Most people are familiar with various types of academic or athletic scholarships awarded to students who exhibit college-level performance; however, fewer know about a scholarship that allows caddies to complete a four-year degree without paying a cent.
During the past year, 275 students won four years of tuition and housing as part of the Evans Scholarship, which awards excellent and experienced golf caddies. Although the scholarship has been around since 1930, the number of winners in the past year is record-setting.
Some of a caddie’s work includes carrying golfers’ clubs, pacing yardage, raking bunkers, replacing divots, cleaning the ball and holding the flag. A caddie also advises golfers in their plays and club choices, a task which requires excellent communication skills and sufficient knowledge of golf.
Caddies enhance the experience of every round of golf and assist golfers in achieving their highest levels of performance. Both amateur and professional golfers need skilled caddies to rely upon, so they can solely focus on their clubs and irons during the game.
A total of 790 caddies applied to the Evans Scholarship in the past year; however, only individuals who showed devotion to regular caddying positions, met academic performance standards and had substantial financial need obtained the scholarship. In fact, many of the Evans Scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college.
Chick Evans Jr., the first amateur golfer to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S Amateur in only one year, founded the scholarship. Prior to his successful career, Evans grew up in Chicago and caddied at a local country club, but the money he made was not enough to support the pursuit of a higher education.
According to the scholarship website, Evans founded the program because he was not able to afford college before his golfing career, and he wanted to support others in the same situation.
Evans holds a place of honor in the World Golf Hall of Fame and is one of the winners of the Bob Jones Award, which was granted to Evans by the USGA. The average recipient of the 2017 Evans Scholarship logged approximately 160 loops, which means they caddied roughly 160 rounds of golf. Interestingly, the scholarship also targets individuals working for minimum wage at their caddying jobs and those working full time in the summer.
Due to all the requirements, the scholarship prides itself on providing many of the awards to a diverse demographic. Subsequently, the scholarship is inclusive of all races and genders and is also granted to some of the children of first-generation immigrants.
The Evans Scholarship is overseen by the Western Golfers Association, which reports more than 10,600 students graduated college because of the financial opportunity the scholarship has provided since its founding in 1930.
Although Evans died in 1979, his legacy is carried on through the Evans Scholarship, which recognizes the skill and work that goes into caddying, supports young generations’ involvement in golf and gives an opportunity of a lifetime to students who otherwise might not ever be able to go to college.