Belle Robertson was a British and Scottish ladies amateur champion and Curtis Cup winner who helped to change attitudes to physical conditioning in golf.
Born Isabella McCorkindale in 1936, she honed her game at Dunaverty on the remote south coast of Kintyre in Argyll. She grew to prominence in her 20s and 30s and won her first two of seven Scottish ladies amateur titles in 1965 and 1966.
The British title had eluded her several times before Belle finally captured the crown in 1981 at Conwy in North Wales. Other individual accolades she won included three British Stroke Play Championships and the New Zealand Ladies Amateur Championship.
The Curtis Cup, like the British title, was a long time in coming – she represented Great Britain and Ireland eight times in the event before finally tasting victory over the United States at Prairie Dunes in Kansas in 1986, aged 50.
This proved to be a glorious valedictory season for Belle as she also won her seventh Scottish title, 21 years after her first, surpassing the tally of six titles won by the great Jessie Valentine.
Belle was one of the first golfers to realise that keeping fit was important in order to play the game at the highest possible level. She understood that general exercise, simple bending and stretching could improve her performance.
She had an unorthodox swing, but her putting ability and powerful striking of the ball made her a fearsome opponent. Now in her 80s, she continues to play at Dunaverty.
A multiple Scottish Sportswoman of the Year and Woman Golfer of the Year, Belle was awarded the MBE and became one of the first female members of the Royal & Ancient Club in 2015.
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