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Caddie Spotlight: Garrett Schleeper

By April 12, 2023April 17th, 2023No Comments

Excerpt from the Spring 2023 issue of the GAP Magazine

By John T. Iswalt


Ireland, given its rich history of religion and academia, is nicknamed “The Land of Saints and Scholars.” 

While saint is a title that Garrett Schleeper might have to wait for, scholar is one that he has earned by receiving the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship.

The Cedarbrook Country Club caddie is academically a junior at Chestnut Hill College, but he is spending his spring semester studying abroad at the University College of Cork in Cork, Ireland. Eager to enter the workforce, Schleeper has made it his mission to graduate college in three years. 

“I’m taking about six classes at a time with winter and summer classes,” Schleeper, 20, of Ambler, Pa., said. “I figured I would take a little break and kind of enjoy college a little bit, so I decided to come out here.”

It wasn’t just the stunning views and prestigious education that drew Schleeper to Ireland. The chance to possibly caddie while studying overseas appealed, too. Lindsay Myers, the Trust’s Director of Scholar and Alumni Engagement, facilitated the opportunity.

“I’m actually in touch with Old Head Golf [Links] with a huge help from Lindsay, who put me in touch with somebody over at [Philadelphia] Cricket Club,” Schleeper said. 

Myers connected Schleeper with Jim Smith, Jr. Philadelphia Cricket Club’s PGA Director of Golf.

“Lindsay called me and asked if I could help connect Garrett with the folks at Old Head,” Smith said. “The people at J. Wood Platt are awesome and I trust their judgment immensely. While I didn’t know Garrett when the request came, I knew if he had their endorsement he deserved mine.”

Since 2008, Philadelphia Cricket Club has had a reciprocal program with Old Head Golf Links. 

“I tell the [Scholars that the Trust] can’t help you if we don’t get to know you,” Myers said. “We have so many resources in the GAP network and in the Platt network that we could help with almost anything.”  

Ireland’s strict employment laws and Schleeper’s student visa limitations, have delayed his Irish looping. He is working with Old Head’s management to overcome those hurdles. While waiting for the caddie opportunity to materialize, he focuses on his studies. 

Schleeper has extensive caddying experience. At 12 years old, an ambitious Schleeper began looking for more lucrative employment near his home after working as an altar server. His search led him to Cedarbrook, where he spoke with Caddiemaster Albert DeColli about the possibility of looping. DeColli invited Schleeper to return that afternoon for some training. 

“I knew nothing about golf,” Schleeper said. “[Albert] telling me to come back that afternoon started off a six-week training course. I was there every single [day] learning about it. To see where I am now is pretty funny.”

“When he first came to me, he had no experience,” DeColli, 39, of Philadelphia, Pa. said. “He was eager to learn. He wanted to better himself, and I saw that.” 

Those same lessons, such as interacting with members, caring for the course and providing an enjoyable golfing experience, are still with Schleeper almost a decade later. Since 2022, he has taught Cedarbrook’s caddie class in the summer to help those aspiring caddies learn the trade.

“That’s been really cool,” Schleeper said. “I didn’t think I would be a good teacher, and I have kind of proven myself wrong.”

From 2020-22, Schleeper held the title of Assistant Caddiemaster.

During his time at Cedarbrook, Schleeper decided on majoring in business administration and management.   

“Learning how to talk to people I look up to and how to really gain as much as I can from what they’re telling me has been absolutely life changing,” Schleeper said. “In a sense that I don’t know where I would be without these guys really helping me through. It’s been absolutely influential.”

The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship is another way Schleeper has invested in his future.

In 2020, fellow Cedarbrook caddie Edward Wiernicki was named Francis C. Poore Caddie of the Year. Both Wiernicki’s award and DeColli’s encouragement jump started Schleeper’s pursuit of the scholarship.

“[Cedarbrook] had a caddie win Caddie of the Year and that really kind of set my sights on where I wanted to reach after high school,” Schleeper said. “A big goal of mine was to get the scholarship, and [Albert] helped me with that tremendously. He put me in contact with the right people and really helped me through the process.”

“I [brought the scholarship] up to Garrett and another caddie at the club,” DeColli said. “One thing that I told Garrett is that he has a chance to make an impact and this is a great start. He is a great young gentleman who is willing to go above and beyond. I don’t know if that’s something you can teach; he is a natural born go-getter.”

Schleeper has elevated his Platt Scholarship involvement by joining the Trust’s Planning Committee. He offers event planning insights from his perspective as a past and current event attendee.

The Trust has become a strong part of Schleeper’s identity. Finding fraternity with the other scholars while attending events and networking with the program’s alumni have been most valuable to him. 

“This has been the greatest thing I’ve ever joined in my life,” Schleeper said. “To put a group of [people] like this together and have it readily available is too valuable to put a number on. You can’t find that in a lot of places.”

Schleeper’s scholarship success is an example of the hard work he has put in as a caddie. To share this accomplishment with his parents, Allen and Lauren, is another source of pride for him.

“I think the scholarship was kind of a good way to bring that back home and show them what I had been working on aside from just bringing home some cash. They saw that I was really working toward a bigger goal,” Garrett said.

Schleeper is looking forward to getting back to Cedarbrook to caddie once he returns home in May. 

All things considered, maybe he’s not as far from that saint title as we thought.


Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 288 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust

The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust was created in 1958 and is the charitable arm of GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia). The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust’s mission is to financially aid and empower qualified caddies and those working in golf operations in the pursuit of higher education. Along with aiding caddies financially, J. Wood Platt’s EMPOWER program strengthens scholarship investment dollars by providing caddies with exceptional benefits and leadership training through access to the wide network of J. Wood Platt donors and alumni. To date, more than 3,700 young men and women have received $25 million in aid from the Trust.