Junior Sportsperson of the Year
BEN LIT T crafted @LITT_erature for pun purposes, but the Twitter handle, coincidentally, applies to his behavior on the golf course.Th e Riverton Country Club member plays it by-the-book.
Litt’s even-keeled temperament and rigid adherence to the game’s principles paid dividends
in 2015. He is the Golf Association of Philadelphia
Junior Sportsperson of the Year.
“It was big for me to try and compete and do
well in tournaments, but it’s also very important
to me to preserve the integrity of the game,”
Litt, 18, of Moorestown, N.J., said. “It’s the big-
ger meaning of golf: just having fun and enjoy-
ing yourself out there. [To receive this award] is
“From the days of his grandparents dropping
him off at events to sinking his last putt as a
Junior golfer at this year’s Jock MacKenzie, Ben
has consistently embodied what it means to
compete with both sportsmanship and honor,”
Chris Roselle, the Association’s Tournament Di-
rector, added. “Always a man for others, Ben can
rest easy knowing that GAP Junior events were
made better just through his involvement.”
Janice and Jack Dare, the aforementioned
grandparents/chauffeurs, introduced Litt to the
game. Late evening ventures at Moorestown
Field Club, where the family previously held
membership, mixed fun with instruction.
“My grandpop taught me how to swing. My
grandmom handled the etiquette aspect,” Litt,
a recent St. Joseph’s Preparatory School gradu-
ate, said. “They both really taught me how to act
on the course. Don’t get upset about a bad shot.
Don’t slam your putter after you miss a short
one. Move on.”
The Dares, understandably holding a vested
interest in Litt’s golf development, saw their
grandson abide by those lessons firsthand.
“Usually my parents were working during the
summers, so they’d take me out to all of the
tournaments, watch me, follow me, support me
and hold my lunch for me,” Litt said. “It was awe-
some to have that support system at some of
those nerve-wracking tournaments.”
The GAP Junior Boys’ Championship ranks in
the nerve-wracking category. Litt qualified for
match play in the First Flight from 2013-14, falling
in the Round of 16 on both occasions. He con-
siders the 2013 march a highlight on his Junior
golf timeline. Good friends Matthew Ade, David
Gall and Kevin Kramarski joined Litt in leading Ri-
verton to its first Junior Team Championship title.
The Junior Team Championship runs concurrently with the Junior Boys’ Championship
“The Ridge at Back Brook [site of the event] is
such a memorable course and it was just such a
fun day being out there with the guys,” Litt said.
“During the summers, we were always playing.
It just gave me a reason to play because I knew
I always had a couple of great golfers, great guys
that I was going to spend the afternoon with.
They not only drove me to play golf, but to be
better because they were really good and they
kicked my butt sometimes.”
Litt is a freshman at Vanderbilt University,
where he is a biomedical engineering major.
Such a course of study suggests that literature
isn’t Litt’s forte. Although he concedes that is the
case, Litt doesn’t hesitate to point out a favorite
read: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell.
“It was definitely awesome to take a step back
and look at what the Russians did during the
Russian Revolution in 1917 and make it into a
joke,” Litt said.
Telling jokes is certainly part of Litt’s on-course
mentality. Being named the Junior Sportsperson
of the Year, however, is no laughing matter. m
– Tony Regina
“It’s the bigger
meaning of golf:
just having fun