Dottie Pepper, born on August 17, 1965, was fondly known as Hot Pepper on the course. She has received numerous accolades while still an amateur and even more when she turned professional. Dottie even made quite an impression when she became the first golfer to set the record of reaching $3 million in career earnings in just seven years, six months and two days.
Dottie was known as a gifted golfer with a great swing. Dottie named George Pulver, Don Pepper, Judy Rankin, Charlie Mechem and Craig Harmon as the people who influenced her most in her career. She attended Furman University where she was twice named the Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named 1987 Athlete of the Year, won five individual tournament titles and became a three-time All-American. Her performance was so great when she turned professional that she was inducted into the Furman University Hall of Fame in 1992.
Dottie’s other accomplishments as an amateur included being the 1981 New York State Champion and the 1981 and 1983 New York Junior Amateur Champion. Dottie joined the 1981 Junior World Cup Team and in 1983 became a quarterfinalist at the US Girls’ Junior Championship. In 1984 she became the low amateur in the US Women’s Open.
In 1987, Dottie turned pro and joined the LPGA Tour, not to mention that she qualified for the tour on her first attempt. Dottie’s first victory came just two years later after turning pro at the 1989 Oldsmobile LPGA Classic.
Dottie didn’t have an easy time during her first few years in the LPGA tour due to her temperament. She was even given the name “Snottie Dottie” because she seemed rude and standoffish to some of her fellow competitors. However, later on in her career, her temperament and persona mellowed and she became quite the respected golfer.
Dottie gained even more respect when she won her first major, the 1992 Nabisco Dinah Shore, beating Hall of Famer, Juli Inkster. She won the major again in the year 1999. Throughout the 1990s, Dottie was seen as a consistent performer. She was even one of the representatives for the United States Solheim Cup teams in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998.
Due to lingering injuries detrimental to her playing career, Dottie announced her early retirement on July 1, 2004. She continues to participate in the sport as a golf broadcaster and analyst for NBC and The Golf Channel.