Alumni Spotlight: Dan White, Garden City Grown
Like many golf fans growing up in the 90s, Dan White first became interested in golf thanks in part to Tiger Woods, who was making history in the golf world. When White, who grew up on Long Island, was 12, he remembers getting into golf himself.
“I can remember my mom taking me out to some of the par-three golf courses around Long Island,” said White. “My sisters and I loved playing from the start. We just kind of kept going from there.”
Not long after White started playing the local par-three courses, he found a way to combine his love for the sport with his need for a job. During his freshman year of high school at Garden City High School, he became a caddie at Garden City Country Club on in Garden City, N.Y. Right off the bat, White says that his experience with caddieing was great but also tough.
“Caddieing is a pretty tough job,” said White. “You’re waiting for loops throughout the day, you’re there very early and leave late. At the beginning you’re not that well known so you have to make a name for yourself in some cases. If you stick with it, caddieing becomes an incredible job with a lot of opportunities. Plus, it’s a big perk to be able to play the course for free.”
For White, his job as a caddie was a great way to make money during his time in high school and college, while at the same time helping him grow as an individual and teaching him a few valuable lessons.
“First and foremost, with being a caddie you have to be hard working; you have to hustle, and you can’t slack off,” said White. “The second part is definitely etiquette and not just golf course etiquette, but also certain caddie traits as well, like being polite and respectful.”
White says both of those lessons stuck with him during his entire time being a caddie and have continued to help him as he went to college and started a professional career. White also credits the Long Island Caddie Scholarship Fund as an important part of his caddieing journey. After noticing a flier hanging in the Garden City cadie yard, he learned more from other caddies, filled out the necessary paperwork and submitted his application. As a result of the hard work and dedication White had put in behind the scenes, both as a caddie but more importantly in the classroom, he was awarded a LICSF scholarship a few months later.
“I was pumped to have won the caddie scholarship,” said White. “I had won a number of academic scholarships at the time as well, but what stood out about the caddie scholarship is that it was such a substantial amount financially, and it was payable over all four years. Just in terms of that impact, it really stood out above the others I won.”
White took advantage of his opportunity and completed four years of study at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. After studying finance and accounting and becoming a member of the Georgetown class of 2009, White secured a job with JP Morgan and has been with the company ever since.
“I had an incredible experience at Georgetown from both a personal and learning perspective,” said White. “I’ve worked at JP Morgan since I graduated college and currently work in the Chief Investment Office, which is essentially the bank portfolio, and I invest the firm’s money into municipal bonds.”
Though White has traded in golf bags for bonds when it comes to his professional life, golf is very much still a part of his life outside the office. Between watching on TV, playing on the weekends and planning golf trips with his friends, White’s love for the game has certainly not diminished in any way. His appreciation for caddieing has not wavered either; White gives back to the LICSF every year as a regular donor.
“I think my logic for giving back to this charity was from my perspective it was really substantial when I was getting the scholarship, so I wanted someone else to feel that impact,” said White. “Also, a lot of the things that the fund is doing are very impactful. Just by nature, people that caddie are hardworking and hungry, so to give to that type of person is great. Secondly, the charity is very well run so the money is essentially going right from your pockets to the recipients.”
White has also played in the Long Island Caddie Scholarship Marathon with money raised from family and friends. The Marathon is held annually to raise money for the fund. Golfers will play as many holes as possible in a single day and raise funds based on the number of holes they complete.
That “give it back” mentality that White exhibits is why the LICSF can continue to provide meaningful scholarships to young men and women every year and has become even closer with the fund thanks to his support in recent years. In talking to White, he made it known that he feels caddieng is an incredible job for a young man or woman because of not only the pay and exercise benefits, but also the character benefits like a great work ethic and strong communication skills. When it comes to the Caddie Scholarship that White was able to attain, his message is simple: why not?
“If someone is thinking about applying for a scholarship, if you’re planning on going to college, why not take a shot and apply for it?” said White. “It’s a substantial amount of money and it comes over a four-year time period. If you’re on the fence about college it certainly is an expensive investment, but it is also very worthwhile and will pay returns over a longer time period.”
There is no doubt that a scholarship from the LICSF can be life-changing, and what truly makes the fund special and successful is the constant support from alumni like White.