There are more holes in a round of golf than there are years in Jake Roth’s life. But that hasn’t stopped the 17-year-old from establishing himself as one of Westchester’s youngest philanthropists, with golf education as his cause. Over the past three years, he’s raised more than $30,000 for First Tee of Metropolitan New York, an organization that provides young golfers with affordable golf instruction and teaches life lessons along the way. Ever since volunteering as a golf instructor for the First Tee when he was 12 years old, Roth wanted to find a way to raise money for the program. So, in 2013, he created the Tee It Up fundraiser, hosted by his family’s golf club, Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, which takes place every year on Columbus Day. Roth, who plays on his high school’s varsity golf team, begins planning for the annual event during the summer; he attends meetings with golf pros and club staff, organizes the prizes and competitions for the event, and helps collect donations. “I have learned how rewarding it can be to give back, how to plan for an event from beginning to end, and, mostly, how fortunate I am to play golf,” he says.
• At only 4-years-old, Roth started playing golf with plastic toy clubs.
• His favorite person to spend time with on the putting green is his role model, his dad.
• When he’s not playing golf, Roth volunteers as a peer leader for freshmen at his high school and at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls school on the weekends.
• His advice for other young philanthropists is to support a cause that is meaningful to them. “Raising money for something you are passionate about makes it that much more rewarding and fun,” he says.
• After Roth graduates and heads off to college, he hopes to continue organizing his fundraiser for the First Tee with the help of his younger brother, Max.