Adam Scott: New Challenges for the Consummate Professional

Global locales of great splendor that are deep in family ties (Australia’s Gold Coast) and owed to travel convenience (Crans-sur-Sierre in the Swiss Alps) have afforded Adam Scott the chance to live where he can protect what is at the heart of his persona.

Reserved, but hardly shy, and a deep thinker who doesn’t act impulsively, the 43-year-old Aussie cherishes privacy for himself and his family (wife Maria, daughter Bo Vera, sons Byron and Bjorn). It is still a sidelight that ignites a smile that in this “Look at Me” world, Scott has a Twitter account with a remarkable data line—just over 6k followers, and he follows zero.

No social media obsession with this gentle soul.

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Adam Scott of Australia speaks at a press conference during the previews of the 2022 Australian PGA Championship at the Royal Queensland Golf Club on November 22, 2022 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

So, yes, Australia’s Gold Coast and the Swiss Alps—areas where casual comfort is a way of life—offer Scott perfect points to unwind from travel and tournament golf. Yet against that backdrop there is intrigue—Scott, at the threshold of what will be his 25th year in professional golf, has another vantage point. He has said yes to a seat on the PGA Tour Policy Board.

Seems to rub against his nature, no? Scott concedes it does, but we are in extraordinary times in the elite pro golf world, “and if I can help move (the PGA Tour) into the future,” then Scott is all in.

Come Jan. 1, 2024, he will join Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, and Peter Malnati as Player Directors. (Ed Herlihy is Chairman of the Policy Board, and the other independent directors are Jimmy Dunne, Mark Flaherty, Joe Gorder, and Mary Meeker.)

There was a time Scott fell in line with many of the game’s best players. “Honestly, I never wanted to (be on the boards),” says Scott. “Most of the time players felt the tour was going to do what it wanted anyway. I think players got frustrated. The (boards) seemed to be discussion groups, not decision groups.”

Scott is too dignified to stir up the past, but he doesn’t have to. There’s a fertile field of examples where players felt their voices weren’t being heard, the ill-conceived wraparound schedule (may it rest in peace) being a prime example.

The tipping point arrived June 6 of 2023 when Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that he had secretly met with Yasir Al-Rumayyan—head of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund—to pave a pathway for peace with LIV Golf. The PGA Tour’s most high-profile players were angry and insisted they would never be kept in the dark again.

“It threw everyone for a loop,” says Scott, who was Chairman of the Player Advisory Council in 2023.

Moving on to the Policy Board at a time when the voices of elite players are going to carry more weight than ever before, Scott senses a positive atmosphere.

“I guess I would consider myself a voice of reason. Clearly, I’ve seen a few things (in my career) and I feel like I can be useful from a competition standpoint as we (try to figure out) what the tour should look like.”

Even as all this swirls around him—Zoom sessions; another meeting between Monahan and Al-Rumayyan; the upstart TGL and the tour’s courtship with possible American billionaire investors—Scott is the consummate professional he has been since 2000.

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Adam Scott (right) laughs with caddie Steve Williams on the 2nd green during the second round of the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Focused on the final few seasons of his brilliant career, Scott laughed when reminded that 2023 brought the 20th anniversary of his first win on the PGA Tour.

“When you’re 20 or 23, you can’t imagine 20 years of golf in the future. It’s hard to process that,” says Scott. “But, you know, I love it and I’m really happy to be out here.”

If the earth is on its axis these days, Scott is likely at the beach with his family, spending time on the surfboard where bogeys, missed cuts, LIV Golf, and tournament pressure are never invited.

“Always,” Scott once told an Aussie golf writer, “I come out of the water refreshed, energized, and at peace.”

Ah, a beautiful thought on the eve of the 2024 season, because at a time when the PGA Tour needs to showcase its best, to have a rejuvenated Adam Scott would be massive because the Aussie has always carried himself with impeccable grace.

“I still have things I want to achieve,” says Scott, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour. (We’re counting the 2005 stop at Riviera, by the way; forget that hogwash of 36 holes being unofficial, the winner’s check means he won.) The highlight, of course, is the 2013 Masters, but in all there have been more than 30 world-wide victories in eight countries, and he reached World No. 1 in 2014.

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(L-R) Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott of the International Team react after winning their match 3&2 against Cameron Young and Collin Morikawa of the United States Team during Saturday morning foursomes on day three of the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Country Club (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Pointing to a recent stretch—T-4 at the Australian Open; 6th at the Australian PGA; T-5 in Bermuda—Scott offers optimism from Down Under. “Across a long career there are waves, and I really think I’m on the cusp of a good wave.”

Don’t be shocked if that good wave included boardroom assistance, too. Scott appreciates that he has a chance to cement his legacy with a business acumen that is widely respected.

“Putting Tiger on the board was a great move. The tour is stronger with him involved. There’s been reports of a certain narrative, with (vocal players trying to take over) but I can tell you that’s totally unfair. I can’t imagine a group of players so together.”

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