After Kyler Scott graduated from Culver Military Academy (Ind.) in 2008, he attended Indiana University and played football for the Hoosiers during the 2008-09 season. That’s when he decided he needed a change of scenery and wanted to follow the passion that led him to Webster University. That passion is golf.
As a kicker in high school, Scott set the single-season and career field goal marks at Culver. He was a first team all-state selection as a junior and senior. He was also selected to the South Bend Tribune Dream Team in 2006 and played in the Indiana North/South All-Star game in 2008. He was a three-year letter winner in football and baseball, and for one year in basketball and golf.
Scott liked the idea of going to a smaller school in another city, and Webster gave him the opportunity to follow his passion. Scott, a senior, said Webster golf coach Andrew Belsky showed confidence in him after seeing him play only one time.
“The way he (Belsky) spoke to me the couple of times we met before I told him I was going to come here (to Webster) definitely helped,” Scott said. “It showed he had confidence in me because he wanted me to be there, and I wanted to be in a place where I was wanted. And so by him putting off that vibe, it really helped me make it easier to say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to come here and play.’”
Belsky first saw Scott at the 2008 Under Armour College Golf Combines in Indiana and sent him an email letting him know he was interested.
“I think the first thing that intrigued me was his age and the transferring and everything else,” Belsky said. “But sometimes there’s a way you watch a player carry themselves, (and) you can tell that he was all business. I was definitely looking for a player like that while I was working on rebuilding the team.”
When Scott arrived at Webster, he had no formal golf training. Belsky worked with Scott on his mental approach to golf and course management. He knew he was a great athlete and competitor, but he needed to learn how to play golf.
“I played in high school for fun for one season so I wouldn’t get hurt in baseball before I went to Indiana (for football),” Scott said. “(Belsky) showed me how to be patient on the golf course — how you can’t win a tournament on the first hole, but you can lose it on the first hole. Strategy is the biggest thing I’ve learned from him — strategy and patience on the golf course and how to handle that, and how to not play it safe but keep playing to win.”
With his transfer, Scott brought a physical approach to Webster golf that was rooted in his football days.
“I think by coming in and by working out from football, the whole mentality changed,” Scott said. “Let’s get physical with it. Let’s work out in the offseason, let’s work out while we’re in season, let’s stay in shape and be in better shape than the rest of the teams in our conference.
“I think that’s helped play a role in why we have dominated the teams in our conference over the last two-and-a-half years.”
In 2010, Scott finished fifth individually in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s golf championship. In his sophomore season, the Gorlok’s won the 2011 SLIAC men’s golf championship and had four of the top 10 individual performances. Webster’s Kaleb Kessler and Steven Kinsman finished No.1 and 2 on the individual leader board. Dan Klipsch tied for eighth, and Scott finished 10th overall.
Last year, the Gorlok’s defeated Spalding University (Ky.) by 35 strokes and repeated as SLIAC men’s golf champions. Webster set a conference record for the lowest three-round team total of 874 (290, 293 and 291). Scott finished first overall and was named SLIAC Player of the Year after shooting a SLIAC-record three-round total of 212 (68, 73, and 71). His first round score of 68 was the lowest first round total in conference history and only the second round in the 60s in conference history.
Belsky was also was honored last year with the SLIAC Coach of the Year award, and the Gorlok’s finished with four golfers in the tournament’s top six individually, including Kinsman, who finished fourth.
Belsky regards Scott as the face of the program and said Scott does it the right way.
“He’s been huge for us,” Belsky said. “He shows the guys how you’re supposed to do it. He does it the right way by working hard and being committed to it all the time himself, and that is something all the guys can learn from.”
Scott said his mental toughness makes him who he is.
“I’ve had to deal with adversity my whole life,” Scott said.
“If the game is on the line or the tournament is on the line, I’ve always had the mentality that I would rather take the last shot, I would rather hit the last putt, I would rather kick it — just because I don’t want to put my fate into somebody else’s hands. That’s who I am.
“I want to be the hero or the goat. I don’t want to hope somebody else does it. I want to do it.”
Scott said the decision to transfer to Webster was one of the better decisions he’s made in his life, and it wasn’t difficult to choose.
“I want to be the hero or the goat. I don’t want to hope somebody else does it. I want to do it.” — Kyler Scott, senior Webster golfer
“The people that I’ve met and the opportunities I’ve gained — not just in golf but in life — by coming here has been astronomical, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Scott said.
Belsky said he is looking forward to what Scott accomplishes during the rest of his senior season.
“He can only add onto the career he’s already made, and he’s already proven to be the best player that’s ever gone through Webster and through the conference,” Belsky said.