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All-Star Spotlight: Jack Pepin

By PGA of America, 09/15/17, 12:15PM EDT


How a letter from The King impacted this PGA Junior League golfer

At this time last year, 13-year-old Jack Pepin found himself in a familiar place: preparing to compete in the Northeast PGA Junior League Regional. He’d just entered eighth grade, and eventually getting on the high school golf team became a top priority, along with excelling in his school work. As his mom Vanessa Pepin puts it, “He was going through a frustrating time that all golfers seem to go through.”

Unbeknownst to her son or husband, Vanessa decided to seek advice from none other than The King himself. In her letter to Arnold Palmer, she explained Jack’s love of the game – that he recently started eighth grade and was already turning his attention to high school golf – as well as his upcoming trip to the 2016 Northeast Regional with the Atkinson All-Stars.

The family was out of town when they received the news of Palmer’s passing. To the shock of the entire family, they returned home to an Arnold Palmer envelope sitting in their mailbox. It was dated September 20, 2016, just five days before Palmer passed away.

It read:

Arnold Palmer Letter

The letter Jack received from Arnold Palmer dated September 20, 2016.

Dear Jack:

I am told that you’re a pretty good golfer and are a member of the All-Star Team for your local Jr. PGA League. I also heard that your team has qualified for the Northeast Regional Championships and that you will be traveling to Cape Cod to compete this month. Congratulations! I wish you and your team the very best of luck.

As your thoughts turn to high school and making the golf team next year, the only advice I can give you is to work hard and practice as much as you can but, most importantly, study hard in school. A good education is key to future success.

I wish you the very best in school and with your golf.


Arnold Palmer

Jack Pepin

Jack at the 2016 Northeast PGA Junior League Regional at Cranberry Valley Golf Course in Harwich, Massachusetts.

And that’s exactly what Jack has been doing. He recently started high school, where he’s taking six accelerated classes, and he’s one of two freshman on the varsity golf team.


      It’s a treasured gift to our family. We refer back to it a lot. His (Palmer) kind words told Jack to study hard and practice a lot, in addition to congratulating him on advancing to the Regional. And here we are again!

– Vanessa Pepin, Jack's mom