Our purpose & DEI promise
At the Western Golf Association and Evans Scholars Foundation, we are committed to creating and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment among our caddie, Evans Scholars and championship communities. In doing so, we strive to improve the experiences of our scholarship recipients, championship participants and organization staff, leaders and partners, as well as positively impact the broader game of golf.
In 2020, WGA/ESF leaders announced a long-range plan for organizational growth over the next decade, with a focus on adding and diversifying youth caddie opportunities and increasing diversity among staff and volunteer leadership.
The WGA’S Board of Governors has established a DE&I committee to help reach these goals. Led by Derek Douglas, who serves as Vice President of Civic Engagement and External Affairs at the University of Chicago, this committee is building on the work of the ESF’s DE&I council, which was formed in 2018.
In addition to adding a dedicated staff member to oversee DE&I efforts, the WGA has retained The Kaleidoscope Group, a national DE&I consulting firm, to help create an organizational values statement and strategic plan. This work is ongoing.
We are committed to supporting our 1,070 Evans Scholars as they live in community at 21 leading universities nationwide. In 2021, we awarded a record 300 Evans Scholarships to deserving students across the country; of this class, 38 percent are women and 31 percent are students of color.
The elected leadership board at each Scholarship House now includes a Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Evans Scholars participate in DE&I sessions and activities designed to develop a more equitable and inclusive living environment for all.
We’re working to establish and develop youth caddie programs nationwide, including expanding our own WGA Caddie Academy, which provides caddying opportunities to high school students from under-resourced backgrounds.
In 2021, we launched new caddie programs in Seattle, Maryland and Washington, D.C., for young men and women from diverse backgrounds. We continue to work with clubs across the country to create more caddie opportunities for young people.
Developing Caddie Programs Nationwide
The WGA Caddie Academy
UMD Caddie Program
All proceeds from the WGA’s six golf championships – including the BMW Championship on the PGA TOUR – benefit the Evans Scholars Foundation and caddie scholarships.
In addition to the BMW Championship, the NV5 Invitational on the Korn Ferry Tour, and our Western Amateur and Western Junior, we’ve partnered with the Women’s Western Golf Association to host the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Western Junior championships. These elite championships provide competitive playing opportunities for the best amateur and junior golfers in the world, strengthening the game for women everywhere.
In recent years, we have pursued a series of partnerships that have enabled us to reach new audiences where we can make a difference.
Our partnership with First Tee — Greater Chicago gives its diverse group of participants direct access to our youth caddie programs and college scholarship opportunities. As a Mission Partner of First Women’s Bank, we are expanding economic opportunity for the women’s economy and women-owned businesses. Each year, we partner with the Women’s Western Golf Foundation to jointly award a scholarship to a female caddie who also plays golf.
As we pursue our 2030 Ambitions, we remain in constant search of strategic partnerships that will broaden the impact of our organization.
Our Evans Scholars community is made up of youth caddies, Evans Scholars, Alumni, WGA Directors and Program supporters. All across the country, these dedicated individuals are working hard to create new futures for their families, make the game of golf more accessible and lift up the next generation of leaders. Here are a few stories that show the strength and power of our community.