Great Scott: At 90, Rifle’s Duane Scott a fixture at Rifle Creek Golf Course

Jon Mitchell
Citizen Telegram Sports Editor
Jon Mitchell / Citizen Telegram
Jon Mitchell |

Duane Scott isn’t the kind of golfer who thinks he’s seen it all and knows it all. Just ask the people he’s surrounded by at Rifle Creek Golf Course.

“He’s still truly an athlete, and he’s still very coachable,” Kyle Daniell, the head pro at Rifle Creek, said of the 90-year-old Scott. “He took a lesson from me not long ago and latched onto the tips I gave him. Even at his age, he’s still trying to get better.”

Scott has lived in the Rifle area since 1939, when his father, Arthur, bought a ranch near Divide Creek. So he’s had some time to get better. He’s played at the course since it opened in 1960, and he watched the course grow from its initial three holes to a championship, 18-hole course.

And even though he’s played some stellar rounds of golf over the past 54 years, he’s not about to brag about them.

“I’m just a hacker,” Scott said with a wry smile.

Scott, who was born in Arizona on July 7, 1923, is a 1941 Rifle High School graduate. He married his high school sweetheart, Annie Keller, a year later at 19, and the two remained together until she passed away in 2001.

Scott still makes time to play at least two to three rounds of golf per week, and his family has come with him on many occasions. He loves the par-4 seventh hole, laments the par-5 second hole, and can remember clearly how much golf experience he had before Rifle Creek was built.

“I’d never played a round of golf in my life,” he said, laughing.

When Richard Phelps designed the course and had it built in 1960, the elder Scott, Arthur, bought one of the initial shares in the course for $100. The next year, when shares were up for sale again, Duane got on board and bought a share for $150. It started with just three holes, and one more hole was built each year until Rifle Creek became a nine-hole course. The back nine of the course was added in the 1980s.

Scott has been playing at the course ever since, and oftentimes has come out with his daughter, Terry, or sons, Duane Jr. and Clark. Daniell said he’s seen Scott out on the course with his grandchildren. He’ll come out on his own every once in a while, and more than hold his own on the course.

“A week before his 90th birthday, Duane came out and shot a 45 on the front nine,” Daniell said. “That’s incredible to think that he played bogey golf at this point. At age 90, he was on his way to shooting his age.”

Scott doesn’t plan on slowing down, either.

“As long as I’m able, I’ll keep playing,” he said.

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