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Draper Journal

Charger golf team starts season with new coach

Aug 28, 2018 03:30PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Senior co-captain Mitch Anderson is back to help lead Corner Canyon’s golf team this season. (Photo courtesy Mitch Anderson)

By Catherine Garrett | [email protected]

With the head coaching position open for the Corner Canyon High boys golf team, some parents encouraged their players’ private instructor to bring his background for the sport to the Chargers program. So, over the summer, the CCHS athletic department reached out to Derek Fox, owner of Impact Golf in Draper, and he has taken over the team that placed sixth at the 5A state tournament a year ago.

“Coach Fox will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” CCHS Athletic Director Kenneth Smikahl said. “He brings experience of getting players ready for competitive golf tournaments. He has great practice plans that will help the players improve in all areas of the game. He has a lengthy golf instruction background and will really be able to help players shave off a few of those critical strokes from their scores. A few strokes better from each player and our team can compete for a state championship.” 

“I’ve done a lot of private lessons, but this is my first time coaching a team,” Fox said. “I’m excited to help them build camaraderie.”

“Derek Fox is the best person to head our program,” senior Mitch Anderson said. “He understands where our heads are at on the course and helps us tremendously. The administration at Corner Canyon did a fantastic job with the hire and I’m sad I won’t be around to see what he can do with the program in a couple years, but I’m excited I at least get one year with him.” 

Fox uses technology within his golf business and hopes to emphasize the mental aspect of the game to help take the talent he already has in the program and help the players minimize mistakes. “There’s not really enough time within the high school season to make major swing changes,” he said. “I’m just hoping to help the boys be better golfers and become stronger mentally to handle tournament play.” 

The 38-year-old father of three from Bluffdale has been golfing most of his life. But, as a freshman at North Summit High School, there was no golf program. So, his friend decided to create one and coach. Fox competed as an individual at his first two high school state championships and won medalist honors his freshman and sophomore seasons. He then helped his team to top finishes at state the next two years — while finishing among the top five individually. 

“I know what it’s like to win state, but I’ve never won one as a team,” Fox said. 

Fox continued to play golf during his four years at Weber State University and it was there that he created a business plan to incorporate golf into his professional life. He tried to play on the mini-tours and the Professional Golfers Association tour and, while his highest grossing year was $50,000, it was also the same year that his oldest daughter was born. 

“I kind of always knew as a kid that I would do golf as I got older, but I knew then that I had to stop chasing the dream of playing,” he said. 

So Fox dusted off the business plan and he and his dad opened up Impact Golf — a high-end custom club fitting facility — in Draper, which has been going strong for four years. 

With this “new fun adventure” with the Corner Canyon golf team — in which he’s brought along his assistant Jordan Bloxham for the ride – Fox said he has been pleasantly surprised at the amount of talent he inherited. “We have 13 kids with a handicap under 10, including four freshman,” he said. 

Team captains Parker Holmes and Anderson are expected to lead the team on and off the course this season. 

“I’m super excited about the season ahead of us,” Anderson said. “There has been a lot of anticipation over the last few years and this past summer us as players knew how deep our team would be with some great juniors and seniors and a couple of really good freshman to help us out. There are a couple of really other good teams out there, but I think that we are all confident that if we play at the level we know we can play at, then our team can definitely take state.” 

So far this season, Corner Canyon won its first tournament at East Bay Aug. 10 by 21 strokes, shooting 8-under as a team. At River Oaks Aug. 13, the Chargers shot 5-over to take first place by 20 shots. On Aug. 20, Corner Canyon place first at Old Mill, winning by eight strokes. Anderson tied for medalist honors with a round of 69.  

The Chargers are also scheduled to compete at Glen Eagle Aug. 27, Murray Parkway Sept. 5, Mountain Dell Sept. 10 and Hobble Creek Sept. 17 before the Region 7 championship in American Fork Sept. 24. The 5A state tournament will be Oct. 3 and 4 at Glen Eagle. 

Also on the 2018 squad are seniors Carter Boyle, Tanner Liljenquist, Jake Woolston; juniors Jackson Bench, Ty Felts, Josh Kener, Gabe Schino and Tate Simpson; sophomores Tanner Boyle and Jake Branca; and freshmen Coda Anderson, Jantzen Anderson, Harrison Dana, Zach Felts, Jackson Maus and Maddox Vincent. 

“It should be a fun group,” Fox said.          

Volunteer coach Brian Reuckert will assist Fox and Bloxham on the coaching staff.