Paying for college won’t be a concern for four Armstrong High School seniors. They’re recipients of the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship and will receive full tuition to designated four-year universities throughout the nation. The scholarship is named after early 1900s American golfer Charles E. “Chick” Evans, Jr., who founded the Evans Scholar Foundation, which awards the scholarship to outstanding caddies based on a criteria of academic excellence, outstanding character and demonstrating need of financial aid.
This year’s winners, Will Fredrickson, Dawson Dee, Jarrett Smith and Michael Carlson, will have housing and tuition covered at the University of Minnesota starting this fall. The scholarship is administered by the Western Golf Association; since beginning in 1930, it has helped more than 10,000 caddies with college tuition.
“It was exciting knowing I will be able to go to college for free and alleviate worry from my parents because I knew they would not be able to pay for my college experience. Taking away a lot of that stress was a great feeling for me and my family,” says Dawson.
Will plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. “Caddying means a lot since it has led to this amazing scholarship,” he says. “Beyond that, it has been a great summer job. It’s nice getting to work outside, be active, and make friends and connections.”
Jarrett started caddying the summer after sixth grade. “I’ve been a golfer since I was very little, around 5 or 6-years-old,” he says.
“Caddying has taught me quite a lot when it comes to morals and how to talk to people. It also connected me to a lot of great opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise,” says Jarrett, who plans on studying at the Carlson School of Management and live in the Evans Scholar House on campus.
“I plan on studying macroeconomics,” Michael says. “And I’m hoping to join some sports—Nordic skiing, and
I think I want to try the rowing team.”
"These guys are such amazing students,” says Armstrong principal David Dahl. “They have all challenged themselves academically during high school. This scholarship is significant because they’ll have room and board paid for for four years at the University of Minnesota and they’ve got their own house [on campus].”
"There are some years where we have one recipient and some more than one,” Dahl adds. “It’s unusual to have four in one year because of the limited number they hand out for the year. So to have four from one school is amazing because many students apply and don’t receive the scholarship.”
Tips for Beginning Caddies:
Patience. My first year I spent several hours waiting at the caddyshack on a daily basis. Getting through that wasn't easy, but worth it
in the end.”
[Caddying] is not a set time and date; you go up on your own time, wait for six hours just to get a golfer, and that’s hard for some people. But if you stay patient and have a good work ethic, it can definitely pay off.”
A good tip for beginning caddies would be to just get out there and meet the members. The more people you know well at the golf courses, the more opportunities you might run across.”
“Don't give up, there are a lot of caddies that start out in the program, but they lose their fire to keep caddying. And also work hard: you don't have to be a perfect caddie as long as you make an effort to do your best.”