“The Youth Caddie Resurgence Continues – Caddie & Leadership Academy“
Phil Poletti Instrumental in CLA Growth Initiatives
In our recent Blog Post Bringing Youth Caddies Back to the Game, we shared how the support of Youth, Diversity, and Inclusion is expanding youth caddie programs. Across the country, we are witnessing a renaissance of sorts as many have rediscovered their passion for the game. The surge in golf as it continues to serve as relief for many has led to a significant boost in opportunities for youth to discover the game. Not only are we experiencing a bump in youth play, but also in employment opportunities at course facilities as well. The increase in demand has fostered a need for faster play, and caddies provide just the right combination of assistance and personal touch to help players enjoy their rounds, and at a faster pace.
The increase in demand for caddies is found at courses with existing caddie programs, and courses with a desire to build new caddie programs.
One program, in particular, we want to call attention to is the expansion and growth of the Caddie and Leadership Academy (CLA) from one course in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2014 to a combination of 4 courses – Public and Private in Southeast Wisconsin in 2020. This year CLA and its dedicated volunteer board members headed by Phil Poletti along with a part-time employee, Ryan Andrews – were able to manage 60+ youth caddies at the 4 different golf course locations simultaneously during their 8-12-week caddie and leadership program. Through CLA all caddies are pre-qualified to meet a strict criterion of financial need, academic excellence, and desire to succeed. If all goes well – over three years of caddying during their high school years, they will apply for the Evans Scholarship, a full four-year tuition/room and board scholarship available through the Western Golf Association.
CLA uses the CaddieNow platform to manage, communicate, rate, pay, schedule, and engage the caddies in a much more efficient way than they did in previous years. The use of the mobile app and management platform allows the staff to save dozens of hours previously spent texting, calling, and chasing caddies to get them assigned to specific groups/loops. And then even more time spent getting the caddies rated and paid.
“In the post-COVID golf industry – simply being able to run one program this summer would have been a blessing – but with CaddieNow we were able to not only handle our 4 existing caddie programs in WI but also further expand to a course in Virginia. With CaddieNow’s partnership, our plan is to add at least one new course in WI for the 2021 season and at least two new CLA programs in Arizona starting in January of 2021” notes Phil Poletti CLA Executive Director.
CaddieNow is working with CLA and multiple other youth caddie organizations mentioned above to expand the number of youth caddie programs in the United States. In 2021 we expect to be active at 30+ clubs with youth caddies through our Loop 2 LEAD Initiatives and partnerships. We provide the technology to help modernize the programs for today’s youth, and the protection needed to keep clubs comfortable with youth caddie programs. Our partners often bring “on the ground” presence, recruiting, and training support to make it all work together seamlessly. For clubs looking to bring caddies (especially youth caddies), back to the game of golf in 2021 – just reach out and we would love to connect you with our partners who can help make it happen.
Your Program. Your Control. Our Platform.
CaddieNow was founded in 2015 to preserve and protect the tradition of caddying at all courses. Though our taglines have changed a few times over the past five years – our mission has remained the same – bring caddies back to the game of golf. Where they exist, we protect them, and where it is needed, we provide recruiting, training, and certifications. Through it all, we recognize that it is Your Program. As your partner, we help you improve control through technology, allowing you to communicate more effectively with your caddies and staff via our platform.
Modernizing your existing caddie program with tailored solutions from CaddieNow streamlines operations, reduces costs, and minimizes potential liabilities. Re-imagine the experience for your caddies, members, and staff. Start by checking out these Caddie Program Service Options, and let’s continue the conversation.