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LICSF Alumni Spotlight: James Colgan

LICSF Alumni Spotlight: James Colgan

LICSF James Colgan, class of 2019 from Syracuse

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (April 8, 2024) – James Colgan’s connection with golf stems from his father and grandfathers. James is named after both of his grandfathers, and he shares his passion for golf with them. His love of the game grew in the caddie yard and on the golf course at the Rockville Links Club, and he now pursues his passion as a News and Features Editor at GOLF.com.

“My grandpa Joe was a diehard golfer, like the biggest golf fan in the entire world. And my dad is also a big golfer. So, he gets it from his dad, so that’s kind of the beginning of the golf passion in my family,” says James, who received a scholarship from the Long Island Caddie Scholarship Fund from 2017 to 2019.

James has fond memories of playing with his dad, brother, and grandfather as a kid. Every summer, they would play together in upstate New York.

Through a family connection to Rockville Links, James started caddieing at the club after his freshman year at Syracuse University. That summer, he rediscovered his passion for the game after playing different sports growing up, and as his time progressed at Rockville Links, he grew an affinity for the club.

“I caddied every single day, and I loved it so much,” notes James. “It was a great gig, but it was also, like, I loved the membership, I loved just the people interactions that I was having, I loved my bosses, Jeff [Cullinan] and Rich. I loved everyone who was involved with the club, and particularly with the caddie program. I truly loved everything about it.”

During subsequent summers in college, James worked at various internships, but he was out on the course any day he could at Rockville Links. A stretch during the summer of James’ junior year sticks out to show how much he enjoyed being a caddie. While at Syracuse, James interned with Fox Sports, CBS News, and NFL Films. He graduated from Syracuse in 2019 as a double major with a B.A. in political science and government and a B.S. in broadcast journalism.

“I worked a morning shift at CBS News, so I woke up at 3 a.m. every day. And on the weekends, I would get to sleep in until 5:30 a.m. and then go and caddie.”

James also learned some valuable lessons and skills while traversing the fairways with the members and guests at Rockville Links. Some of these skills help him greatly in his current position at GOLF.com, especially in conducting interviews and writing about the best players in the world.

“[Caddieing helped me] with knowing how to set someone up to say something interesting or compelling. So much of caddieing is conversational and soft skills. It’s so important to kind of understand the proper way to navigate a conversation.”

Those soft skills translate from making a round at Rockville Links enjoyable for members to speaking with a PGA Tour player after a challenging round.

“When you’ve got players who are dealing with playing rounds of golf that will ultimately decide their life, you must know when to engage with them and how to engage with them in a way that will be respectful, fair, and kind, but also will allow you to do your job,” says James. And those are all skills that came to me from my time as a caddie.”

Those long days walking out in the elements and meeting members for the first time gave James new perspectives on hard work, process, and accountability. James added that caddieing would also show you how you will respond when in a challenging or embarrassing situation. Given the nature of the job, you must make sure you care enough to be there—that you are passionate about the job and intentional about everything you do.

Looking back on his time as a caddie and the benefits the job provided, James expressed his gratitude.

“I remember when I received the Long Island Caddie Scholarship, I was first overjoyed because college was a significant financial burden for me and my family. Second, I had this opportunity to speak about this thing that I was so passionate about and to tell people, ‘Hey, this is this is like the coolest thing ever.'”

James adds, “I obviously recommend caddieing. I don’t think there’s enough good that can be said about the benefits of life as a caddie.”

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