JWP Caddie Spotlight
To Gabe and Mickey Fairorth, caddying isn’t just a job. It`s a passion rooted in their family for more than a decade.
Sean, 31, the oldest of five brothers, was the first to start caddying at Waynesborough Country Club before he entered high school in 2005. Ian, 26, and Matt, 24, followed him shortly after they reached high school. Today, Gabe, 22, and Mickey, 19, alongside Sean and Ian, represent the Fairorth family in Waynesborough`s caddie yard.
Aside from their passion for golf and caddying, all five Fairorth brothers have something else in common: the distinction of Caddie Scholar. Gabe and Mickey will admit that familiarity with the program was comforting throughout the application process. But don’t think they were just handed a free pass.
Instead, it was hard work, dedication and respectfulness that stood out and made the Berwyn, Pa. residents Caddie Scholar candidates.
“I was very excited for Gabe and Mickey to start looping because I knew that caddying would help them to grow as people,” Sean said. “Having caddied myself for many years, I knew that the job would positively impact my brothers and would motivate them both personally and financially.”
“I was the fifth member of my family to go through the application process,” Mickey said. “I guess I got so caught up in the motion of doing this process that I didn’t even realize the application submission date that year was changed to earlier than usual and I didn’t get my application in on time.”
To resolve the late submission, Mickey reached out to Brad Kane, the Trust`s director. After all, the Fairorths seem to value good faith and the promise of a positive result.
Gabe and Mickey are both students at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., where they are pursuing careers as priests. The brothers credit the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust for their attendance.
“It’s been such a huge help financially getting through college,” Gabe said. “It reduced our debt and helped us avoid taking out more loans, and having to work while taking classes, which would have been very stressful and difficult.”
The Fairorths` education and obligations as caddies never intertwine; They study in the fall, winter, and spring and work in the summer. However, both see a similarity between golf and religion.
“In order to be a priest, you have to be prepared to be a public figure, work with humans, and have good interpersonal skills,” Gabe said. “I developed so many of the skills at the golf course by talking to the members and golfers.”
“A priest is very much like a servant. Although it’s a paid job, caddying is also very service-based and we`re always trying to fulfill a person’s needs as much as we can,” Mickey added.
It isn’t surprising that Gabe and Mickey are adept conversationalists. When they became caddies in their respective freshmen years of high school, Gabe (Conestoga High School) and Mickey (The Haverford School) were often shy and nervous around members and coworkers. As time went on, they both became more experienced, and they started to notice that their communication skills were rapidly improving.
Gabe and Mickey quickly learned how to engage with adults maturely and professionally. Because of their jobs, they were learning valuable skills that most of their classmates never got a chance to experience.
People around Gabe and Mickey were also starting to notice just how good of communicators they were.
“Caddying is a job that teaches you a lot of social skills, and I think Gabe and Mickey were able to take advantage of what they have learned and been able to incorporate those skills into their every-day life,” Ryan Plower, Waynesborough`s Caddiemaster, said. “I enjoy each opportunity I get to speak with them, and I know our members feel the same way.”
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Gabe and Mickey are uncertain of how many loops will be available this summer at Waynesborough. Their faith in walking the fairways, however, never wavers.
“Gabe and Mickey live lives of constant learning. They enjoy challenging themselves through hard work, and they excel at forming relationships with those they meet,” Sean said. “Their time spent in the seminary has also made them great listeners, which is a crucial skill all good caddies must possess. Working at Waynesborough has provided my brothers with countless opportunities to interact with different types of people, which has helped them in becoming better caddies.”
“Their positive energy both on and off of the golf course is contagious,” Plower added. “The Fairorth brothers are perfect examples of what the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust is all about, and Waynesborough Country Club is so happy to work with them.”
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 by the Golf Association of Philadelphia 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. To date, more than 3,800 young men and women have received $23 million in aid from the Trust.