If I tell you that Kevin Scott spent the first months of his life in a crib with a bag of golf clubs at his side, don’t believe me.
It didn’t happen.
His parents, Kathy and Dave, have continually denied my claim. Even as Kevin nears his 42nd birthday this summer, the whole family still maintains there were no golf clubs in his infancy. Nonetheless, there may have been a miniature hockey stick, a basketball, a baseball or a soccer ball close by. Those were sports Kevin gravitated towards during his early childhood.
When I interviewed him for another newspaper some 20 years ago, he admitted he gave most available activities a try. He also confessed that he loved them all.
There was never any pressure at home to become a multi-sport athlete. His dad, who can claim a brief baseball career as a southpaw pitcher and later coached school basketball, simply introduced his first born to various sports and let him decide what he wanted to play.
Like most kids in this country, Kevin played a lot of hockey while growing up. He was on minor hockey teams with Jon Sim and Colin White, both of whom went on to NHL careers and became Stanley Cup champions.
Kevin was impressed, like most Pictonians, that Sim and White did so well. He put it this way: “For such a small town, to have two guys winning the Stanley Cup is pretty impressive. Pictou County has always been a pretty good hockey community. Now I think that will keep going for years to come.”
Despite all the sports adventures he tried, golf clubs did come into his life very early. He was swinging at those tiny white balls by the time he was four or five. At least that’s how the true story goes.
His dad didn’t have to buy him balls; he routinely walked around the fairways at Abercrombie collecting ones that golfers had lost. Well, he’s come a long way, and done a lot, since those summers in the early 1980s, when he says he truly “got hooked” on golf.
Now, as the Abercrombie Country Club approaches its centennial celebrations, Kevin Scott’s name is quite prominent in its history.
He was on the provincial team at the age of 18 and played in the national junior championship in Saint John. He was on the Nova Scotia team again the following year and, if not for strict age limits, he would easily have been to the national event for a third time. But he was too old that summer — by one day!
Early on, there were dreams, even serious thoughts, about making a career in the game. He felt being a club professional would be wonderful. One year he served as assistant under club pro Terry White. Two other summers he spent at Eagles Chance Golf Centre, and a following year he worked in the pro shop as an associate pro. He also spent a couple years in a professional program that could have led to being a full-fledged pro.
He once explained to me: “Playing golf for a living sounds pretty nice.”
Abercrombie seems to have always turned out some very fine golfers. But, I must confess, I’ve had a personal reason for following Kevin’s development almost from his first swings.
His dad and I have been close friends for just about 60 years. Initially, when he was pitching, I kidded him — even in print — that he once walked 13 batters in a single game. It was a bit of an exaggeration, one that got expanded each year. A half dozen walks in one inning was probably closer to the truth. In the mid-1960s, he was with the Stellarton Keiths senior club when I was the team’s president.
Dave and I had something else in common — more important than baseball. On a November evening in 1966, he and I double-dated two roommates who were student nurses at the Aberdeen Hospital. A year to the day later, Jane Gladwin became my wife. Meantime, it took Dave eight years to make Kathy Harris his bride. He was never in a hurry making decisions.
Kevin, though, never delayed matters. He always received good advice and encouragement from his parents and, when he reached a fork in the road, he quickly changed his life’s direction. Pro golf lost him.
In 2000, he obtained a business degree from St. Francis Xavier University. After his final stint at the golf club, he joined Sobeys in their head office in Stellarton 15 years ago. He is now the firm’s manager of financial systems.
Since turning away from his professional golf dream, he has continued adding to his impressive list of achievements on the home course. He first won the club championship in 1997 as a 20-year-old. During the following years when he held professional positions at the club, he couldn’t qualify for the honours. Once that barrier was gone, however, he’s been doing just fine, winning additional championships in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2018.
At this year’s event, he will be a two-time defending champion while attempting to capture his seventh title.
Pretty good, eh?
He loves the game as much as ever, but these days it’s not the only sports commitment in his life.
Two daughters, eight-year-old Evelyn and six-year-old Georgia are playing minor hockey – and, of course, they’re getting the same great support from home that he always received.
Not to be forgotten, his wife’s name is Jennifer. His sister — his only sibling — is also a Jennifer.
How do Dave and Kathy refer to the two Jennifers? Easy, Dave tells me. There’s “Kevin’s Jennifer” and there’s “our Jennifer.”
You can be sure, when the club championship is held at Abercrombie, they’ll all be out supporting Kevin’s attempt to add another victory to his portfolio.
It’s the Scott way.