Two caddies from the Seattle area have been awarded the Evans Scholarship, a prestigious full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies, following a selection interview held Feb. 16.
Each caddie has a unique story that reflects the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.
They will begin college this fall as Evans Scholars, both attending the University of Washington in Seattle. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $120,000 over four years.
Henok Assalif of Seattle caddied at Seattle Golf Club and currently is a senior at Lakeside School. He plans to study chemical engineering in college.
“Caddying forced me to leap out of my comfort zone,” Assalif said. “The opportunities that caddying provided were things I never thought were possible. Some of the fundamental aspects of who I am today are because of my experiences caddying. I learned the importance of being able to connect with people from the multitude of personalities and interests.”
Zach Frankenberg of Edmonds also caddied at Seattle Golf Club and is a senior at O’Dea High School in Seattle. In college, he plans to study biomedical engineering.
“Being a caddie has provided opportunities to meet great individuals and make many great memories,” Frankenberg says. “Both caddying and playing golf has taught me patience, persistence and mental toughness.”
The Evans Scholars selection interviews are being held with applicants nationwide through the spring. When the 2021-22 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 315 caddies from across the country are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
“These young men are part of an exceptional incoming class of New Scholars from around the nation,” said WGA Chairman Joe Desch. “They represent what the Evans Scholars Program has been about since 1930.”
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 1,070 caddies are enrolled at 21 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,500 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
“These young students have each shown excellence in the classroom, in their communities and on the golf course,” 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 35,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $17 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 2022, the BMW Championship will be held at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware, from Aug. 16-21.
To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit wgaesf.org.