Dennis began playing and loving the game of golf at the early age of three. He had his first hole-in-one at Santa Fe Hills Country Club at age eight.
He graduated in 1964 from Center High School, where he lettered in golf for the Center High team and won the conference medalist honors two years. At age 17 he was the runner-up in the Kansas City Golf Association’s Junior Championship Tournament. In that same year, he qualified to represent Kansas and Missouri in the U.S.G.A. National Junior Golf Tournament that was held in Florence, S.C. In 1967, Dennis tied for Missouri Amateur Medalist at Blue Hills Country Club.
He enrolled at Baker in the fall of 1964 and played four years on the golf team for Coach Karl Spear. In 1967, he had the University’s first hole-in-one during a competitive round against Park College and Ottawa University. Baker won that tournament and he was a medalist. He lettered and represented Baker at the NAIA National Golf Tournament all four years. During his senior year he was the Kansas Conference and NAIA District Champion. He also assisted Coach Spear in teaching golf which was offered as a class to fulfill the University’s physical education requirement.
On campus Dennis was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served as president his junior year. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology in 1968.
Following graduation he has devoted his career to golf and currently serves as President/CEO of Smiley’s Golf Complex in Lenexa, Kansas. Additionally he has developed an international reputation for golf course and entertainment complex design. Through his career, he played with some of the most widely recognized names in amateur and professional golf, including Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino, Dave Barr, Patty Berg, Mike Reid, Bob Tway, Calvin Peete and Gary Halberg. To this day he continues to play golf and competitive tennis.
He is active in his local church and has served as a volunteer leader there for several years.
He is married to Judy and has three children, Jeannine, Julie and Jeff, from a previous marriage.