Sports

The king of Gold Mountain

Scott Alexander, general manager of Gold Mountain Golf Course, sits on the back deck of Tucker’s, the restaurant named after his 5-year-old daughter that overlooks the 18th green of the acclaimed Olympic Course. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Scott Alexander, general manager of Gold Mountain Golf Course, sits on the back deck of Tucker’s, the restaurant named after his 5-year-old daughter that overlooks the 18th green of the acclaimed Olympic Course.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Scott Alexander is right at home behind the wheel of the obnoxiously green golf cart he’s comandeered for an impromptu tour of the City of Bremerton-owned Gold Mountain Golf Complex, located on West Belfair Valley Road. Alexander, the general manager of the complex, zooms to and from scenic spots with a purpose: he knows exactly which holes are the best and where the most beautiful views are.

He should. The golf complex is his baby. And, like all good love stories, the story of a man and his golf complex includes its share of twists and turns.

The story began immediately after Alexander graduated from high school in Gresham, Ore. Rather than follow the family tradition and attend Oregon State, Alexander had to blaze his own trail and go to the University of Oregon.

Although he only spent one year at UO, where he “had way too much fun,” the university, the university colors and the university mascot, the Duck, left a lasting impression.

Alexander eventually ended up at Seattle University, where he earned a degree in community service. But in his heart, he still was, and is, a Duck.

“He loves college athletics,” said his wife, Ivaly. “He’s an obnoxious Duck. He’s the king of obnoxious Ducks.”

Her proof of that statement, she said, lies no further than the golf complex’s carts. The carts just happen to be Oregon school’s colors.

“He just bought 60 new carts — green with yellow curtains. He loves to show people those things,” she said with a hint of disgust in her voice.

She, it should be noted, is a Washington Husky.

Alexander explains away the golf cart ordering incident.

“One of the main colors for golf carts is green,” Alexander said, trying to explain the coincidence. And the rain curtain? That, he said, was a specialty item. He called it a “perk” and quickly changed the subject.

After his college graduation, Alexander thought he was going into the insurance industry. After earning the proper certifications, he spent one day in the insurance business before realizing it was not what he wanted.

“I figured out really fast that wasn’t what I was going to be happy doing,” Alexander said.

A friend of his had been trying to urge him into the golf business for years.

His good friend had been after Alexander for a while, trying to convince him he belonged in the golf business. Alexander, a life-time golfer, had played for both colleges he attended.

With his insurance career securely behind him, Alexander took the leap and turned his love of golf into a full-time gig. He came to Gold Mountain Golf Complex in 1984.

It was in 1987 that the golf course was uprooted as the No. 1 love of Alexander’s life — it was then he met his wife, Ivaly.

They met while both were volunteering for the Bremerton Parks and Recreation bond levy. Both attribute their relationship to long-time Bremerton resident Sturdy Sturdivant, who they say tried his hand at playing Cupid for them.

“Sturdi Sturdivant made sure we were the only two volunteers under the age of 80 volunteering together,” she said.

“We were just friends for a long time. We played tennis together, we took weekend trips together. That lasted for about six months.”

The relationship started out as a friendship and progressed. While there was no lightening bolt moment at which the two realized they were right for each other, there was a defining moment at which the relationship changed.

“We just spent so much time doing things we enjoyed together, one day we just kind of looked each other in the eye, and it said, you know, this works,” she said. “All the right things clicked for all the right reasons.

The Alexanders have a 5-year-old daughter, Tucker, for whom the restaurant at the Gold Mountain Golf Complex is named.

Ivaly does the payroll for the golf business, which peaks at 93 employees in the summer.

Whenever she tells anyone what her husband does for a living, there is an automatic misconception, she said: contrary to popular belief, working at a golf complex is still working, Ivaly said.

“They think that all he does is get to play golf. Everyone here knows that’s not true,” she said. “We do enjoy recreational golf a lot, but we don’t get the chance to play much in the summer.”

Scott and Ivaly have been married for 13 years.

“He’s extremely outgoing,” she said. “He doesn’t say ‘no,’ too much, and he’s just really visionary about golf in this area. He’s hard core committed to making Kitsap County a quality golf area and a fixed place on the map.”

She also said being manager of the golf course is Alexander’s ideal job.

“He loves golf, he loves promoting it and he loves to see kids playing golf,” she said. “He doesn’t think it should be exclusive to people who have a lot of money.”

Daryl Matheny, Alexander’s business partner for the last six years, said Alexander is one quirky individual.

“He’s a real jerk,” Matheny said, then laughed like a hyena. “He likes to joke around. We have a lot of fun kidding each other about everything.”

One constant joke between the two involves a little foam ball in the golf’s pro shop, which they are constantly hurling at one another. Another thing they always throw at each other is insults, especially during the college football season.

Matheny is a Husky fan and that doesn’t jive well with Alexander’s Duck obsession.

“I’m a Husky fan and he jokes with me about the state of the football program, so we banter back and forth.”

Matheny said Alexander’s Duck frenzy needs to be dealt with.

“It’s to the point where if he sees a stranger on the street who’s wearing a University of Oregon hat, he’s their best friend, but if he sees an Oregon State hat, he’s all over them,” Matheny said.

Being a friend of Alexander’s requires patience, Matheny said.

“He likes to push the envelope on a lot of issues. We try to play golf every now and then, and if you tend to hit a bad shot, he’ll needle you. He’s kind of an antagonizer. He’s got to do that because he certainly doesn’t dress very well and he’s a huge snorer and he does tend to slobber while he sleeps,” said Matheny, who has been forced to share a hotel room with Alexander on more than one occasion. “I usually end up on the couch, so it’s a bad deal.”

All kidding aside, Matheny said he can sum up Alexander’s personality very easily.

“He loves to joke around. He’s just a fun-loving guy who’s fun to be around,” Matheny said.

Jim Spencer, the director of Bremerton Parks and Recreation, is perhaps the only man alive who has something serious to say about Alexander.

“He’s pretty darn good at his job, I’ll tell you that,” Spencer said. “The city contracts with him to run the Gold Mountain Golf Complex and he’s very thorough and customer-oriented. He and Daryl (Matheny) have done a great job at running the business end of the complex. It’s a great partnership.”

As the complex’s general manager, Alexander must juggle a number of responsibilities and is able to do so very well.

“Scott’s just a committed guy. He’s always shooting for excellence and he puts his heart and soul into his work. He’s been a real impact player.”

When it comes to business, Alexander knows when to play it serious.

“He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy. He’s just a good, solid businessman,” Spencer said.

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