KENILWORTH, N.J. – Not many people can say that an injury led to one of the best things to ever happen to them, but that is what happened to Mike Besante. Besante, currently a sophomore at St. Joseph’s University played baseball in high school, but after multiple injuries and three surgeries he switched to golf.

“In high school I played baseball and got injured, and after some surgeries I ended up switching to golf," said Besante. "My golf instructor, Rich, at Plainfield West Nine introduced me to the caddie manager at Plainfield and it quickly became one of the best things to ever happen to me, so I am really thankful for everyone there.”

It was at Plainfield Country Club that Besante learned about the scholarships offered to caddies in New Jersey by the New Jersey State Golf Association.

“I learned about it from Dave (Preacher), the Golf Services Manager at Plainfield. He told me about it and suggested it to me. It means a lot because it allows me to pursue my education and worry a little bit less about how I am going to do it," expressed Besante. "It provides me a stronger foundation for being able to continue my education and contribute to society the way that I want to.”

Besante started caddying four years ago and he believes that it has been incredibly beneficial in his life. The life lessons learned from caddying are reasons why Besante credits caddying as being one of the best things to ever happen to him.

“Along with being able to stay fit through being active on the course, it has taught me a little bit more than what you see on the surface. It has helped me with my work ethic and not only from my coworkers but being surrounded by the members, it has taught me a lot about social skills," said Besante. "A lot of the people that you’re working for and are surrounded by are very successful and since you’re around some very successful people, you’re bound to pick up some things and learn about them. You’re talking with them for hours at a time”

Besante is a heath sciences major and plans to enter the medical field following graduation.

The NJSGA is honored to offer these scholarships to caddies around the state of New Jersey. To learn more about becoming a Caddie Scholar recipient, call the office at 908-241-GOLF (4653) or click here

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