Over four decades, Howell has been one of Calhoun County’s best amateur golfers. He began his competitive golf career at Anniston High School where he was a four-time letterman before graduating in 1973. At the University of Alabama, he earned three letters as a member of the Crimson Tide golf team.
Beginning in 1975, Howell was club champion 13 times at the Anniston Country Club, his home course. He won the Calhoun County championship at Anniston Municipal Golf Course three times in three different decades – 1979, 1985 and 1998. He was also the Anniston Country Club Invitational champion on three occasions between 1983 and 1995.
Howell was tournament champion at the Indian Oaks Country Club’s Miller Golf Classic Invitational four times. He won the Cane Creek Golf Club Invitational three years. He was runner-up in the Calhoun County Senior Championship in 2013 and 2015.
Howell won the club championship at Shoal Creek Golf Club in 1983. That same year, he was the medalist in the Alabama State Amateur at Pine Tree Country Club. In 1986, he won the Gadsden Country Club Invitational. Howell was individual champion in the 1987 Heart of Dixie Invitational at Saugahatchee Country Club.
Nationally, Howell has played in the United States Golf Association’s U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Amateur. He qualified for the 1986 U.S. Amateur at Vestavia Country Club and Pine Tree Country Club then played in the event at Shoal Creek and the Country Club of Birmingham. Twenty-five years later, in 2011, Howell won the U.S. Senior Amateur qualifier at Turtle Point Country Club then played in the national U.S. Senior Amateur at Kinlock Golf Club in Richmond, Virginia.
In 1987, Howell played in the British Amateur at Preswick Golf Course in Scotland.
Howell has been a director of the Alabama Golf Association since 1980. He served as chairman of the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce committee that worked to bring the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail to Calhoun County with its course at Silver Lakes.