Finalists interviewed at The Union League Club in New York City
NEW JERSEY – Three students from New Jersey have been awarded the NJSGA Evans Scholarship, a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a final selection interview held at The Union League Club in New York City on Feb. 11.
The result of a partnership between the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation and the New Jersey State Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Foundation, NJSGA Evans Scholars are chosen based on a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character. Candidates must meet the qualifications of both organizations in order to earn the scholarship.
The students will begin college this fall as NJSGA Evans Scholars at leading universities across the nation. The Evans Scholarship is valued at an estimated $120,000 over four years.
Nolan Boehmcke of Spring Lake Heights caddied at Spring Lake Golf Club and is a senior at St. Rose High School in Belmar. He was awarded the Evans Scholarship to Penn State University. “My entire life has been spent living in a small town, attending a small elementary school, and small high school; my ultimate college dream is to be accepted into a large school where I will be able to fully take advantage of the college experience,” he said.
Spring Lake caddie manager Mike Knapp said: “As a caddie, Nolan has become very much requested by a select handful of members. It’s very evident that he’s grown in the way he caddies and carried himself. I’ve seen the transformation of Nolan from a young 14-year-old kid to a mature high school senior. He’s more professional and more well-versed in the game.”
Sean Donohue of Wall Township caddied at Spring Lake Golf Club and is a senior at St. Rose High School in Belmar. He was awarded the Evans Scholarship to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. “In addition to becoming more involved in golf, caddying has instilled in me valuable teachings involving work ethic and life lessons, including the values of determination, persistence and the idea that hard work really does pay off,” he said.
Spring Lake Caddie Manager Mike Knapp said: “Sean grasped his job very quickly and truly became an asset to the caddie corps. He has always been one of first kids here. He has made a tremendous impact and is well-asked for. For someone who didn’t know the game of golf, he now has really picked it up and is a tremendous asset to Spring Lake. He’s very mature beyond his years.”
Carson Stapleton of Mountainside caddied at Baltusrol Golf Club and is a senior at Governor Livingston. He was awarded the Evans Scholarship to The Ohio State University. “Not only have I raked more bunkers than one could count, I also have gained knowledge and insight on life through my interactions with all types of golfers during my time as a caddie,” he said. “Thinking about going away to college was somewhat unrealistic, but the day on the golf course when a golfer told me I could receive a full college scholarship just for caddying changed all of that.”
Baltusrol caddie manager Brian Bianchi said: “Carson has been dedicated as a caddie the past two summers he has been with us. He is very reliable, and we have never had any complaints about his work. I went to NJSGA Evans Scholars selection meeting, and he did a good job there. He was poised and presented himself well.”
“Our NJSGA Evans Scholars have shown dedication, hard work and sacrifice to earn this life-changing scholarship, and we are honored to help them pursue their dreams,” said WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy.
“We welcome these young caddies to the Evans Scholars family,” says Tom Paluck, a WGA Director and a Trustee for the New Jersey State Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Foundation. “They have shown excellence in the classroom and in their communities, as well as on the golf course.”
The selection meeting in New York was one of more than 20 such meetings the Evans Scholars Foundation has held across the country through the spring. When the 2019-20 selection meeting process is completed by April, an estimated 285 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. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Currently, a record 1,010 caddies are enrolled in 18 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,050 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 32,500 golfers across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $14 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the third of four PGA TOUR Playoff events in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation.
For those who would like to become involved locally, the 18th annual New Jersey Evans Scholars Classic will be held at Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, New Jersey, on July 27, with event proceeds benefiting NJSGA Evans Scholars.