“I’d say I probably remember chipping in my front yard the most,” said Kelley. “I remember being a lot better than I expected and golf was always an interest, but my first memory would probably be practicing in my front yard.”
Kelley was born into a family where golf was of interest. His older brothers both were attracted to the sport, and they would invite Gus to practice and play with them. It was also through his brothers that Gus was first introduced to caddieing.
“My older brothers caddied so that’s how I learned about it,” said Kelley. “I kept hearing from them how great of a job it was and that’s honestly how I really got involved in golf was through caddieing.”
Kelley started as a caddie early on, walking his first loop when he was 13-years old. In total, his experience on the bag spans five seasons. In that time he has become an experienced caddie, but it certainly didn’t come easy at the start.
“At the beginning it’s kind of tough,” said Kelley. “Obviously trying something new usually is, but I just had to stick it out. Eventually you start getting some loops and you have to build from there. After a while it becomes really great and you get regular loops.”
All five of his years as a caddie have come at Mount Kisco Country Club in Mt. Kisco, NY. For the past two years, Kelley also worked as a member of the clubhouse staff as well as continuing his duties as a caddie. All the while he says he has truly enjoyed the experience.
“The members have always been great to me,” said Kelley. “Everyone is very nice and it’s great to talk to all of them. That’s another thing about golf is typically you’re around pretty successful people and to be able to talk to them at [Mount Kisco] and get advice while making those connections is something pretty cool.”
Kelley said that one of the things that he took from talking to the members at Mount Kisco was that they all worked hard.
“It’s pretty apparent that I was around a lot of people at the club who worked really hard,” said Kelley. “That was something that rubbed off on me. If you’re going to be successful, you have to work really hard. I also learned a lot about work ethic from my Caddie Master, John Huff.”
Kelley’s interest in golf was a driving factor in him becoming a caddie, but he also became a caddie because he wanted to go to college.
“We all have to pay for our college [in my family] so we needed a job at an early age,” said Kelley. “Caddieing was the best opportunity for that and my brothers would always tell me funny stories and how they enjoyed it a lot so I wanted to give it a try. Once I started I really liked being outside on the course. It was lots of fun to wake up on weekend mornings and just watch people play golf.”
Kelley has now stepped away from the course and begun his college education at the University of Dallas. Kelly is just starting his freshman year, something he says is made possible by a scholarship he received from the Westchester Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Fund.
“I was extremely happy with the award when I got it,” said Kelley. “Money was definitely a factor when looking at colleges for me, so to have that scholarship really helps make things easier.”
Kelley said when he was awarded the scholarship, word got around Mount Kisco quickly and many of the members stopped to offer him congratulations.
“I didn’t really tell everyone about it, but lots of the members found out and were really nice about congratulating me,” said Kelley.
Now at college, Kelley has hit the ground running. He is pursuing a degree in computer science and also taking plenty of math classes as that is another one of his top interests. On top of all that, Kelly has enlisted in the Army Reserves.
“I’m in ROTC right now,” said Kelley. “I’m going to be an officer in the Army Reserves for eight years after I graduate. At the end of my senior year I’ll be commissioned as an officer.”
Though Kelley is away at college right now, he intends to head back to Mount Kisco after his freshman year and caddie for at least one more summer. With internships a big interest of his in the future, Kelley says this might be his last opportunity to caddie at the club.
“I’ll be excited to go back and see everyone,” said Kelley. “It’s going to be great to talk to everyone I know from the course. The caddie scholarship and Mount Kisco have helped me pursue my goals so it will be nice to be able to share everything with them.”
Kelley says caddieing will always be a huge part of his life, even if he can’t actively walk loops. Through the support of Mount Kisco and the WGACSF, Kelley is now pursuing his dreams in Texas. No matter where the next chapter may start, Kelley says he will always be thankful for his time at the club and the support of its members and the scholarship fund.