After earning numerous accolades and awards aplenty for his skill as a player over the past four decades, Scott Masingill says it’s time to just enjoy the game he loves to play.
“I’m not competing at any level anymore,” explains the 64-year old Payette, Idaho native. “I’m playing golf with my dad, Cliff, and my friends as much as I can.”
Masingill came to this decision after just missing qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open in 2015. So nowadays he plays most of his golf on his home course, Scotch Pines Golf Course in Payette, where he also serves as president of the course’s board of directors.
“He and his father are mainstays around here,” says Scotch Pines staffer John Davis. “Whenever he’s in town he’s playing here. He’s just a great guy.”
After a long and successful amateur career which included numerous Idaho State Amateur titles in both medal and match play formats and earning All-American honors while at Oregon State, Masingill turned pro in 2001. He successfully completed Q-School in 2005, earning his card to play on the Champions Tour, then took a leave of absence from his job at Prime, Inc., one of the country’s largest trucking firms, a company he still works for. Scott competed full time on the Champions Tour in 2006, earning in excess of $100,000.
“You can’t believe how good these guys are,” he said of the experience. “A lot of the guys such as Vijay Singh and Davis Love III are still competitive on the regular tour. I think the average person just doesn’t understand the high level of play that exists even among the seniors. I enjoyed it while I was doing it, but now all the travel doesn’t appeal to me.”
Masingill was inducted into the PNGA’s Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 2003, and wants to continue promoting the game as an amateur again. “I’ve applied to regain my amateur status,” he said, “but it takes awhile to go through the process.”
Three years ago, Masingill was elected to sit on the PNGA Board of Directors, and last year was elevated to the PNGA Executive Committee as a vice president.
He talked about the appeal of the game he loves to play.
“I started playing with my dad when I was nine,” Masingill recalled. “He and a bunch of guys built Scotch Pines when I was 11. When they did that I really got into it. I think he wanted me to play baseball because he was a big baseball fan (after all, Payette was the hometown of major league slugger Harmon Killebrew). But I liked golf. I couldn’t hit a fastball, but I could hit a ball off the tee a long ways. I think I was good from the start. With golf you’re more in charge of the situation, and I like that.”
Scott and his cousin Brad Masingill, who would go on to play college golf at Weber State, often played on the newly built Scotch Pines course. Scott won his first junior championship at 16.
Given his success and long career it was only logical to ask Scott for some advice for us amateur golfers, and he was happy to share his thoughts on the subject. “Practice your chipping and putting,” he replied. “But you also have to be patient and kind to yourself. Don’t get too down on yourself.”
He also echoed the Play It Forward movement when he advised, “Find a set of tees that makes you comfortable. My dad is 89, and he plays from the silver tees at Scotch Pines while I play from the blues, but after we hit our drives we’re about the same distance for us to get on in regulation.”
Masingill also believes in walking while playing for as long as you are able. “I do not like to ride in a cart. I try to walk as much as I can. Scotch Pines is hilly, but it is also very walkable. People need to try and stay fit.”
Finally, he urges all golfers regardless of their skill level to “enjoy the fact that golf’s a frustrating game.” He would also probably say it’s a lot better than trying to hit a fastball.
– Rob Lundgren