In this week's SI Golf Plus, Michael Bamberger gives Carolyn Bivens mostly high marks, though this bit reveals just how weird things are behind the scenes:
On one occasion [Dottie] Pepper didn't like the way the commissioner dressed. Pepper, who won 17 times in her playing career and believes the LPGA might be better off as an arm of the PGA Tour, saw Bivens apparently wearing shorts at a tour event, a look Pepper feels is unbecoming for a commissioner, a look she had never seen on Votaw or Tim Finchem or any other commissioner. She called Bivens on it in a May 8 Golf Plus column while Jay Coffin also mentioned it in Golfweek. Bivens quickly responded to Pepper by e-mail: "I saw Jay Coffin's note about me wearing shorts. It wasn't worth the effort to tell him I had on silk, knee-length culottes. Must say I was surprised when I saw the same thing in your column.... In an industry which continues to place women under a microscope and perpetuates old stereotypes I was surprised."
Pepper fired back with an e-mail of her own: "I observed you in person that afternoon, [and] in no way were your shorts knee-length. You are the chosen 'CEO' for the LPGA and regardless of length or style, they were simply not appropriate attire for any person in your position."
Later in the e-mail, Pepper unleashed this broadside: "As a member of the LPGA for nearly 20 years, I am most disappointed with the lack of sincerity and [the] strong-arm tactics being used at this time on every imaginable level. Solid, long-term relationships are what the LPGA has been all about for more than 50 years and the main key to its success. I certainly hope these relationships are not the casualty of your new business plan."