Deuayne Crawford was introduced to golf and caddieing almost simultaneously. During his freshman year of high school, his father Peter Phillips took him to The Apawamis Club and immersed him in the sport. Caddieing became Crawford’s first summer job and gave him his first taste of a game that is now one of the central parts of his life.
“I had never played golf before,” said Crawford. “I loved it right away though, the game was fun, I really liked the culture at Apawamis and everyone was welcoming so it was a good introduction.”
Though he didn’t have a background in golf when he first started caddieing at Apawamis, Crawford quickly learned the sport and learned to love everything about it. What attracted him at the start was not so much the game, but more so the people he met at the club.
“I met so many great people, both members [of Apawamis] and also in the caddie yard,” said Crawford. “Not having a background in the game wasn’t really an issue because I was able to bond with so many people. I still have a lot of those relationships to this day.”
The generosity of the Apawamis Club was how Crawford secured a set of clubs and started playing the game himself. It wasn’t until after college where he truly began to take playing the game seriously.
“I definitely am more serious about playing golf now,” said Crawford. “I don’t take myself seriously, but I’m much more into the game. Part of that has to do with being in the professional world and having the funds to play regularly. I’ll still play at Apawamis sometimes with the guys from the caddie yard and that’s always great.”
Though Crawford wasn’t much of a golfer until after college, he certainly took his job as a caddie seriously. He also took his education seriously, which led to Crawford discovering the Westchester Caddie Scholarship Fund while working at Apawamis.
“I remember the Caddie Master at the time handed me the application when I was working there,” said Crawford. “He knew I was into my books and that I was applying for college scholarships. He gave me a copy of the application and I made sure to fill it out right away.”
Through hard work and persistence, Crawford was able to secure a scholarship from the WGACSF. As is the case for many recipients, the financial aid was incredibly beneficial to him at the time.
“I knew I wanted to go to school, but I didn’t have the funds necessarily at the time,” said Crawford. “I didn’t really know how to get the money other than through caddieing, but that wasn’t enough to pay for school, so the scholarship was a huge help.”
Crawford attended SUNY Binghamton where he majored in Financial Economics and English. His goal was to get into banking, and he also had an interest in law. Throughout his time in college, Crawford always stayed in touch, sending notes to both Apawamis and the WGACSF to keep them updated on his progress.
“I remember them staying in touch as well and responding and sending me letters too,” said Crawford. “That was just really cool to me that they would do that and keep in touch with me as well.”
After finding plenty of success in college, Crawford was able to transfer that into success in the real world. He currently works for Ironshore, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual. Crawford is an Underwriting Manager, focusing on cyber insurance. Crawford has been incredibly successful in his field, but it’s a job he says he wouldn’t even have if it wasn’t for golf.
“I got to know Frank English through caddieing at Apawamis and he was a banker at Morgan Stanley,” said Crawford. “He knew I was good at school and wanted to get into banking, so he took my resume and got me the job. I wouldn’t have gotten my first job without him and he became like family.”
Family and community are big parts of Crawford’s life. Shortly after graduating college and starting his life in the professional world, he decided it was time to start to give back to the community’s that helped him grow when he was younger. For years now, Crawford has been a regular donor to the WGACSF.
“I just felt like I needed to start showing love the way they gave me love,” said Crawford. “For me it was a personal thing, but I also wanted to follow an example that was shown to me when I was younger. I started off writing checks but then became more involved with other events.”
Crawford is a regular at various WGACSF events, including the Alumni Reunion and the WGACSF Golf Marathon. His involvement as a former scholar is exactly why the WGACSF is able to continually aid young men and women in achieving their dreams of higher education.
“I would tell anyone who is about to apply that if you get involved, you’re probably going to want to give back too,” said Crawford. “You meet so many good people and every experience I’ve had has been very positive. It just makes you want to help as much as those people have helped you.”
Crawford plans to continue to golf and give back for many years to come. As a former scholar, his story is one of many that can show the future generations of WGACSF recipients just how beneficial being part of the Caddie Scholar community is.