Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yes Virginia, There Is a Caddie Scholarship

Evans Scholars Caddying in the ProAm
BMW Championship
Noonan may or may not have earned it in "Caddy Shack," but there really is a caddie scholarship. There are currently 800 Evans Scholars in college out of the more than 10,000 Evans Scholarships awarded since the inception of the program in 1932.  It is privately funded; no bullshit government grants or subsidies. Two hundred plus high school seniors who have caddied at least two years (most many more) are selected each year based on their caddie record, grades, character and demonstrated financial need.  The scholarship is named after Chick Evans, who was a highly successful amateur golfer during the Bobby Jones era.  He pledged the earnings from a golf instructional record to Western Golf Association to help the caddies and maintain his amateur status.  
Bobby Jones & Chick Evans

From the time I was 10 years old through when I was 18 I caddied at Glen View Club in Golf Illinois, where the scholarship program was founded and Chick Evans was an honorary member.  I caddied for Chick (then in his 70's and 80's) many times.  

Anyway, the powers that be having overlooked my character upon scholarship award, the quarterly rag from the WGA Evans Scholars folks showed up, with newsy snippets:

  1. Tom Watson was inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame based on his long-time support of caddies and support of his own caddie, Bruce Edwards, who died after a long battle with ALS.
  2. Headline reads Beverly Country Club's longtime "Caddie Manager" retired after 26 years.  What no "Caddie Master?"  PC invades the caddie world.
  3. Sam Allen, Evans Scholar Alum and CEO of Deere & Co, keynoted at the Evans Scholars speakers forum.  Deere CEO?  Darn, when I sold IRDM and bought DE I thought I was eschewing the CEO caddie connection.  Oh, well.
  4. The fourth annual Evans Scholars Charity Golf Retreat at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon will be held May 7-9 thanks to the generosity of resort owner Mike Keiser.  It's great to see a program that rewards hard working, meretricious young women and men taking strong root on the West Coast.
  5. There's a sidebar on Marquette Evans Scholar Maryclaret Ndubuisi-Obi from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria.  The young immigrant says, "At first, golf was foreign to me, and I was confused and lost.  I have since realized it is a sport of many wonders.  It taught me hard work and perserverance and led me to the Evans Scholarship, which changed my life."  Way to go girl!  
Chick's spirit stays alive.

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