Did you know caddying can open up all kinds of opportunities for youth? Caddying can provide young people with a safe and enjoyable working environment. Youth develop good work habits, improve their communication skills and confidence.
Caddying also opens to door for junior golfers to meet influential people and network all while enjoying the great outdoors. Youth caddies can even earn scholarship money through organizations like the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Mylon Patton, a 17-year-old participant at The First Tee of Greater Charlotte, initially started caddying to earn money. Soon, he discovered caddying had much more to offer.
Why did you become interested in caddying?
I initially thought that caddying would be a great way to earn money while doing something that I really love: golf. I also wanted to observe other golfers to learn more from them and share my knowledge about golf with those who might be somewhat new to the game or a particular golf course. It certainly didn’t take me long to realize that there were so many more benefits than just money that came along with caddying for ClubUp.
What opportunities did caddying provide?
I met a golfer who recommended me to the Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program’s Law Institute. The institute offered me a full scholarship based on his recommendation. The program allowed me to study international law, sports law, criminal law, depositions and much more. I widened my field of knowledge and gained new thinking as to the career path I wanted to pursue.
During the program, I participated in a mock first-year law class taught by the Chancellor of the Law School and learn about the Innocence Project. The Innocence Project is a non-profit organization with a mission to defend people who have been wrongly convicted because of faulty DNA testing. I learned many clients served by the Innocence Project are facing lifetime or even death sentences. Almost 70 percent of convictions that are overturned involve individuals from minority groups. This awareness helped lay the foundation to pursue a lifetime career in law and justice advocacy. I’m more certain about the role that I can play in advocating for justice for those in need.
What are your future goals and aspirations?
After completing high school, I would like to continue on to college and focus on political science and economics. I aspire to be a lawyer, so I would then like to attend law school. Defending those who are unable to defend themselves is a very important cause to me. I am particularly interested in the great work being done by the Innocence Project. I strive to make a difference in people’s lives and help people who need and want assistance. A lifetime career in law, justice advocacy and philanthropy will allow me to fulfill my career goals and aspirations.
How have the lessons you’ve learned help you in pursuing your goals?
The First Tee and ClubUp have taught me a great deal about the game of golf in general and have provided me with valuable skills that are transferable to real life. They have reinforced many of the ideals that are important to me. The First Tee Nine Core Values go well beyond the game of golf. They are skills that I need to know and will always be beneficial to me regardless of the sport I’m playing or the task that I’m doing. The First Tee and ClubUp have helped me develop skills in many areas, such as making good contacts, choosing a Go-to Team, goal-setting and building good interpersonal skills.
Why Should Youth play Golf?
Golf is so much more than a game. Our programs use golf as a way to help your child learn how to set goals, resolve conflicts, develop leadership skills and more—all while having fun! Want to get started? Learn all about our programs and visit our locations page to find a chapter near you!