Nationally acclaimed golf and travel writer Andy Reistetter joined the Colleges as this year’s John Henry Hobart Fellow in Residence from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Thursday, Oct. 8. In addition to covering the most prestigious tournaments in professional golf, Reistetter is an advocate for various charitable endeavors that emphasize the connections between golf and character formation.
Sponsored by the Hobart Dean’s Office, the John Hobart Henry Fellow in Residence provides students with high-touch, interactive, on-campus experiences with professionals from a variety of fields who are engaged in issues of social justice. Reistetter is an advocate for The First Tee – a national educational program for children that draws on the experience of golf for character development.
“The John Henry Hobart Fellow program brings to campus ‘real people’ who, in their everyday lives and careers, have found a place for values-oriented work and service stemming from a liberal arts education,” says Hobart Senior Associate Dean Chip Capraro. “Andy, through the story of his own life, explores connections between sports, character development, service and the liberal arts.”
As the John Henry Hobart Fellow, Reistetter met with several student groups to share his golf experiences while encouraging students to pursue their own passions. He also met with students in the First-Year Seminar, “Golf Course Architecture,” which is taught by Capraro; members of the Hobart golf team; Civic Leaders from the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning; as well as several members of the Hobart Class of 2019.
Since leaving a successful management career in 2008, Reistetter – who is also a freelance production assistant for various television networks – has followed the PGA Tour and attended more than 100 professional golf events. He shares his golf and travel experiences on his website, “Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary.” From commentary on restaurants and hotels, to coverage of tournaments and spectator tips, Reistetter’s posts provide a wide range of entertaining and light-hearted writing for an audience not limited to golf enthusiasts.
With a mission to raise $100,000 for charity and celebrate golf’s return to the Olympics, Reistetter also launched his “Journey to Olympic Golf” blog and in 2013 embarked on a three-month road trip through the Southwest United States, Mexico, Central America and South America, ending in Rio de Janeiro where the 2016 games will be held. Throughout his travels, his followers were encouraged to make donations to The First Tee, while Reistetter pledged to donate 20 percent of revenues received from sponsors. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee organization has impacted more than 10 million young people, and in 2012 the organization announced a new goal to reach another 10 million by 2017.
Reistetter grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., and received his B.S. in chemical engineering from SUNY Buffalo, and an M.B.A from Pepperdine University. Reistetter has become a strong proponent of the liberal arts and has connected his educational support with his advocacy in building strong character through golf experiences.
“While I was educated at a large public institution, I acquired an independent liberal arts and mindful perspective through my M.B.A. at Pepperdine University, and through my son, Joe’s education at Beloit College,” explains Reistetter, who adds, educating the whole person “is a beautiful thing.”
Reistetter also holds ties to the Colleges through his two nieces, who attended William Smith: Jeannine Reistetter Herrick ’97 and Tamara VonMatt Simpson ’98.