Q&A with this month’s #PlattProfile, Brady Burgfechtel.
Burgfechtel speaks about his long-term goal to become a commercial pilot.
(This interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 20.
Q: What school are you currently attending?
A: I am currently at Auburn University down in Alabama.
Q: When do you graduate?
A: I graduate in the winter of 2025.
Q: What is your major?
A: My major is professional flight.
Q: How did you decide on that major?
A: My love for adventure and being outdoors I would say. There have been moments when I realized I didn’t want to sit behind a computer and be a financial planner like I originally wanted to.
Q: Do you participate in activities in school? Clubs?
A: Yes, I do Project Uplift, we actually had a parade that we were part of the other day. Project Uplift is basically where you mentor kids who are underserved in society here in Lee County. These kids can range from I think five to twelve years old. It’s more for kids in a single-family, low-income home. It is putting another male mentor in the children’s lives. My mentee is named Mason, he’s great, he’s 12 years old. I also do Obap which is the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. I am the Treasurer of that organization.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: Golfing, hiking, flying, and community service for sure I’d say.
Q: What golf club do you caddie for?
A: Trenton Country Club in New Jersey.
Q: How long have you been caddying?
A: I’ll be going into my 7th year.
Q: How did you start caddying?
A: My sister was a caddie at Trenton Country Club before I started and when I was transitioning the summer between 8th and 9th grade she got me out on the course and I shadowed her as a caddie. Eventually, I just started doing my own rounds. And I have always had a love for the sport of golf.
Q: What is your favorite thing about caddying?
A: My favorite thing about caddying is how different of a job it is. I mean you’re constantly outside, you’re not inside wrapping burritos or stocking shelves. It’s a different type of service than waiting because waiting you don’t have a personal connection with the customer. In caddying you have conversations, you create connections and it can just lead to many different opportunities.
Q: How did you hear about J. Wood Platt?
A: I heard about J. Wood Platt from my sister and my sister was a scholar part of the Trust and I decided to apply as well.
Q: What are your long-term goals? Think 5 to 10 years
A: My long-term goal is to eventually be a commercial pilot flying for one of the major airlines. It’s a long process to get there, but it’s worth it.
Q: What is something that happened to you while caddying that you will never forget?
A: When I first started caddying going into 9th grade, I shadowed my sister to learn. When she was on the green on hole 13, I was racking a trap, and when I left the trap…I ate it. Everyone, including my sister, was laughing at me. But the laughing was very understandable.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self as a caddie or a new caddie just starting?
A: One piece of advice I would give a new caddie would be to be yourself. Yes, you are providing a service and you need to make sure you do a good job, but when having conversations with the members you don’t have to be serious. Be professional, but not serious. They’re golfers…they like to laugh and have a good time.
Q: How has J. Wood Platt changed your life?
A: J. Wood Platt has not only helped me financially through college, but it has helped me professionally as well. I go to school in Alabama and when someone sees my J. Wood Platt shirt, they ask me if I am a caddie and we start conversing. That conversation leads to a connection that I can reach out to with any questions I have about the industry I want to go in. J. Wood Platt is bettering the lives of caddies by just being a part of the organization.
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.