Dottie Pepper’s "Letters to a Future Champion: My Time with Mr. Pulver" is a loving tribute to the power a mentor can have in an athlete’s career.
George J. Pulver, Sr., was a golf great in his own right – as a golfer, as a course designer, and as an advocate for golfing throughout the Northeast. But he took on the mantle of mentor when he and a young Dottie, age 15, began a teacher-student relationship that would stretch into Dottie’s college years.
Dottie would eventually emerge as a multiple champion in the LPGA and beyond, and today is a the lead walking reporter for CBS Sports’ coverage of the PGA Tour, Masters, and PGA Championship.
In this beautifully crafted book, Dottie traces the influence “Mr. Pulver” had on her skills as well as her character both on the practice range – where Mr. Pulver dutifully watched every detail of her swing – and in the letters the two exchanged after. Mr. Pulver would sit down at his typewriter and carefully tap out a critique, or a technique, or advise on the life lessons Dottie would need to rise to the top.
Dottie compiled those letters into a binder and referred to them often … her bible, of sorts, on her path to a future as a multiple winner and two-time major champion on the LPGA Tour.
About the Author
Dottie Pepper is the lead walking reporter for CBS Sports’ coverage of the PGA Tour, Masters, and PGA Championship. She is a 1987 graduate of Furman University with a B.A. in Health Sciences. After an accomplished junior, college and amateur golf career, she went on to play seventeen years on the LPGA Tour, winning seventeen times, including two major championships and one additional win on the JLPGA Tour. She represented the United States six times in the Solheim Cup matches, compiling a 13-5-2 record.
She retired from competitive golf in 2004. She has covered all levels of televised golf, including every major championship, international team events, as well as national amateur championships for ESPN, Golf Channel, NBC, and CBS.
Dottie served as a member of the PGA of America Board of Directors from 2012-2015 and the NENY PGA Board of Directors from 2009-2015. She was the recipient of the 2016 William D. Richardson Award, presented by the Golf Writers Association of America for her consistently outstanding contributions to golf. She is also is a 2018 inductee to the New York State Golf Association Hall of Fame.
She lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, and is a fan of skiing in the Northeast, farmer’s markets, gardening, dogs, World War II history and fast cars.
This is more than "just" a golf book. It is a portrayal of the bond that existed between a student and her mentor; a relationship of understanding, hope, faith and trust. It is a narrative of humility and generosity. It is a chronicle of aspiration, doubt, disappointment, reassurance, encouragement and success. And it is an account of mutual admiration, respect and friendship. All of these characteristics combine to form the human spirit, which is very much in evidence in these chapters."
— Ian Pattinson
Chairman - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St.Andrews;
Chairman - The R&A, St. Andrews, Scotland
I absolutely loved this heartwarming book. Dottie Pepper is an American original and revered for her decades of insightful coverage as a broadcasting giant. Now, she presents a must-read for anyone who loves the game of golf. We learn the encouragement and endless search for excellence it takes to be a champion.
— Norah O’Donnell, CBS Evening News Anchor and Managing Editor
This book easily could have been called Letters from the Heart. As with her illustrious golf career, Dottie has poured her all — and especially her heart — into this poignant memoir of the timeless lessons that Mr. Pulver gave her. Lessons that hold true today. Most important, she has shared with the reader her love of the game and of life. Read this book! It's a rare chance to see what gives a champion her toughness and compassion.
— Joe Hallett, 2018 PGA National Horton Smith Award, Golf Top 100, teammate of Dottie's at Furman University
I don’t know too many people who work harder – at anything – than does Dottie Pepper. I also don’t know too many people with a bigger heart. Now a window into where it all comes from opens in the beautifully told story of a remarkable man and Dottie and the relationship that helped forge it all. Letters to a Future Champion is one-part diary, one-part instruction manual, all wrapped up in a page-turning scrapbook come to life.
– Jimmy Roberts, NBC Sports
Passion has long been Dottie Pepper’s co-pilot. Whether wielding an iron or holding a microphone, Dottie’s been a glowing example of commitment to craft, dedication to good deeds, and loyalty to the deserved. Now Dottie wonderfully brings to life a magical three-ring binder of hundreds of letters and notes she shared with golf teacher George Pulver, Sr., who also kept an equal amount of correspondence from his pupil and friend. In this splendidly paced salute, Dottie rings up a timeline that champions friendship, honors the game and its traditions, and pays homage to an extremely kind man. This book comes from the heart. It will warm yours.
– Steve DiMeglio, Senior Golf Writer, USA Today/Golfweek
Dottie’s sharing of Mr. Pulver’s wise teachings about golf and life in Letters to a Future Champion allows Dottie and Mr. Pulver to give us the best of their collective wisdom. This book is a gift to cherish.
– Pam Shriver, International Tennis Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist, ESPN broadcaster
Golf being among the loneliest sports, Dottie Pepper gives us a beautiful reminder that no one does it alone. More than sharing the growth and development and success and setbacks of her game, she shares a selfless professional named George Pulver. Most remarkable about this book is how the voice and character of Mr. Pulver come to life in letters, most of which end with "no reply expected." It's all about giving.
– Doug Ferguson, Golf Writer, The Associated Press