ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Asked Thursday afternoon who was the longest player on this week’s Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, Ireland’s Alex Maguire didn’t hesitate.
“The guy sitting over there,” Maguire said, pointing to seats down to his right, where Scotland’s Calum Scott quietly sat behind another mic.
Scott, a rising junior at Texas Tech, is unassuming, baby-faced and lanky, but boy, can he move the golf ball. In fact, Scott’s hard, piercing ball flight isn’t a bad counter to American bomber Gordon Sargent, who has wowed even the likes of Rory McIlroy on major stages this year.
“I think I've got very long arms,” Scott explained. “I'm tall. I'm lanky. I wouldn't say it's muscle or anything. I've played a lot of sports growing up, and I played tennis, squash. I know how to move things fast.”
How fast? Scott cruises around 123 mph clubhead speed and lower 180s ballspeed; not quite Sargent numbers, but Scott has a little more in the tank.
“I haven't really tried to go full, full out,” he added. “But yeah, I wouldn't say 200, but 190 something, yeah.”
With the Old Course at St. Andrews expected to be accompanied by relatively benign conditions this weekend for the 49th Walker Cup, Scott, Sargent and the rest of these young mashers will not be shy about sending driver early and often. Scott, in particular, knows this iconic links well, having tied for third at the St. Andrews Links Trophy back in June before going on to make match play at both the British Amateur (Round of 64) and U.S. Amateur (Round of 32), finishes that show he’s rediscovered the form he had last fall when he notched three top-10s for the Red Raiders and at one point was ranked top 5 in Golfstat along with teammate Ludvig Aberg.
Scott attended the 2019 Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, where his older brother, Sandy, made his debut and starred in GB&I defeat, earning 2.5 of a possible four points. That week Calum was given a Walker Cup logoed towel by his brother, and he soon hung it up in his room, where it still is displayed.
Now, it's Calum's turn to showcase his game on the world stage.
“I played British Am with him for the first time a few weeks ago, and he was hitting 5-irons as far as I was hitting my 2-irons,” said Alex Maguire, Scott’s Walker Cup teammate and winner of the St. Andrews Links Trophy this summer. “I couldn't believe it, I thought he was hitting 3-irons. Then I look over in his bag and you'd see the 3 and the 4 and the 6, and he's hitting 5-irons. Yeah, Calum can get it out there pretty, pretty far.”
Which begs the question: Would Scott relish a matchup with the world No. 1 Sargent this weekend?
“I've played with Gordon a couple times in college, so obviously I know how long he is,” Scott said. “I think everyone in the college scene in America knows how long he is. Look, he's a great player. He's No. 1 in the world, so it would be great to play him in singles. I would love that match. I'd love any match, but it would be cool to play him at the Home of Golf.
“But yeah, I think we'll see. It'll be good.”