About Keith Decker
Keith Decker has 28 VSGA tournament victories to his credit, a record that is unlikely to fall anytime soon, mostly because he keeps adding to it. His title in the VSGA Senior Amateur Championship at The Homestead’s Cascades Course in August 2016 was the most recent addition. He’s won titles as a regular and as a senior, in four-ball stroke play and in four-ball match play. The professional life never held allure for Decker, a lifelong amateur like another member of the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame, Vinny Giles.
Not surprisingly, those two men top the VSGA’s list for career tournament titles.
Decker is also the only player in the United States to have played in all 12 editions of the USGA Men’s State Team Championship. Decker spent time growing up in North Carolina before moving to Virginia. And strangely enough, the person who helped Decker get his start in golf is also the one he struggles to play in front of.
“Before I got my first junior set of clubs, she made me my first club, a club with a wooden shaft,” Decker said of his mother, Paulina Joyce, in a recent interview with Virginia Golfer magazine. “And I still have it.”
Little fazes Decker on the golf course. But to this day, he struggles to play well when Joyce is in attendance.
“For some reason, I can’t have my mother out there watching me,” he said. “If she’s out there, I get nervous. Same with my wife. I want to do good for them, maybe too much.”
Unquestionably, Decker has done plenty of good for golf in Virginia, which made his inclusion in the 2017 class of the Virginia Golf Hall of Fame a no-brainer.
Decker, a member at Chatmoss CC in Martinsville, won back-to-back State Open of Virginia championships in 2001 and 2002, the only amateur to accomplish the feat in the era of combined State Opens (1985–present). Decker won another State Open of Virginia in 1996 and has been the low amateur at the event two other times.
VSGA Men’s Golfer of the Year awards
VSGA Senior Golfer of the Year awards
Times representing Virginia at the USGA State Team Championship
Achievements & Media
Special thanks to the USGA, VSGA, and inductee family members for contributing photos to this project.
DOB: April 7, 1960
College: Elon College 1979-1983; Two-time NAIA All-American (1982-83)
Amateur achievements: Member of all 12 VSGA teams at the USGA State Team Championship, including the winning Virginia team in 1995; Six-time qualifier for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, reaching match play three times; Seven time VSGA Men’s Golfer of the Year; Two-time VSGA Senior Golfer of the Year.
Year turning pro: N/A
1988 VSGA Amateur
1990 VSGA Mid-Amateur
1991 VSGA Amateur; VSGA Mid-Amateur
1995 VSGA Mid-Amateur
1996 State Open of Virginia
1999 VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2000 VSGA Mid-Amateur
2001 State Open of Virginia; VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2002 State Open of Virginia; VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2003 VSGA Mid-Amateur
2004 VSGA Mid-Amateur
2005 VSGA Mid-Amateur
2006 VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2007 VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2010 Senior Open of Virginia
2012 VSGA Four-Ball Stroke Play
2013 VSGA Senior Amateur; VSGA Senior Stroke Play
2014 VSGA Senior Amateur; VSGA Senior Stroke Play; VSGA Senior Four-Ball
2015 VSGA Four-Ball Match Play; VSGA Senior Four-Ball
2016 VSGA Senior Amateur
2017 VSGA Senior Four-Ball