The driving range is where golfers go to improve their game. Meticulous practice, repetition and long hours are truly the only way to better one’s golfing ability. It is through this process that you can mold your golf game into what you want it to be. For WGACSF alumnus Craig Jaffe, the driving range isn’t just where he molds his game, but also where he forged his love for the sport.
Growing up, Jaffe was always around golf. His grandfather was an avid player, his brother caddied and golfed consistently, and his mother managed a driving range in Yorktown Heights, New York. It’s at that range that Jaffe recalls his earliest golf memories.
“My mom, to this day actually, still runs that range,” said Jaffe. “As young as I can remember we were on that range and playing golf. Me, my brother, my grandfather, and my uncle as well. Golf is just part of our family.”
Golf was simply a way of life for Jaffe, who got out on the course any chance he could when he was growing up. At Yorktown High School, he followed in his brother’s footsteps, playing on the varsity golf team for three seasons. While he was in high school, he also began caddieing, thanks to a recommendation from his brother as well.
“I started caddieing at Hudson National when I was 14 years old,” said Jaffe. “I remember that I was doing double bags pretty quickly and I was a caddie there up until the time I left for college.”
Jaffe attended West Virginia, graduating in 2006 with a major in finance. He gained a lot from his time as a caddie at Hudson National, including his drive to pursue a career in the financial industry.
“Hudson National is such a prestigious club and it was really cool to be around that type of success and that environment as a 14-year-old,” he explained. “So that kind of drove me to pursue my career in finance and investment banking because I was around it quite a bit. I was really fascinated by the members at the club at the time and being able to interact and speak with them helped me gain interest in that field as well.”
Jaffe now works for a large investment bank and attributes plenty of his success to the values that were instilled in him while he was a caddie.
“We worked our butts off out there,” said Jaffe. “Sometimes you double-bagged it twice a day. But it was a great experience, and it really teaches you how to work hard and be accountable. I would say to anyone interested in pursuing a job like I had as a caddie that obviously you can make good money, but it really allows you to build character, grow as a person and make some great connections.”
Jaffe, who has lived in Boca Raton, Florida for 15 years now, still tries to play as much golf as he can. However, that has taken somewhat of a backseat as he and his wife are proud parents of two children: a two-year-old and six-month-old.
Despite not being able to play as much himself, Jaffe says that golf remains special because he can now pass his love for the game onto his children.
“It’s super special to me, having my two-and-a-half-year-old son, Carter,” Jaffe mentioned. “We just got him his own set of junior clubs and can take him down to the range to hit a few balls. That’s what I really look forward to now.”
Even with the responsibilities of parenthood, Jaffe still has a few bucket list golf items he hopes to check off himself, including golf trips to Ireland and California, two areas Jaffe has yet to play in.
As a WGACSF alumnus, Jaffe is also a supporter of the fund, donating to the CSF in order to “pay it back” for the financial help he received when he was a caddie scholar.
While Jaffe has gone from varsity golfer, to caddie, to coach of his two-year-old son, there has always been one constant in his golf journey: the range.
“It’s been a comfort spot since I grew up,” said Jaffe. “No matter what, you can still usually find me at the range.”