Q&A with this month’s #PlattProfile, Frank Yocum.
Yocum talks about what it is like living in the Platt Evans house at Penn State University and his encounter with the President of the United States.
(This interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 19.
Q: What school are you currently attending?
A: Penn State University.
Q: When do you graduate?
A: Spring of 2025.
Q: What is your major?
Q: How did you decide on that major?
A: My dad is a CPA so I heard about it from him. And then through caddying and talking to people and different members I caddied for, everyone seemed to lead me towards the path of accounting.
Q: Do you participate in activities in school? Clubs?
A: So, I am in a THON committee, a business fraternity and I am in the accounting society.
Q: What THON committee are you in?
A: Dancer Relations.
Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I like to play sports, baseball, basketball, golf. I like to play and watch. And I like to listen to music.
Q: What golf club do you caddie for?
A: Wilmington Country club.
Q: How long have you been caddying?
A: This will be my sixth year this summer.
Q: How did you start caddying?
A: A member at Wilmington Country Club is a friend of my dad’s. He said if your son is looking for a job, I think caddying is something you should look into. He got me into Wilmington to be a caddie and he recommended both the Platt and Evans scholarship since I am a Platt Evans scholar. He really recommended caddying so I did it.
Q: Since you’re a Platt Evans, what is it like living in the house?
A: It’s awesome, the community is great. To go into college with a group of people that all have the same interest and all have a lot of similarities is great. It is very easy to fit into this community. I think it is just a great experience, especially for freshmen, coming in to meet a lot of good people and people that are similar to you.
Q: What is your favorite thing about caddying?
A: I think just being able to create relationships with people. I think when you’re caddying it feels like you and the player are a team and I think that being able to form these relationships is beneficial to me both in a personal way and a professional way. I’ve met some really exceptional people.
Q: How did you hear about J. Wood Platt?
A: I applied for both the Platt and the Evans scholarship, but members at my club, told me about it when I was a freshman. I was looking into it throughout high school. Also, countless members in different GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia) matches that I would caddy for, would let me know that JWP scholarship is something I should apply for.
Q: What are your long-term goals? Think 5 to 10 years
A: My long-term goal is to be working at a Big 4 Accounting Firm. I would like to make my way up and eventually be a Managing Partner at some point in my future. As for 5-10 years from now, I would like to move my way up in the firm and maybe be a senior associate or a manager within the firm.
Q: What is something that happened to you while caddying that you will never forget?
A: Something that I will never forget that happened to me while caddying was seeing President Biden playing golf. I was caddying in the group right in front of the President so it was very cool to see the President hit some shots and is something I will always remember. I never thought I would be so close to the President.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self as a caddie or a new caddie just starting?
A: Advice I would give to my younger self as a caddie or a new caddie would be to take advantage of the relationships and connections you form from caddying. Throughout my time caddying I have formed relationships that go well beyond the golf course and I have learned how to interact with professionals. I also have formed connections with lots of exceptional professionals that have my best interest in mind and are looking to help guide my future-forward. I would advise any new caddie to form these relationships and network as much as possible because you never know when you can use someone’s guidance.
Q: How has J. Wood Platt changed your life?
A: J. Wood Platt has allowed me to pursue a world-class degree at Penn State without having to worry about the financial burden of college tuition. As I am a Quadruplet, sending four kids to college at the same time can be very difficult for a family and the J. Wood Platt and Evans Scholarship helped greatly relieve this financial burden. Without the J. Wood Platt and Evans Scholarship, I do not know where I would be today.
J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust
The Trust’s mission, which has remained constant since its inception in 1958, is to financially aid deserving caddies in their pursuit of higher education. The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust was created by GAP through the efforts of then President Walter A. Schmidt; Leo Fraser, President of the local section of Professional Golfers Association of America; and Albert Keeping, Golf Professional at Gulph Mills Golf Club. It was named in honor of Philadelphia’s premier golfer of the era, J. Wood Platt. Not only was Mr. Platt an accomplished player, but he was also the Trust’s co-founder and first contributor.