TMGP: What/who got you started into the game of golf?
Dean: I started playing golf in my early 40s when my three children were young. It was the only sport that I required them to learn because I didn’t want them to be as bad as I was. Also, I saw the game as an important part of doing business and succeeding in life. They now all play and my two youngest now play on the high school golf team I coach.
TMGP: Can you describe your best moment or day on the golf course?
Dean: My best moment or day on the golf course is easy, it’s when I’m playing golf with my wife or children. To spend those hours of time together mean more to me than anything.
TMGP: Do you take lessons and have a regular teacher? Describe what you do to fix things when needed. Go to a teacher? Work things out yourself?
Dean: I decided a long time ago to spend more money on lessons than on my golf equipment. Early on I spent most of my money on myself for instruction but then later on I directed it towards lessons for my kids, but I always paid close attention to what the PGA instructors were telling them so I could learn even more about the game. I also have read several books about the game in the hopes of picking up more tips about how to play the game.
TMGP: Do you have a regular “game” with friends?
Dean: Unfortunately, due to my work schedule and the time required to coach highs school golf I don’t presently have the time to play in a regular group. But it is on my bucket list to finally be able to spend time with a group of guys playing on a weekly basis.
TMGP: What’s your best score? Number and what was it to par?
Dean: I have never been able to break 80. I blame this fact on my inability to spend the time to practice or to play. But the reality is that it is more likely my inability to hit the ball.
TMGP: What’s the most beautiful/scenic course you’ve ever played?
Dean: I haven’t been able to be on a lot of different courses, but the course I most enjoyed was Branson Creek. Having grown up in the Ozarks I really appreciated the views and the way the course respected the land.
TMGP: Have you ever met or played with a current or former PGA Tour player?
Dean: Yes, I’ve met a few former PGA Tour players and I have enjoyed how nice and genuine each of them were. The professionals I have met were never the big money guys, but they were all willing to talk about the game and seemed to have a passion for the game of golf.
TMGP: What’s the best golf related advice/tip that you’ve ever been given?
Dean: A golfer that I have a lot of respect for told me before I took up the game to not even start unless I was willing to put in the time. That is the most frustrating part about being a high school golf coach is that the high school players think all they need to do is show up to their practices during the season and they will continue to progress. Actually, the best players know their progression in the game happens in the off season and on the practice range.
TMGP: What course in Missouri would you most love to play on and why?
Dean: Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, MO. I’ve just heard so many great things about this course that makes it very appealing to me.
TMGP: Do you feel that your perspective on the game has changed or evolved since you first started playing?
Dean: I think the mental part of the game has become a greater focus for me then the technical aspects of the game.
TMGP: Do you have any specific golf products that you rely on/enjoy using?
Dean: I don’t get too caught up in the equipment side but I do think there are differences between really good manufactures and the box store clubs. I also think you need to hit the clubs for a while to discover if they are really right for your game. I have always wanted to spend the time and money to have a professional fitting just to see what they would say is the best equipment for me.
TMGP: What’s the coolest golf gadget you ever bought?
Dean: The best thing has to be a range finder and the next is an app to track my scoring and distance on each club.
TMGP: Have you changed out your Long Irons to Hybrids? What’s the longest iron in your golf bag?
Dean: The longest iron I have is a 4-iron, and yes the hybrid has been a great additional to my bag.
TMGP: What’s your favorite rescue club?
Dean: I use a Cleveland hybrid.
TMGP: Have you ever taken putting lessons?
Dean: I’ve only taken a few putting lessons, my biggest problem is from tee to green. Once I get on the green I’m usually okay.
TMGP: Do you keep a USGA handicap?
Dean: Yes, but I have a problem getting enough rounds in each year to keep it up to date. I hope to rectify that situation this year.
TMGP: What’s the course that you play on most often? What advice would you pass onto someone who is playing there for their first time?
Dean: Because our golf team uses both of the Columbia municipal course those are the courses I am most familiar with. Of those two course the one I enjoy the most is Lake of the Woods. If I was giving advice on playing this course it would be to leave the driver in the bag on most holes. I tell my golf team to manage the course and to not have the course manage you.
TMGP: What would you say are the top 3 golf courses in Missouri?
Dean: I have to put Branson Creek on that list along with Dalhousie and the new Payne Stewart course in Branson. But there are a lot of great venues to play golf in Missouri and I would like to explore as many of them as I can.