PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Eastern Caddie Academy, established and funded by the Frank Polizzi Family, provides a unique opportunity for area high school students to caddie on the golf course during the summer.
Seven young women from Philadelphia took part in the Academy’s first summer, which ran from June 19 through Aug. 4, caddying at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and Aronimink Golf Club.
Participants show strong academic and leadership qualities and come from families with limited financial means. The program is fully funded for students, who also get to keep their earnings from caddie rounds.
Those who successfully complete three summers of the Eastern Caddie Academy will become eligible to apply for Platt Evans Scholarships, full tuition and housing college scholarships to Penn State University.
The caddie program is overseen by the Western Golf Association and the Golf Association of Philadelphia, along with member clubs Whitemarsh Valley and Aronimink. Aronimink is host of the 2018 BMW Championship, a WGA-run tournament that is the penultimate event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs.
In addition to educational opportunities, caddying offers young students the chance to learn valuable life lessons, develop a strong work ethic and money management skills and make professional contacts on the golf course, Program leaders say.
“The Eastern Caddie Academy is a groundbreaking effort to offer summer job opportunities to young students, particularly those who are less represented in golf,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowksi. “The ultimate goal for the young caddies is to be eligible to earn Platt Evans Scholarships to college.”
The Eastern Caddie Academy is modeled after the WGA’s Caddie Academy in Chicago. The Chicago program just completed its seventh year, with more than 100 participants caddying at 17 partner clubs along the North Shore.
“I’ve seen firsthand how caddying can impact the lives of young students,” says Frank Polizzi, a WGA Director and founder of the Eastern Caddie Academy, “and we’re so thrilled to have an opportunity to establish a Caddie Academy in Philadelphia.”
“With the gracious support of the Frank Polizzi Family, the Eastern Caddie Academy is offering life- changing opportunities,” said Mark Peterson, executive director of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. “The Golf Association of Philadelphia is thrilled two strong caddie clubs in the area are supporting this program. We are excited for these students to become Platt Evans Scholars in the near future.”
By establishing a strong caddie record, students can become potential applicants for a Platt Evans Scholarship, a full tuition and housing grant to Penn State University. The scholarships are the result of a partnership between the WGA’s Evans Scholars Foundation and the GAP’s J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. Platt Evans Scholars must meet the criteria of both organizations, displaying a strong caddie record, excellent academics, financial need and outstanding character.
Proceeds from the 2018 BMW Championship at Aronimink will be used to fund Platt Evans Scholarships to Penn State and to establish a Scholarship House at Penn State, where Platt Evans Scholars will live and learn together.