Born: May 8, 1961
So, when is Dan Boever – who doubles as a longtime long drive competitor and a golf entertainer – going to get a real job?
“I joke about the fact that, between baseball and golf, I have been paid to hit a ball with a stick for 33 years since college,” Boever said. “Good thing because my grades were horrible.”
With an ability to smash golf balls more than 300 yards and also entertain folks, he has become one of golf’s best ambassadors for 25 years. And it’s why the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame proudly inducted Boever with the Class of 2021.
Overall, he has entertained at more than 1,800 exhibitions worldwide — his first was in 1997 at the State Farm/Red Cross Disaster Tournament in Branson – and has competed in 18 consecutive RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships.
It’s been a full-time gig since 2000. Boever has entertained troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq and at the “hallowed ground” of Pebble Beach. He has called the Springfield area home since 1992.
“My favorite part of golf entertainment has to be the incredible diversity of people I get to be with,” said Boever, who has knocked ‘em dead both at a hedge fund billionaire meeting at Deepdale Country Club on Long Island, New York and a farmers gathering at a 9-hole course in Waldron, Arkansas.
On the Feherty’s Troops First Foundation’s goodwill trip in 2009, he hit from the back patio of Saddam Hussein’s palace.
One year, Boever convinced a Nebraska radio DJ to broadcast from a commercial dumpster while Boever hit balls from 100 yards away. Little did the DJ know that Boever’s brother, stationed out of sight, would run over and hit the dumpster with a hammer.
“I tend to look at situations from a comedic standpoint vs instructional,” Boever said. “All my favorite comedians take mundane situations and spin them to make them funny. Heck, Jim Gaffigan can get lots of great laughs talking about Hot Pockets for 20 minutes!”
Before golf, the Iowa native was an NCAA Division I Baseball All-American and All-Big 8 Conference selection at Nebraska. He later played seven seasons in the Cincinnati Reds farm, becoming a Double-A All-Star.
It wasn’t until his 30s when he took up golf seriously, and Boever soon entered RE/MAX events.
That first year, he won an Omaha event to qualify for a Minneapolis regional, where he hit in tennis shoes and had only one competition driver in his bag. He finished 47th out of 48 finalists at the World Finals. Three months later, he won a large event that included eight world long drive champions.
In 2000, despite a career in dairy chemical sales, Boever hit the entertainment circuit – on the advice of his wife, Kelly. Their children, Jessica and Justus, were 8 and 6, respectively.
“One day Kelly walked into the kitchen and said, ‘You just need to quit your job,” Boever said. “To say I was surprised at her comment would be an understatement.”
On advice from renowned long drive guru Art Sellinger, Boever became a sensation.
He also continued with RE/MAX, ultimately winning a long drive title in the 45-and-older division, in his 12th year. His longest career drive was 473 yards in Denver. He used a putter for a 336-yard bomb.
Boever recorded eight national TV commercials and hosted a half-hour special on the Golf Channel. Charities also were a priority. At a fundraiser with Boever emceeing, a travel package stalled at $16,000. So, he asked if both would buy it for $20,000.
“The first guy said, ‘Heck I will do it,’” Boever said. “So I turned to the second man, and he asked, ‘He did it for $20,000?!’ I said, ‘Yep and I know you kinda wanna do it, too. The room will go crazy, come on dude.’ He said yes!”
At another time, Boever had Seinfeld actor John O’Hurley sign a $6 balloon and sold it for $4,000.
He thanks many for his career, including George Sine with Titleist, Mike Reagan with RE/MAX and of course Art Sellinger.
Kelly deserves all the credit.
“When you decide to quit a good-paying, very secure job to pursue an unknown, basically commission-based career with two children while being on the road 150 to 200 days a year, you need the right kind of spouse /partner/friend/prayer warrior/cheerleader,” Boever said. “I have always had that in Kelly. I never look at this career as ‘me.’ I have always looked at it as ‘us.’”