, you might also pair the burger with something cold and refreshing from the bar, such as a Moscow mule.

Over her long career as head golf instructor at Pine Needles, Kirk Bell was guided by the belief that the game was best enjoyed as a balance between learning and relaxation, in the cheerful company of friends. When you order the dish that bears her name after your round, you are doing her memory proud.

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A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.