New Evans Scholar will begin college this fall

GLENVIEW, Ill. – A student who caddied at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Arizona, has been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following an online selection interview held Dec. 20.

Nicholas Van Laarhoven of Scottsdale will begin college this fall as an Evans Scholar, where he plans to study finance. Van Laarhoven, who is currently a senior at Chaparral High School, is the third Desert Forest caddie to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

“Caddying has trained my mind to be resilient and strong, while also making me a responsible and honest person,” he says. “The game truly reflects a person’s true nature and how they handle situations. Working at Desert Forest and playing the game of golf gave me a high moral standard in respect and understanding.”

Evans Scholars are selected based on strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.

“For the third straight year, the Evans Scholarship has been awarded to a Desert Forest caddie. I’m proud that Nicholas will join the Evans Scholars family,” said Vic Capadona, a WGA Director and past president of Desert Forest Golf Club. 

“The momentum and excitement around youth caddying continues to build in the area. We hope this serves as inspiration for other clubs to establish youth caddie programs, both in the Phoenix area and throughout the Southwest.”

Evans Scholars selection meeting interviews will continue nationwide through spring. When the 2022-23 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 325 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, 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 1,100 caddies are enrolled at 22 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

“These young students represent what our Program has been about since 1930,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “We are proud to welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 36,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $15 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 2023, the BMW Championship will be held at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, from Aug. 17-20.