Q&A with this month’s #PlattProfile, Jack LaRosa
LaRosa speaks about his experiences while caddying and his advice to new caddies.
(This interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
Q: How old are you?
A: I am 22.
Q: What school are you currently attending?
A: I attend West Chester University.
Q: When do you graduate?
A: I graduate this December.
Q: What is your major?
A: I am majoring in accounting and finance.
Q: How did you decide on that major?
A: Throughout high school I was always interested in the finance field. Originally, I wanted to major in finance but I ended up switching to accounting. I’ve always been interested in the business field. I added finance as a major sophomore year.
Q: Do you participate in activities at school?
A: Yes! So, the past four years I played golf for West Chester. I am also involved in the accounting society, beta alpha psi, it is an accounting and finance club where they host meetings with accounting firms.
Q: What golf club do you caddie for?
A: I caddy at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale and also, this past year when I was living up at West Chester, I caddied at Applebrook Golf Club. My main course is Torresdale, I caddy there throughout the summer.
Q: How long have you been caddying?
A: I think this is my sixth season. I started caddying after my junior year of high school.
Q: How did you start caddying?
A: I was on the golf team at Holy Ghost Prep, my high school. I think my junior year is when the Union League bought the country club. When they did, they approached our golf team and told us they wanted to start a caddy program. They asked if any of my teammates were interested and I was interested. I didn’t have a job at the time, I was doing lawn care work with my brother, and my mom told me to try it out and I loved it ever since.
Q: What is your favorite thing about caddying?
A: I think meeting new people pretty much every day. There’re times where you caddy for the same people that you are used to but I just really enjoy meeting new people, connecting with new people, and building new relationships. I like advising people on what club to hit, which way the wind is going, I love it.
Q: How did you hear about J. Wood Platt?
A: During my senior year of high school my aunt Susan mentioned the program to me.
Q: What are your long-term goals? Think 5 to 10 years
A: After graduation this December, I plan on studying for and passing the CPA exam. Next fall I will be starting full-time at Ernst & Young. Down the road, I intend to go back to school to obtain my master’s degree. My long-term goal is to take all my financial knowledge I will acquire to become a CFO of a company.
Q: What is something that happened to you while caddying that you will never forget?
A: Last fall I was caddying at Applebrook and lucky for me I got to say hi to Gary Player who was playing the course that day. I thought it was really cool, but I have to say the highlight of my caddying career was special because it involved family. My aunt, Susan McGrath, a member at the Union League GC at Torresdale asked if I would caddy for her in the Ladies Club Championship in 2019 & 2020. Not only was it a fun time as she enjoys the competition and really discusses the course with me, but she won both years.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self as a caddie or a new caddie just starting?
A: If I was to offer advice on caddying, I would say study the course best you can, always be on time, know when to offer advice, be ready for anything, and be respectful and appreciative. There isn’t a greater job than being able to be on a golf course, getting exercise, fresh air, golf tips, and above all receive valuable advice from highly successful people.
Q: How has J. Wood Platt changed your life?
A: J. Wood Platt provided me the opportunity to better afford a college education at West Chester University. In a time when college students are racking up major debt, I have been fortunate to be able to start out on a good foundation without having incurred much in loans. I feel J. Wood Platt has allowed me to start my career and life without a financial burden. For the Platt’s generosity I intend to contribute back to the Trust when I am established.
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.