Five Minnesota students recently found out they have been awarded Chick Evans Scholarships; a full, four-year housing and tuition scholarship. Two of the recipients reside in Chanhassen in Southwest Christian High School's William Addler and Minnetonka High School's Karsten Kimsal.
Addler and Kimsal were selected through a virtual interview process. Each caddie has a unique story to tell, reflecting the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character.
Currently, a record 1,045 caddies are enrolled at 19 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,320 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.
When the 2020-2021 selection meeting process is completed this spring, an estimated 300 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.
How did you get into caddying?
Kimsal: "I started caddying in spring 2016 right before Hazeltine hosted the Ryder Cup. I was in seventh grade and had just recently started to play golf and become interested in the sport. I had always just played baseball growing up (and I still do) so golf was definitely a learning experience for me."
Addler: "I have been caddying for the past four years at Wayzata Country Club. One of the main reasons that I became interested in caddying was my love for golf and my love for people. I enjoyed any chance that I could to be out on the golf course and I was excited to meet new people, listen and learn as they shared their stories and form good relationships while on the course."
What experiences can you take away that will help you in college and in life?
Addler: "One thing that I can take away from this experience of caddying over the last four years has been the ability to serve and invest in a person for an extended period of time and make a relationship between golfer and caddie that wouldn’t otherwise be there. When you are caddying, you are with that one person/group for the next four hours. Your main objective is to serve and be there for the golfers. I believe this skill will be valuable in my coming years of college and especially as I prepare for the workforce. I think that servanthood is a vital character trait of a strong leader that often gets overlooked."
Kimsal: "I have learned a lot through caddying. Not only did I learn how to caddie, but I also learned a lot about the game of golf in general. I think the most important thing I developed through caddying however is communication skills. Pretty much every round you are caddying for a new player who you've never met before so it is important to build a relationship with them throughout the round. I think being able to talk to strangers and build trust with them throughout a round of golf will help me later in life and in my career."
How did it feel when you were announced as a scholarship recipient?
Kimsal: "Being awarded the Evans Scholarship has changed my life. Opening my letter from the Western Golf Association awarding me the Evans Scholarship is a moment I will never forget."
Addler: "I will never forget the day that I walked into my home on that Friday night and was met with a single envelope sitting on a table surrounded by friends and family. The contents of that single envelope held a life changing invitation. There is no other feeling in the world like having all your hard work and intentional focus toward a goal, realized in such a profound and generous gift. This gift will pay dividends well into my future. I am humbled and so very thankful to be given the opportunity of being an Evans Scholar at the University of Minnesota. I am thankful to the many people I have walked alongside of on and off the course that believed in me, encouraged me, prayed for me and sharpened me in preparation for this exciting season on my life!"