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- Giving his Time for the Game is What He Does!
By Contributing Writer, Sean Melia 

David_Fox_-_3x2_-Volunteer_of_the_Year

Golfers in the Miami Valley have probably had David Fox as part of their golfing life in one way or another. The MVGA named David Fox the 2021 Volunteer of the Year for his extensive work in numerous aspects of the game of golf. He’s a course rater, spotter, scorekeeper, cart driver, and First Tee instructor. 

He’s the Swiss Army Knife of volunteers.

Within the golf community, volunteers make the wheels of the machine turn smoothly. Fox’s work over the last decade has impacted generations of golfers. He’s helped at events, driving guests around the golf course so they can watch a family member try to qualify for the U.S. Open at Springfield CC. Pay attention because he might espouse some valuable knowledge. 

“I told one woman to make sure her son doesn’t eat a turkey sandwich after the first 18 holes of his qualifier, it’ll make him groggy, just like after Thanksgiving dinner,” he said with a chuckle. 

That’s a volunteer going above and beyond.

Fox has also helped players look for golf balls as a spotter at countless events and played the role of scorekeeper in others. Most recently, Fox spent time spotting and scorekeeping in the high school regional playoffs across all divisions. This gives him an opportunity to reconnect with some of his First Tee students from previous summers. 

“They say, ‘Coach Fox, what are you doing out here?’ It’s nice to see them competing and catch up with them,” Fox said.

The work and training that Fox has done with the First Tee over the last decade earned him the title “Recognized Coach” the highest teaching position in the nationwide organization. 

“I want to make them conscientious golfers, but I want them to be great people, too,” he said. 

The First Tee isn’t just built for young golfers; Fox does his work with high schoolers. During the summer months, Fox is instructing students four days a week for six hours a day. He also spends time traveling to other locations to help train new instructors, go over lesson plans, and watch their lesson. Fox uses this time to learn some new tricks of his own. 

“I used to take games from The Big Break (on The Golf Channel). Now, I also like watching other lessons because I can bring some of that I’ve learned back to my students.”

Fox is a passionate golfer himself, even though he admits he started the game late. As a 35-year-old he decided to finally ask his father and grandfather, both avid golfers, to teach him how to play. Now he’s trying to figure out a creative way to carry is clubs in his new 3-wheeled spider motorcycle.

He loved golf immediately, and he takes the game seriously. He mentioned a quote that he remembers from years ago from Arnold Palmer.

“Arnie said, ‘You can be a golfer or just someone that plays golf.”

In his decade of volunteering, Fox has made it his mission to turn his pupils into golfers -  stewards of the game who carry the nine values of First Tee - honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment - beyond the fairways and greens and into their homes and communities. 

If you’re ever out at an event, keep your eyes peeled for David Fox. It seems like the 2021 Volunteer of the Year is everywhere, willing to help in any way he can to further a game he met late in life and loves to this day. 

Sean Melia is a staff writer and podcaster for AmateurGolf.com. He played competitively in college and still tries his hand at competing every now and then, but he is usually snapping pictures of interesting holes he's playing instead of worrying too much about his score. He is currently on a quest to play all 350 golf courses in his home state of Massachusetts and chronicling it on Instagram BayState_Golf and his website.  
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