Chat with Grant Fox

ryan fox
Grant (L) & Ryan Fox, pictured on the Swilcan Bridge, 18th Fairway of the Old Course at St Andrews.

Grant Fox is father of New Zealand’s current #1 golfer Ryan Fox – and he is also a past All Black. 

How old were you when you started playing golf?

Growing up on a farm, I was about 9 or 10 when I began hitting a 7-iron off the back lawn into a paddock.  I first started playing golf properly when I was at secondary school, aged 14 or 15.

Where did you start playing golf?

The Auckland Golf Club was the first club I joined as a member.   

What is the lowest handicap you have ever played off?

The lowest I have played off is my current handicap of 2.6.

My lowest round was?    

I scored 70, 2 under par at Waihi Golf Club.

How many holes-in-one have you had?      

None, I have only been really close on one occasion!

How far do you hit your 7-iron?

Usually I manage 140 to 150m depending on the conditions.

What is your biggest fear on the golf course?    

That’s easy.  It’s the “out of bounds” down the right side of a fairway.  I tense up a little more than I should on the old Royal Auckland 11th and 18th holes! 

What is biggest frustration (pet peeve) when playing golf?

Slow play frustrates the hell out of me, but I also hate bad shots, especially if I hit the ball fat or thin! 

What do you most love about playing golf?

I love the handicap system.  Where else can you get a group of mates together with different levels of ability and enjoy the walk around the course having a competitive game. 

What is your most memorable moment in golf?

Attending the 2015 British Open.  It was Ryan’s first major 2015 and being at St Andrew’s for it was simply brilliant!   My wife and I loved the whole week and for Ryan to make the cut was awesome. 

What is your favourite golf course?

Wairakei in New Zealand is one of my favourites and St Andrews in Scotland, simply for the history and ambience, as it is the home of golf!

Who is the most famous person or best golfer you have played with?

Sir Ian Botham.  Just a great guy to tee it up with.

What is the most memorable time/experience you have had on the golf course? 

In July, I was fortunate to play in a tournament in the UK called “Icons of Rugby” (Southern Hemisphere v Northern Hemisphere), where twelve ex-All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks took on twelve ex-Rugby players from the UK.  All 24 of us had played international rugby and it was simply a week of great fun, on and off the course!

If you could pick any three people, alive or dead, to play in a four-ball with, who would they be? Any particular reason for your choices?

Ryan, because I love playing with him. Tiger, for the experience of playing with him and talking to him, and Roger Federer, as I like my tennis and am a huge “Fed” fan.

Who would you get the most satisfaction out of beating on the golf course?  And why?       

Zinzan Brooke, who is his the most competitive person I have ever met.

My favourite golf destination is?

It would be great to go play the golf courses on the Monterey Peninsula, especially Pebble Beach.  

My favourite golf movie is?

The legend of Bagger Vance.

What is your favourite thing to do away from the golf course?

Going to our family beach house at Waihi Beach.  I don’t get away to it often enough and I love being there more than playing golf!

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