Q&A: Dottie Pepper on self-publishing ‘Letters to a Future Champion,’ a heartfelt and captivating tribute to the mentor behind much of her success

In all, there are roughly 145 letters between student and teacher. Dottie Pepper has cherished the words of George J. Pulver, Sr. for more than four decades, carefully placing each letter in a three-ring binder that she guarded like sacred treasure. She was 15 and he was 81 when they first started working together. The eloquent and straightforward letters arrived after lessons and often more frequently.

In Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver, Pepper, a 17-time winner on the LPGA and on-course reporter for CBS who will most certainly be in the World Golf Hall of Fame before too long, pays tribute to a wonderfully deep and impactful friendship that laid the foundation for her successful career.

While “Mr. Pulver” shared practical tips on her swing and tournament preparation in the letters, lines of encouragement and nuggets of wisdom leap off the typewritten pages.

Take, for example, this paragraph from the last letter he wrote before Pepper went off to Furman for her freshman year:

“In virtually all endeavors, those who succeed work harder, think deeper, and continue in their undiminished zeal towards definite goals. Often, chance darts at them, for the good or bad. Surely, a promising future lies before you.”

It’s no wonder she couldn’t wait to get to the mailbox!

The audio version of Pepper’s book will be released in early January. This was important to Pepper because her 98-year-old grandmother, Dorothy Woodcock, can no longer read due to macular degeneration.

Golfweek recently caught up with Pepper, 56, to talk about her beautifully unique self-published book, which is a finalist for the USGA’s Herbert Warren Wind Book Award. Here are excerpts from that conversation:

When did you first start thinking about making a book out of these letters?

When I showed (husband) David Normoyle the three-ring binder, we might still have been dating, he said, ‘Wow you have a book here.’

I said ‘Well you’re biased, and I have no time, so thanks for your help.’

He’d come up with a book format every once in a while … the one that I really liked was Peter Thomson’s book. It was actually a booklet … it was full of all of his thoughts and letters and articles that he’d written. It was really cool. I thought well, that’s nice, but again, I have no time.

And then Covid hit.

We were taken off the road, and we weren’t going to resume for a while. I thought I’m not just going to sit here and watch bad news on the television, I’m going to do something positive, and maybe this is the time to write the book.

I got my binder back out … in the pile of stuff that his kids had sent me, and this was separate from the library that he left me, there was a blue folder, all beat up, and all it said on the outside was “golf

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By: Beth Ann Nichols
Title: Q&A: Dottie Pepper on self-publishing ‘Letters to a Future Champion,' a heartfelt and captivating tribute to the mentor behind much of her success
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/12/30/dottie-pepper-q-and-a-new-book-letters-to-a-future-champion/
Published Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2021 14:50:39 +0000

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