Bianca Holsey of Detroit, a caddie at Country Club of Detroit, wants to see where studying computer science can take her, and Mario Migaldi of Okemos, a caddie at Country Club of Lansing, plans to be a medical doctor.
They are two of 30 Michigan golf caddies who have been awarded the Chick Evans Scholarship, a four-year prestigious housing and tuition college grant valued at $120,000, to help them reach their long-range goals.
They will attend college in the fall as Evans Scholars, Holsey at Michigan State University and Migaldi at the University of Michigan, and they will live in the Evans Scholarship houses at the universities.
“Being a caddie has allowed me to work hard and get the financial help I need to build a better future and follow my dreams,” said Holsey, a senior at Cass Technical High School. “A lot of people don’t know if they will be able to go to college because they might not have the financial means to make it happen, but because of this scholarship I’m going to get that opportunity. Being a caddie has opened a lot of doors for me.”
Migaldi, a senior at Okemos High School, said he was introduced to work as a caddie and the Evans Scholar program by Owen Brewer, who is currently an Evans Scholar at the University of Michigan.
“I’m so thankful to Owen and the Country Club of Lansing for my first job, one that is paying dividends to my future,” he said. “The University of Michigan has been my dream school for a long time. I want to become a doctor and that’s where I want to be for the next four years.”
Holsey, the daughter of Rosalyn Robinson and Cleveland Hosley, said she had no experience or knowledge of golf when she became a caddie.
“I heard about the opportunity to become a caddie at school and jumped on it,” she said. “I looked at is as a job opportunity that would let me be active and meet new people. I started training at Country Club of Detroit and loved it. I like meeting with people, talking to new people.”
In her first two years as a caddie Holsey performed 190 loops. She doesn’t play the game. She tried it once at a Top Golf facility and found it much harder than it looks. She has offered a few opinions when asked on reading putts, but otherwise she sticks to being a helpful caddie.
“The first year I would ride with Christyanna Griffin – she goes to Cass Tech, too, and is also an Evans Scholar – and we would get to the Country Club at 5 o’clock every morning to get on the list for loops,” she said. “We worked hard for this opportunity. I would have never dreamed golf would help me go to college and live out my dreams, but I’m so thankful it is happening.”
Migaldi, the son of Maria and Dominic Migaldi, said he was introduced by his father to golf at age 10 and he competed on junior golf tours and in several tournaments.
“I was one of the kids in my all-orange apparel like Rickie Fowler and really just loving golf,” he said. “Two years ago Owen pointed me to the program and it has been a perfect job for me. I love interacting with people, being outside in the summer, making money and enjoying it at the same time.”
Being a caddie has introduced him to people who have already made an impact on him and his future.
“I met Dr. Nick Doman and caddied for him multiple times,” he said. “After I had caddied for him for a round or two he asked me if I wanted to shadow him on his job – he’s an orthopedic surgeon. I got to go with him to his office, meet staff, meet patients. It was the coolest experience ever for me and being a caddie is paying dividends. The Evans Scholarship is helping me go after my dream.”
The Chick Evans Scholarship Program via the Evans Scholars Foundation has been supported since 1930 by the Western Golf Association, which is headquartered in Glenview, Ill. One of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.
Golf Association of Michigan members and clubs help the WGA identify and sponsor worthy candidates and also help interview them for the scholarships which have four selection criteria: a strong caddie record; excellent academics; demonstrated financial need; and outstanding character.
An estimated 300 caddies nationwide are expected to be awarded the scholarships this year. Currently there are 1,045 caddies enrolled at 19 universities across the nation. The program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr., and 11,320 caddies have graduated from the program since 1930.
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 $15 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. The Golf Association of Michigan also contributes to the Evans Scholars through the annual online auction for it’s members.