ORLANDO, Fla. – Two major golf personalities couldn’t be more alike . . . well, in some ways.
Ian Poulter and Dottie Pepper were panelists for the PGA of America on Thursday at the 60th PGA Merchandise Show. Both are known for being outspoken, and they were at the Orange County Convention Center to discuss the business side of the game – Poulter with his IJP Design fashion line and Pepper with her “Bogey Tees Off” children’s book series.
Poulter knew from an early age that he wanted to play as a professional, but he also understood that a professional career wouldn’t last forever. He wanted to have a business, too.
Poulter freed up his clothing deal six years ago and took that opportunity to start IJP Design.
“I wanted to put something out there that was appealing to everybody,” Poulter said.
It was a personal investment, and Poulter said he is very involved in many aspects of the company, truly making it his own rather than simply attaching his name to it.
Also very involved in the business of golf is Pepper, who left NBC Sports in December and is serving on the board of the PGA of America and as assistant captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup team this August in addition to working on her book series.
“You can’t just be single-minded out here,” Pepper said about her multiple business investments.
Poulter and Pepper each said they want to help “Grow The Game,” as the PGA of America’s slogan implores.
“I want to grow it as much as possible,” said Poulter, who hosts an annual junior invitational at Woburn Country Club in England, where he invites 100 young players and hopefully inspires the next generation, just as successful players inspired him.
Pepper has started junior golf leagues, and she said it’s part of her main focus as she joins the PGA of America’s board.
“They are our future members,” Pepper said.