Golfweek Comp Issue — September 19, 2014
Change Language:
Pepper’s Cathartic Outlet

Dottie Pepper grew up a self-described golf geek with dark-rimmed glasses, and was bullied in her early teens. How traumatic was it? Pepper, who moved back to her hometown, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 2009, chose to skip her 30th high school reunion last year.

“For me, the golf course became the safest of havens,” Pepper, a 17-time winner on the LPGA , tells The Forecaddie.

Now a part-time TV announcer, she has used her latest children’s book as a platform to address this painful part of her childhood. Pepper’s co-author, Scott Fuller , also considered the topic close-hitting. His son, Walker, now a fifth-grader, was harassed so badly in school that his bully was expelled. So Walker was involved heavily in the making of Pepper’s third book: “Bogey Tees Off: A Lesson About Bullying .”

The book’s narrative even takes a page directly out of Pepper’s past. Bogey, the first range ball to attend Best Ball School, has his scooter stolen.

Pepper worked at her family’s ski shop all winter to pay for a bike she’d put on layaway. The bully, who lived close to the back corner of Pepper’s house, stole her bike out of the family garage and later bragged about it.

Pepper said she found the writing process cathartic, taking care to make sure the emotions on Bogey’s face helped tell the story. The vibrantly illustrated book even includes discussion topics for parents.

“When it gets to the point where it becomes cruel,” Pepper said, “game over.”