New Evans Scholar from Colorado will begin school this fall

GLENVIEW, Ill. – A student caddie from the Vail, Colorado, area has been awarded the Evans Scholarship – a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies – following a final selection meeting interview at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills, Colorado, on Jan. 18.

Sutton Dodds of Eagle, Colorado, will begin college this fall as an Evans Scholar, the first caddie to be awarded from Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott. He will attend one of the Program’s 24 partner universities nationwide, with a decision on his awarded school to be finalized by March 15. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.

The Western Golf Association (WGA), 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.

To qualify for the Evans Scholarship, each student must meet the Program’s four selection criteria and show a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

Currently, a record 1,130 caddies are enrolled at 24 universities nationwide – including 57 at the University of Colorado in Boulder – as Evans Scholars. More than 12,040 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the Program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. in 1930.

As the Evans Scholars Program continues to grow nationwide, more students from newer areas, including Vail, are being introduced to the opportunity to caddie and potentially earn a full college scholarship.

“The membership at Red Sky is so excited to have Sutton as our first Evans Scholar recipient,” said WGA Director and club member Steve Stroker. “As an Evans Scholar Alum myself, I know this is life-changing for Sutton. With his personality and what he has learned from caddying, he will be successful in whatever track he chooses.”

Sutton, a senior at Vail Christian High School, credits a lot of big life lessons to his caddying job. “I truly love this job,” he says. “It allows me to get to know all sorts of people and learn about their dreams and aspirations. Through my experiences on the golf course, I realize that I can use my communication skills to help me succeed in life.”

Selection meeting interviews for Evans Scholar finalists will continue nationwide through spring. When the 2023-24 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 340 caddies from across the country are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sutton to the Evans Scholars family,” said WGA Chairman Steve Colnitis. “His dedication in the classroom, on the golf course and in his community represents what our Program has been about since 1930.”

Funds for the Scholarship come mostly from contributions by more than 36,000 supporters across the country, who belong to 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, benefit the Program. The 2023 BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, raised $5.5 million for caddie scholarships.

This year, the BMW Championship will be held from Aug. 20-25 at Castle Pines Golf Club in the Denver area. In addition to having a more than $30 million economic impact on the Denver metro area, the event will play a vital philanthropic role by introducing more golfers and fans to the ESF and its mission. The BMW Championship has contributed $50 million to the Foundation since 2007, helping award full tuition and housing college scholarships to more than 3,300 caddies during that time.