Dottie Pepper is wearing a new hat and throwing away an old one.
While the 47-year-old Saratoga Springs native and former LPGA standout was named an independent director for the Professional Golfers’ Association over the weekend, she also announced Monday that she was not renewing her contact as an on-course television golf analyst for NBC.
“I was actually approached about becoming a PGA board member two years ago, but it just wasn’t the right time,” said Pepper, who won 17 times on the LPGA Tour, including a pair of majors. “I had a full plate. I just got married, and I had moved back home. It wasn’t the right time.”
But Pepper said that when she decided not to continue her duties with NBC, it opened up more of her time. She is currently writing a series of children’s books about Bogey the golf ball, and she was also named the assistant captain for the next Solheim Cup team.
“I had to think long and hard about leaving NBC,” said Pepper, who had become one of the most respected analysts in the sport. “Between my book projects and joining this board, I’ve had a very active schedule. I’ve had plenty on my plate for the last three years, and travel was becoming less and less attractive for me.”
Pepper, who is also a member of the Northeastern New York Golf Association’s junior golf committee, said the new PGA president, Ted Bishop, called her in July and asked her to think about the new position.
“I was tired of living out of a suitcase, and I told him I would give him my decision at the Ryder Cup,” she said.
“The PGA was looking for a different perspective. They wanted an outside person who wasn’t a golf professional. I will be on a number of committees. I’ve got to submit my choice by Wednesday for which committees I would like to be on.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to serve on the PGA of America board, and to develop a new and different path in my life. It is all about how we can give back to the game. I am enjoying the opportunity to work with the NENYPGA Section and helping expand junior programs, as well as all programs that help our game.”
The PGA Board of Directors is composed of the association’s president, vice president, secretary, honorary president and 17 directors, who represent the PGA’s 14 districts. There are two independent directors, as well as a member of the PGA Tour.
Pepper, who lives with her husband, David Normoyle, in Saratoga Springs, won the 1992 and 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championships. She captured the 1992 Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average and was the 1992 LPGA Player of the Year. In 1999, she set the all-time major championship record in relation to par (19-under).
Pepper was a member of six Solheim Cup teams before retiring in 2004 following a series of injuries. She became a broadcaster later that season, and worked for The GolfChannel from 2005-2009 before joining NBC.
Pepper also enjoyed a standout amateur career that included winning 1981 and 1983 New York State Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship and the 1981 New York State Women’s Amateur.
She was a two-time champion of the Gazette Women’s Amateur, and she became a three-time All-American at Furman University. Pepper won a Futures Tour event as an amateur before turning pro.