Evans Scholars Foundation, Free College Education

The Evans Scholars Foundation has been providing a college education, for free, to deserving golf caddies since 1930.  It covers all tuition and housing costs for each Evans Scholar.

I cannot remember when I first heard of this phenomenal college Golf Caddy scholarship program.  I would guess in about 1980 or thereabouts.  It is by no means a College Scholarship that is out of reach for the average HomeSchool Family, or traditional school family.  On average, I personally know about 1 to 4 young people, girls as well as boys, who get ‘The Evans’ here in the Cincinnati area each year.  I’ll tell you about one.

Chris is a great young HomeSchool Alumnus.  He was Homeschooled through Elementary and High School.  I’ve known his dad for almost 30 years.  Mark, the dad, was a delivery driver for a medium-sized, family owned and operated Office Supply company downtown back then.  I was a Salesman for the same company.  We delivered and sold Office Supplies at that spot together for about 2 years.

About 12 years ago Mark brought his son and daughter to me for Golf Lessons, as I had become a PGA Member in 1990 at Sea Island, Georgia and had moved back to Cincinnati in 1999 as a PGA Teaching Professional at Meadow Links & Golf Academy in Winton Woods.

Both children were very respectful and good learners.  They listened very well and enjoyed having their parents with them at the Golf Lessons.  As we visited over the Summer Golf Season, they mentioned that Chris, the son, had secured a Golf Caddy job at Clovernook Country Club.

I was very glad that Chris had such a great opportunity to make extra income at such a young age as a Golf Caddy, but also more excited that he could earn an Evans Scholarship – thus saving Mark and his wife the enormous expense of a College Education.

You could imagine my joy a few years later when Mark told me that, indeed, Chris, his son, had earned and been awarded the Evans Caddy Scholarship.

About a year later, my family and I felt thrilled to run into Chris at a Bob Evans Restaurant.  We plied him with many questions about how his just-completed Freshman year at Miami University had gone.  He said he was enjoying the Evans House life and his Accounting major.

Since he had a HomeSchool High School Education, I asked if he earned a lot of extra money at his Caddy Job in the Spring and Fall when the other Caddies were in traditional school.  He said, “No, because I did not rally hustle-it-up at those times.  If I really wanted to make a bunch more Caddy Income, I sure could have at those times of the year, though.”

Since then Chris has graduated from Miami University with his Accounting Degree and now works in that field in the Cincinnati area.

Significantly, Chris never really played much golf during his HomeSchooled High School years.  He never got any more Golf Lessons with me, either, but boy, didn’t Golf and Caddying help him tremendously, eh?  This is a great example of the fact that the child’s character and Academic and Caddy Skills, not their Golf Playing Skills, are what qualify them for the Evans Golf Caddy Scholarship.

The 4 main qualifications for receiving the Evans Caddy Scholarship are: good character, good grades, many caddy rounds and financial need.  The child does not even need to play golf, though most of them do.  Most of the Evans Scholar Recipients are not competitive junior golfers, but are more recreational in their golf playing habits.  The main characteristic that they all posses is their enjoyment of loving and serving people through their Caddy Job.

The Evans Scholar topic is always spoken of in respectful, honorable and almost reverential ways.  At almost every Country Club that has an Evans Scholar Caddy Program the young caddies hear members, employees and other caddies talking about the College Scholarship.  Most Country Clubs have plaques or other signage honoring past Evans Scholar recipients.  Often current or recent Evans Scholars will return to the Club and occasionally caddy, as they did when they were younger, with current young caddies observing in admiration.  An old PGA Member who had supported the Caddy Program his whole career once remarked to me that many of the Evans Scholars even became members of the Country Club once they had established themselves in their adult professional career.  All these conversations and visual reminders constantly reinforce the notion that a Caddy Job and earning the Evans Caddy Scholarship are praiseworthy activities and accomplishments.

You can now begin to see why Golf and Caddying as part of a HomeSchool Curriculum provide so much valuable, ‘real-life’ experience and education for a young boy or girl.  In one sense, the child has a different ‘boss’ each day they go to their Caddy Job, unlike a typical youth job to earn extra money where the boss is the same every day, breeding familiarity, with the resulting advantages and disadvantages.  In this way the young caddy has to quickly become adept at meeting new people and establishing rapport.  They also have to patiently roll with the punches when their ‘boss for the day’ may not be the type of person they would normally enjoy spending 5 hours with on a Golf Course.

The Golf Professionals and the CaddieMaster at the Country Club also become authority figures for the young caddy.  The child and parents will be well-served to do everything they can to seek these employees out, and ask what the child can do to continually improve their effectiveness as a caddy at their Country Club.  Again, the child constantly can learn, if they want to, how to comfortably ‘move about’ in adult/mature situations and scenarios.

So, if your HomeSchooled son or daughter is looking to earn extra income and wants to attend college for free, securing a good Caddy Job with the hope of earning the Evans Scholarship should be a topic you give careful and serious consideration.  The exact requirements are not out of reach for the majority of hard-working, self-directed learners that typically are part of Homeschooled families.  In fact, the freedom, independence, service and self-reliance that a Caddy Job encourages are qualities that many HomeSchool Families admire and seek to infuse in their children.

Feel free to ask me any questions at all about the Evans Scholarship and the dramatic help it has provided for so many friends of mine, for so many years.  Use the ‘Comment’ box for your questions.

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