Under Par and Ahead of Course
Golfer Brendan Demitus
By Sara Campione
One game of miniature golf on the Atlantic City boardwalk changed his course in life. Junior biology major Brendan Demitus found his place as a golfer courtesy of that family outing and later at golf camp. Now he plays for the Florham Campus team, and volunteers with The First Tee, where he attended golf camp.
Coming to FDU has caused Demitus to devote more time and dedication to his craft. “My last years in high school and playing tournaments, I was playing all the time. Here you don’t have as much time, you start to see you’re over par, and it makes you put your nose to the grindstone.”
The First Tee, a national organization, teaches children about golf and develops their character. “I went up through the program for about seven to eight years. It is an addictive sport; it is something of an eternal challenge,” says Demitus. “My brother and sister eventually got involved, too. It’s a family thing for us. My dad’s involved. That’s our foursome now, and my mom sits in the cart and watches.”
The program promotes nine core values and nine healthy habits, among them honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, safety and vision. “All things you use on a regular basis, but also use on the golf course,” Demitus notes. “They really instill those values into you every single week. I think that is the greatest part about the program, bringing kids out of their shells.”
The First Tee builds confidence in young players, he says. “The executive director once said to me, ‘I would rather you come out of here a better person than a better golfer.’”
That advice has remained with Demitus. “It’s about building good kids into good people.”
And while his dreams of hitting the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour may not come to fruition, his plans for working in corporate pharmacy are not far off with a concentration in prepharmacy. “I really wanted to be involved in the medical field and helping people, but I realized I am hemophobic. I don’t like blood.” So, when someone suggested pharmacy to him in the sixth grade, he never looked back — completing research, internships and shadowing in the field. Now he is committed.