Fox keeps pace with young gun golfers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Steve Fox and Father Time are starting to run in similar circles.

The 59-year-old golfer from Huntington knows he can’t keep pace with the young guns, but he manages to put his name in contention when it boils down to some of the top-tier events in the state.

Fox will be one of 120 golfers in the field for the 80th West Virginia Open scheduled for June 17-21 at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna.

“Unfortunately, age catches up with you and I’ve learned it’s almost impossible to compete against golfers who are 30 to 40 years younger than you,” said Fox, who will be competing in his 45th West Virginia State Amateur later this summer. “I don’t set lofty goals, but I’ll play to the best of my ability.”

With the support of his parents (David and Charlotte), Fox started playing golf at the age of 10 and played competitively through high school. He eventually walked on to the men’s golf team at Marshall University, but did not see much action with the Thundering Herd.

Fox remained in the Huntington area after college. He and his wife, Cathy, raised three daughters (Charlotte, Julie and Stephanie). None of the girls latched onto the game of golf. Rather, they were tennis players.

“I tried to get them involved with golf, but for some reason they liked tennis better,” said Fox, who became a grandfather for the first time last December.

Golf was always a constant for Fox. In fact, he will be participating in his 45th West Virginia State Amateur this summer. He has two titles to his credit – in 1988 and again in 1994.

Last year, he was named the West Virginia Golf Association’s Senior Player of the Year for the seventh time.

“I won a state mid-am when I was 53, so that is another highlight,” Fox said. “Plus, I’ve played in four U.S. Amateur events and three U.S. Mid-Ams.”

His success on the links has taken Fox across the country and even overseas into Wales for the 1988 British Am.

“That was a great thrill,” Fox said.

Now that he is retired from Oil and Gas Well Supply, Fox remains active with golf in the state of West Virginia. After serving nearly a dozen years on the WVGA’s executive committee, Fox is now in his first year as its president.

“I tell everybody I have the best staff of any association in the country,” Fox said. “They are seven of the hardest working and dedicated individuals on staff. My platform is to stay out of the way and not mess things up.

“I’ve played the game for 45 years and love the game of golf, so it is an honor to be the president of the association and to be able to give back to the game.”

As for this year’s West Virginia Open, Fox is anxious to compete on a course he enjoys playing.

“You have to drive it straight at Parkersburg Country Club, and that’s a strength of mine,” Fox said. “With the younger golfers hitting it 50 to 60 yards farther, you try to compete as best as you can and see how well you match up.

“If I can finish in the top 20 or even the top 10, that would be very satisfying.”