Keith Decker has 27 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.