Pilot program will start at UMD Golf Course in College Park

GLENVIEW, Ill. – Western Golf Association (WGA) leaders have announced a new pilot youth caddie program to provide underprivileged local students a summer job opportunity at the University of Maryland (UMD) Golf Course in College Park.

The WGA’s youth caddie program at the UMD Golf Course officially kicked off on Memorial Day weekend and will continue throughout the summer until Labor Day. The majority of the caddie rounds will take place on weekends and during special events at the UMD Golf Course.

Ten local youth caddies from under-resourced backgrounds were selected by WGA leaders to be part of the inaugural caddie class for their academic excellence and leadership abilities. They are students at Elizabeth Seton High School and Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

“We believe caddying is the best summer job for young people, as it helps them develop important life skills by working closely with positive role models, professionals and community leaders,” said WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy. “We are excited to establish this new youth caddie program in an important and growing area for us. Caddies have the unique opportunity to learn about a variety of career paths and personalities while working outside, getting exercise and having fun. In addition, in a few years, they will learn about and become eligible to apply for the Evans Scholarship to the University of Maryland.”

The Evans Scholars Foundation (ESF), which is overseen by the WGA and provides full tuition and housing scholarships to youth caddies nationwide, is expanding in the East, with organization leaders recently announcing that two Maryland caddies will attend the University of Maryland in College Park beginning this fall.

In addition, leaders have purchased a property near campus to serve as a future Evans Scholarship House. After caddying for several summers, youth who have financial need and meet academic and leadership qualifications can apply for the Evans Scholarship.

“In addition to providing golfers a great experience during their round, having young people caddie is a chance for us to give back to the community by providing work opportunities to local students and helping develop them into future leaders,” said Jeff Maynor, UMD Golf Course Head Professional and Director of Golf. “Along the way, we are introducing a new group of diverse students to the game of golf.”

Along with Maynor, the caddie program is being supported by newly awarded Evans Scholar Nana Keita. Keita, from Greenbelt, Maryland, graduated from Elizabeth Seton High School and was a participant of the WGA’s Caddie Academy program in Chicago.

“I’m excited and honored for the opportunity to work with these young students,” said Keita. “Being a caddie changed my life. It helped me develop a strong work ethic that I applied on the golf course and in the classroom and made it possible for me to attend college on a full scholarship.”

Special programming for the youth caddies will take place throughout the summer, including a field trip to the BMW Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club in August and a special campus tour of the University of Maryland. Golf lessons will also be provided to all participants.

WGA and ESF leaders are working to grow awareness of their mission and impact in the East. The 2021 BMW Championship, a PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoff event that is run by the WGA, will be held at Caves Valley in August. All profits from the tournament benefit and help raise awareness for the ESF.