WESTERN GOLF ASSOCIATION AND MINIKAHDA CELEBRATE CHICK EVANS CENTENARY
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (June 28, 2016) – More than 400 golf supporters, including Western Golf Association leaders, Evans Scholars and Evans Scholars Alumni, and members of The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis gathered at The Minikahda Club on Monday, June 27, for the Chick Evans Centenary Celebration to honor the legacy of famed amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. and his mission of sending caddies to college.
Evans rose to fame in 1916 – 100 years ago - when he became the first amateur to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur in the same year. Only Bobby Jones has done this since. Evans’ historic 1916 U.S. Open victory at The Minikahda Club was among the best of his generation – and it was after this win that he decided to use his newfound fame to help fund college scholarships for caddies. This began the legacy of the Evans Scholars Program, which today has changed the lives of more than 10,000 caddies since it began in 1930.
The special guest of the Centenary celebration was New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman, who grew up in St. Louis Park. He began caddying at an early age at local clubs and continued for about 13 years; one caddie highlight included carrying for Chi Chi Rodriguez in the 1970 U.S. Open.
Other event speakers included Western Golf Association Chairman David Robinson, United States Golf Association President Diana Murphy and The Minikahda Club President Tom Abood. Former Minneapolis TV anchor and radio talk host Pat Miles Zimmerman served as the emcee.
“Chick’s victory at The Minikahda Club was the first bond between golf championships and caddie scholarships,” said WGA Chairman David Robinson. “We’re experts in running first-class golf events, but we’re even better at turning out well-educated young men and women who excel in life to become leaders and role models in society.”
Friedman was inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame after a powerful speech about the life lessons he learned from caddying. The Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates individuals who have devoted their lives to the game of golf through caddying or by supporting the role of caddies.
“Being inducted into the Caddie Hall of Fame is just a real thrill,” Friedman said, “because I learned so much in life caddying. I’ve always enjoyed the company of caddies. I’m honored, and I hope on my tombstone it’ll say many things - Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist and caddie.”
Leaders from The Minikahda Club also announced that evening the creation of a new Endowed Named Evans Scholarship, which will enable a deserving young caddie to attend college as an Evans Scholar.
The Centenary event follows another recent celebratory event, the Evans Scholars Summer Outing Banquet, which took place on June 26 at The Minikahda Club. Top Scholar awards were announced during the evening banquet.
In 1930, the first two caddies were named Evans Scholars and sent to Northwestern University in Illinois. Today, the Evans Scholars Foundation has sent more than 10,000 high school students to college on full housing and tuition scholarships.
Currently, 910 caddies are enrolled in 19 colleges across the nation as Evans Scholars. The full tuition and housing college scholarships, valued at an estimated $80,000 over four years, are funded by more than 28,700 Evans Scholars Par Club members nationwide, Evans Scholars Alumni and proceeds from WGA-conducted tournaments, including the BMW Championship.