Missouri Golf Post

BP Poplar 2014

Please provide some basic background info: I was born and raised in Vancouver, WA where my older brother and I played every sport we could find the time for. Thanks to his brotherly abuse, I had a successful high school career in the 3 major sports and accepted a football scholarship to Stanford University.  I then spent the next five years in the NFL, with the majority of that time coming with the Dallas Cowboys. After 5 great years in St. Louis, I now live in the Dallas area and make Brookhaven my home club.

What got you “hooked” on golf? Was it at a young age and you stayed hooked, or did you do other things and come back to golf? Growing up, I was a fairly rambunctious kid and the golf/country club scene seemed to be reserved for polite, well-mannered folks. Apparently I didn’t fall into either of those categories, so after about 10,000 dirty looks and some colorful “discussions” about using my driver on the green, I decided the majority of my adolescent time would be more effectively spent on traditional sports.

I guess I officially got hooked on golf once I moved to Texas to play for the Cowboys. They have their own course in Dallas and the football players could golf for free. I was up there almost every day during the offseason and started really enjoying the game.   By the end of the offseason I was usually down around scratch, but that first round after the season ended I had a hard time breaking 90.

Was there one person who played a big role, was influential? My dad has always been an avid golfer and showed me the ropes when I was a kid. I learned most of what I know about golf from him as he always did his best to include my brother and me. We still make it a point to play together regularly and our member-guest tournaments are the golfing highlight of the year for me.

Describe your favorite time on a golf course. Was it with kids/parents, was it a great scoring round (low score), or something else that makes it a favorite.? I have two aces in my golfing career and those are the events that stand out, but more because of their circumstances than the actual scores.

The first one happened at my dad’s member guest in Arizona. We were on a fairly long par 3 with water on the right, so I naturally hooked my shot way left. The ball proceeded to bounce off a tree, roll down a hill, skid across an electrical grate, roll 50 feet across the green and disappear into the hole! I threw my club in the air, fell on the ground and looked behind me to see a sign that said “Hole-In-One wins a 60” flat-screen. My dad and I won the hole and I got a TV with one of my worst shots of the day.

The second was with the Norwood boys in Scottsdale, AZ during our annual golf trip. It was a scramble with two 6-man teams and we were on a par 3 over a canyon. Our 6-man team was on the tee and the other team was surrounding the green watching our shots (there may have been a wager). Well, their team had already made birdie and after our team’s first five shots, we had nothing on the green. This time I actually hit a good shot that took 2 bounces and went in! Everybody went crazy…but so did my bar tab. I still have that ball framed in my office.

Your favorite MO course? Ones in Mo and the world on your ‘bucket list.”? Have you scratched any off your bucket list? By a long shot, my favorite place to play in MO is Norwood Hills. The course is always in great shape and it may be the best “game” in the state. Lots of low handicappers, a ton of great guys and so many bets that you may need to bring an accountant.

My golf bucket list is pretty standard and includes Pebble Beach, Augusta National and all the courses at Bandon Dunes.



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The Missouri Golf Post is a monthly digital magazine that “celebrates the people who play the game.” Each monthly issue contains several “feature” stories on golfers, golf courses, and/or major tournaments of interest statewide. Each issue contains a number of regular departments on topics such as Tournament Summaries, Fitness, “The Superintendent’s Corner,” Instruction, and Rules.


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