Florida is always a popular vacation spot no matter the time of year. But Scott Holden, a former Lipscomb golfer, is heading north to New Jersey to work for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy until September to avoid the heat and humidity of south Florida. Holden played professionally and teaches the game through his own golf instruction program. He also works with various groups on a freelance basis. He was on the road, stopping in his home state of Pennsylvania on the way to New Jersey, but he was able to spend some time with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play golf at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I came to Lipscomb January 1 of 1980. I graduated August 25, 1982. I played three seasons. Dr. Ralph Samples was my coach."
Dawson Armstrong made history for Lipscomb when he qualified for the NCAA Regional this year. Talk about your influence on him and his brothers
“Dale (their father) and I go way back to 1982. He was coming to Lipscomb when I was leaving. We played the mini tours together in the late ‘80s. Then we stayed in touch.
"He married Vivian, started a family, and when the boys (Dowling, Dawson and Davis) and their daughter (Maryalice) were younger he brought them to me for lessons in Naples, Florida. I would stop and work with them on their swings when I passed through Valdosta and Nashville when they were young golfers.
"They are talented golfers. But Dawson blossomed first. I stay in touch with them regularly and help when I can. The kids are wonderful. It is a great family.”
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"I transferred in from the University of Pittsburgh. I was from Bradford, Pennsylvania. My uncle, Harold Walters, lived in Nashville.
"I was a pretty hotshot junior golfer in western Pennsylvania. But I kept getting snowed out of my golf matches in Pennsylvania. It was a complete fluke. Uncle Harold was talking to my Mom. I walked into the house after having a match snowed out. I was completely frustrated.
"He asked me if wanted to come to Lipscomb. I didn't know what Lipscomb was. But he put me in touch with Dr. Samples. Ralph gave me a call and we chatted and he kind of recruited me. I was a walk-on in 1980 and made the team. I worked my way up to the higher positions on the team (captain) and had a nice little career there.
"I couldn't believe how nice the people were at Lipscomb when I went there. The University of Pittsburgh had been a different school.
"I think it was the consistency of the school that impressed me. I was very impressed with all of the professors. The thing I liked the most was they were successful, but yet they were Christians. They were great examples.
"It was a nice, clean campus. The kids dressed well. They were nice. It was a good, crisp, clean environment. "It was totally different from the University of Pittsburgh. Lipscomb changed my life for sure."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"It would have to be the comradery of the team for sure - all the trips and the friendships we developed. We had Denis Duncan, David Tudor, Greg Wilder and Bogey Brewer, Will's brother. Niel Olsen and Gary Maxwell were also some of the players on the team."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"I would have to say David Tudor. David was a very competitive guy and he still is. I enjoyed being around him.
"He taught me, by his example, how to be a good competitor and a gentleman at the same time."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Dr. Axel Swang had a softball competition between the business administration department and another department.
"It was a lot of fun. We had it at the park across the street from his house. I had a great time. I got to meet a lot of people.
"I sat right behind Sandy Ware, who later married Kenny Perry. It was in one of my first classes, a history class. She saw my Lipscomb golf shirt. She introduced herself. She was as nice and sweet as she could be.
"She set me up with a game against Kenny in 1980 when he was playing for Western Kentucky. He would visit her on the weekends. She set up the game. We played 18 holes. As a golfer I have gotten a lot of mileage out of that story.
"In the mini tours we played together several times. I saw him down in Naples, Florida not long ago."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"I would have to say it changed my life religiously. I was raised in the Church of Christ. My Mom and Dad did a fabulous job of raising my brothers and me in the church.
"But being at Lipscomb helped me focus even more on Christianity. I had not been baptized before I went there. I was baptized in 1987.
"The Bible classes changed my life as well as chapel. We were required to go to chapel and at first I didn't like it, but I learned to love it. In that time in my life I really needed badly what Lipscomb was. I needed a concentrated, serious environment.
"I wasn't a bad person at all. But for me I needed a little bit more of a concentrated, sustained type of environment that Lipscomb provided. There were good, solid kids there. It was a perfect time for me."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Axel Swang. He was quite an instrumental figure in my tenure at Lipscomb. He was an enormous influence on me.
"I majored in both accounting and economics.
"Dr. Swang was tough, but he was fair. At that time in my life I really needed that. He was an excellent teacher. He would push you as hard as he needed to. It is always a tough combination as a leader to be tough on your students but be fair at the same time. He struck a great balance.
"There were a lot of favorites. Joe Gray was one of my Bible teachers. He was fantastic. Charles Frasier and Farrell Gean were great and helped me out a lot in accounting."
Where do you live now?
"I live in Bonita Springs, Florida. I have been in the area since 1995."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I operate Scott Holden Golf.
"I played professionally from 1982 through 1991. I quit playing mini-tours in February of 1991 and got back in the golf business. I was going to sit for the CPA exam, but some of my professional accounting friends talked me out of it. They told me to stay in golf.
"I worked for a couple of country clubs in the Orlando area. I was hired by the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in 1993. I taught for them for 20 years.
"I decided to go out on my own after 20 years. The Leadbetter Academy hires me as an independent contractor in the non-winter season in Florida. I teach on my own and if a group or organization wants to hire me I will do that. I will be in New Jersey until the middle of September working for the Leadbetter Academy."
Tell us about your family.
"I am single."
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.