Two students from the Los Angeles area have been awarded the Western Golf Association’s Chick Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies.
Both caddies have a unique story that reflects the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $120,000 over four years.
Roy Luna of Compton will begin college this fall as an Evans Scholar at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he plans to study accounting. He is currently a senior at Centennial High School. “Caddying provided so much more than what I had imagined; it opened new frontiers, gave me hope, knowledge, guidance and a new family,” Luna says.
Kim Pham of Santa Ana will begin college this fall as an Evans Scholar at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she plans to study nursing. She is currently a senior at Rosary Academy in Fullerton. “Through caddying, I have improved my communication skills,” Pham says. “Being in a position that forced me to interact with people had helped me grow as a person.”
Both students were members of the Caddie Academy in the Chicago area, a special summer program run by the WGA that provides caddie opportunities to under-resourced high school students who ultimately hope to pursue the Evans Scholarship. This program offers students the chance to caddie each day, earn money, meet role models and learn valuable life lessons on the golf course. After completing three summers, participants are eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship.
Pham caddied at Lake Shore Country Club in Glencoe, Ill., and Luna caddied at Park Ridge Country Club in Park Ridge, Ill.
“These young caddies are part of an exceptional incoming class of New Scholars from around the nation,” says WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “They represent what the Evans Scholars Program has been about since 1930.”
The Evans Scholars selection interviews are being held with applicants nationwide through the spring. When the 2021-22 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 315 caddies from across the country are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Ill., has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. Known as one of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 1,070 caddies are enrolled at 21 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,500 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 35,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $17 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the penultimate PGA TOUR Playoff event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In 2022, the BMW Championship will be held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Del., from Aug. 16-21.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit www.wgaesf.org.