George Peper of Vero Beach, Florida, the former Editor-in-Chief of GOLF Magazine for a quarter century and the author, co-author or editor of 20-plus golf books, has been named the recipient of the 2016 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism.
Peper, 65, will be honoured on April 6, during the ISPS HANDA 44th Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) Annual Awards Dinner at Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Augusta, Georgia.
Peper is the 27th recipient of the PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, which honours members of the media for their steadfast promotion of golf, both locally and nationally.
“George is simply a living legend in golf journalism—there is no other way to put it,” said PGA President Derek Sprague. “His leadership and quality of work at GOLF Magazine for more than 25 years, and now at LINKS Magazine, is unsurpassed. This dedication to his craft, along with his love of golf, resulted in his traveling the world as a golf ambassador and authoring numerous books on the subject. George is a true friend of the game who has enlightened us with his passion, candor and wit. We are fortunate he chose our sport to immortalize.”
A graduate of Princeton University, Peper was working toward a doctorate in comparative literature at Yale University when in 1976 he joined GOLF Magazine, becoming its chief editor a year later at the age of 27. For the last 13 years, he has written for LINKS Magazine, and in 2011, he became the magazine’s editor.
“What a thrill to be recognized in this way by the PGA of America,” said Peper. “I’m not sure I deserve an award after 40 years of having fun, but to join the distinguished company of the previous recipients—every one of whom I’ve been privileged to know—is both a humbling experience and a tremendous honor.”
While at GOLF, Peper originated the magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the World,” “America’s Top 100 Teachers” and the “World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.” In 1988, he had a heavy hand in bringing together the game’s allied associations for the once-in-a-lifetime Centennial of Golf in America celebration.
Peper’s published works include, among others, “Golf Courses of the PGA Tour” (1984) and “Two Years in St. Andrews” (2006). He has co-authored books with Greg Norman and Bill Murray and edited several memorable works, including “Golf in America: The First 100 Years” (1988) and “The World’s 500 Best Golf Holes” (2000). In 1999 his script for the PBS documentary “The Story of Golf” was nominated for a sports Emmy.
A former board member for the National Golf Foundation and the Golf Writers Association of America, Peper also served on the USGA’s Bob Jones Award Committee.
In 2008, Peper was presented the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects for his contributions to golf and golf course architecture. A year later, he received the Lincoln Werden Award from the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association for his contributions to golf journalism.
Peper and his wife of 37 years, Libby, have two grown sons, Tim and Scott.
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