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About Dan Poppers—Past, Present, Future

September 24, 2012

Dan Poppers is Editor-in-Chief, Publisher and Founder of national award winning print publication GolfNews Magazine, established in 1984.

GolfNews Magazine’s website is golfnewsmag.com.

We dare to be different not just to be different,” says Poppers about his approach to publishing GolfNews Magazine. “I always say to readers and advertisers, you will read something in every issue of GolfNews Magazine that you will not read in any other magazine. In almost 30 years of publishing, no one has come forth and refuted my claim.”

“My goal in this blog is to chat with you in such a way that the conversation is unique and one-of-a-kind. We might not always achieve that but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

Poppers holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UCLA in Political Science and Education, respectively. He also holds a second master’s degree from San Francisco State University in Psychology.

He was fortunate to be a Washington D.C. intern twice — one summer for the US House of Representatives (“when they actually did something,” Poppers adds) and the following summer for the US Department of Commerce.

His athletic background includes:

• Started playing golf at age 9 (“should be better than I am by now” adds Poppers)

Lettered in baseball, track and basketball; and tied with Dan Millman as The Most Outstanding Senior Athlete at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles.

• All-League high school shot-putter and participant in the L.A. All-City track meet.

• Holds school record for longest shot put in his weight classification which is unbroken and remains in effect for over 50 years.

* Invited to try out for the Dodger Rookies (“didn’t make the team,” says Poppers)

• Lettered in UCLA Frosh baseball; last one to be cut off UCLA varsity team (says Poppers,”Wow, what a disappointment; I was the only player without a scholarship, went into the coaches office to ask for a scholarship; before I could say a word, he cut me”

• UCLA Varsity Football — Poppers was bold enough or foolish enough depending how you want to look at it to walk on the 1964 Bruin varsity football team during spring practice. Poppers lasted two weeks. Within 2 days, he had a serious ankle sprain. In week 2, he had a complete A/C shoulder separation (“operated on the next day at the UCLA Medical Center — I have a huge scar zig-zagging down my left shoulder to prove it, this is before arthroscopic; the surgeon actually used a knife on me and cut me! Ouch!”)

The Bruins went on to win the Rose Bowl (when the Rose Bowl was the grandaddy of all bowl games before the BCS was born) that year beating Michigan (“I believe Michigan and not Michigan State” says Poppers) 14-12; Gary Beban won the Heisman; Mel Farr Sr. went to the Detroit Lions and won NFL Rookie of the Year; end Dick Witcher signed with the San Francisco 49ers; and Poppers football career was quickly over after 2 weeks of being a walk-on.

“I wound up being a wounded Bruin — the football door had quickly closed, fortunately, the academic door opened,” Poppers says.

Poppers’ article on the Tiger Woods/Fuzzy Zoeller controversy won the Golf Writers Association of America Honorable Mention Award, he was the only regional writer out of a total of over 400 total writers considered that won a GWAA award that year.

Poppers lives in California, has two grown children, one grandchild and one more on the way. His interests include all sports, reading, learning, writing, Philosophy, Psychology, current events, plants, animals, and optimism for the future wellbeing of man and womankind.

Poppers has recently finished his first full-length non-fiction book titled (working title): BOBBY WINKLES: From the Cotton Fields to the Major Leagues / Perspectives on Baseball and Life. Included in the book are exclusive interviews of Tony LaRussa, Nolan Ryan, Joe Torre, Jim Leyland, Reggie Jackson, Rick Monday, David Dombrowski, Roland Hemond, Sal Bando, Jerry Reinsdorf, Mike Gallagher, Al Michaels and a host of others.

“It’s a story of an amazing life that has never been told in its entirety,” says author Poppers. “This is the first book ever written about Bobby Winkles. The New York Yankees offered Bobby a signing bonus and contract to play baseball and the 18-year-old Winkles was broken hearted when his father emphatically said, “No, you’re not signing with the Yankees. You’re going to college.”

Winkles went on to be a star athlete in baseball and basketball at Illinois Wesleyan graduating with a degree in Philosophy. He signed with the Chicago White Sox and played minor league baseball for 7 years.

While playing minor league baseball, the love story between he and wife-to-be Ellie unfolds and continues to this day in its 60th year; he gets drafted into the Army; and he (and Ellie) earns his master’s degree from University of Colorado.

Winkles subsequently is hired to be the Arizona State University baseball coach; he’s loved by his players that include Reggie Jackson, Rick Monday and Sal Bando; his teams win three national championships with five years; he becomes a legendary coach “sharing the same qualities that Coach John Wooden had,” says one of the most respected sports announcers of all-time, Al Michaels.

Winkles accepts an offer from the California Angels to be their coach; he quickly becomes the Angels manager; moves on to the Oakland A’s as coach and eventually manager for eccentric A’s owner Charlie Finley; is hired by the White Sox, mentoring the the third winningest manager in history— Tony LaRussa; moves on to be the Montreal Expos coach; and finally retires after a 40-year career in professional baseball.

Bobby confronts Six Detours in his life; two that are horribly tragic. For five of the six Detours, his wife Ellie is by his side.

“This is a life worth reading,” says author Poppers. “It definitely was a life worth writing about. I hope all of you find the book entertaining, meaningful, humorous and inspiring.”

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