Now, with Halloween fast approaching, I’d like to share with you a money-game invented by the editor of GOLF Magazine, in 1983; a year after I was hired as instruction editor and a year before being promoted to senior instruction editor, in 1984.
This sick game was dreamed up by George Peper; Princeton graduate, post-graduate of Yale, editor of GOLF Magazine, and member of Sleepy Hollow golf course, home of the Headless Horseman, boasting an old clubhouse mansion, featuring multiple rooms, some where I slept for two nights, decorated with dark black furnishings, and an atmosphere that gave me the creeps. I felt like a ghost, Frankenstein, or Dracula was going to enter the room any minute; so fearful was I, I could not sleep.
You’ve heard, surely, of World Series, Super-Bowl, and NCAA pools. Well, this pool-game Peper dreamed up, called the Ghoul-Pool, featured rows and rows of square blocks inked in on a giant sheet of poster board, each with a name of a PGA, LPGA, or Senior PGA pro (now Champions’ Tour), famous course architect, famous caddy, celebrity golfer, U.S. Amateur champion, British Amateur champion, famous television golf commentator, major champion winner, famous golf teacher, leading golf writer, leading author of golf books…
For the ghoul-pool to commence, all 200 blocks, each with a name, had to be purchased for a price of $5 each, making the winner-take-all pot $1000.
Although I and a couple of other staff members felt pressured to enter, we said No, once hearing how the sickening pool-game was to work.
Should you pick the person on the Ghoul-Pool board who dies first, you win the $1000 bucks.
Well, this happened twice, with all from our editorial department being outdone by our advertising reps in Atlanta.
The third time, as I recall, the winner of the Ghoul-Pool and the $1000 pot, was a member of our advertising department in New York.
Well, once the publisher, also based at our 380 Madison advertising and editorial offices, found out about this victory, and then heard from our advertising agents and newsstands sales’ force that we were losing sales, as well as losing subscribers and high-spending advertisers, because of what they called a Morbid idea of humor, the Ghoul-Pool had seen its last day, thankfully, with Peper almost out of a job.
All of our original staff are gone now, gone from the magazine that is. As for Peper, he was 34 at the time, when the Ghoul-Pool debuted.
Now, Peper is 70 years old. I wonder how he’ll feel being in someone’s Ghoul-Pool. What a chilling thought, as we approach Halloween, and Peper, like me, and most of our former staff members at GOLF Magazine, each approach the twilight stage of our life.