Caddy program at local golf courses aims to help students compete for full scholarships • Current Edition

For students who caddy at Prairie View and Wood Wind golf clubs, their time on the green is more than just summer employment.

As they clean clubs and help locate golf balls, each caddy works hard in hopes of being selected as an Evans Scholar. Presented by the Western Golf Association, the Evans Scholarship covers housing and tuition for up to four years of college.

Matt Cohoat, owner and operator of Prairie View Golf Course in Carmel and Wood Wind Golf Course in Westfield, and his brother both received Evans Scholarships to study at Purdue University after caddying at Crooked Golf Course Stick to Carmel. Years later, when Cohoat learned that so few Indiana students were applying for the scholarship that funds for the Hoosiers were going to other states, he decided to start a caddy program at his golf courses. .

Cohoat tapped Jake Peacock, his son-in-law and head PGA professional at Prairie View, to lead it.

“It has been extremely rewarding for me since taking this on for both facilities to be able to see the kids, get to know them, and watch them grow from eighth grade through their senior year of high school and beyond,” said said Peacock. “How rewarding it is as a golf professional to be able to give these kids the opportunity to change their lives.”

Since the caddies program launched in 2014, 16 caddies from Prairie View and Wood Wind have received the scholarship, which is named after amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. He established the Evans Scholars Foundation in 1930 in conjunction with the Illinois-based WGA. Over 11,500 caddies have received Evans scholarships since its inception.

Hayden Bauschka, who attended Carmel High School, was among the first group of Prairie View and Wood Wind cadets to receive the Evans Scholarship in 2016. He used it to attend Purdue University to study engineering .

“It made it possible to graduate from Purdue without any debt and solidified my decision to pursue an engineering degree at one of the top 10 schools,” Bauschka said. “It also gave me the financial freedom to pursue internships near and far, including summers at Duke Realty, Gibbs Die Casting and Lockheed Martin. I am grateful that these roles prepared me for my current role as an engineer. offshore for Shell in the Gulf of Mexico, which I have held since graduating in 2019.”

Hannah Vanderbosch, a Cathedral High School graduate who received the Evans Scholarship in 2017, caddyed at Prairie View and Wood Wind beginning in 2015. She used the scholarship to study web programming at Purdue and now works as a technical producer associate at Lev in downtown Indianapolis. .

“The Evans Scholarship is more than just a scholarship for those who win it,” Vanderbosch said. “It has given me an incredible education, a community of alumni and mentors like no other, and the network of people at the Western Golf Association who are willing to help me in any way they can.”

Caddy Mike Lupke is one of the most recent recipients of the Evans Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Mike Lupke)

Mike Lupke, a Fishers resident who graduated from Cathedral High School this month, is among three Prairie View/Wood Wind cadets to win the Evans Scholarship this year. He plans to attend Indiana University in the fall.

“It really is a blessing,” Lupke said. “We were still waiting for feedback on financial aid from several universities, and we didn’t really know what we were going to do. When we learned that I had received the scholarship, it was obvious that it would be used. »

To apply for the scholarship, students must have been a caddy at least 100 times for at least two years, have completed their freshman year of high school with a GPA above B in college preparatory courses, be in financial need, and have proof of an exceptional character.

Students can apply to caddy at Prairie View or Wood Wind as early as eighth grade, and golf skills are not required.

“They don’t need to know anything about golf. They just need to be able to show up on time and be able to carry a golf bag short distances of 50 to 100 yards every 15 to 20 minutes to be able to stay ahead of the groups and get them golf balls,” said Peacock, a resident of Fishers.

Both Prairie View and Wood Wind are public golf courses and to reduce costs for golfers they hold an auction every year to raise funds to pay caddies. Between their allowance and their tips, caddies can earn $80 or more for 18 holes, Peacock said.

Learn more and apply to become a caddy at cohoatandoneal.com/caddie-application.

Left to right, Lane Johnston and Sam Mefford take a break during a fundraising event at Prairie View Golf Club.

Evans Scholarship Winners from Prairie View, Wood Wind

2016

  • Hayden Bauschka, Carmel High School (PV)
  • Andrew Hedges, Westfield High School (WW)
  • Megan Hedges, Westfield High School (WW)
  • Ethan Parsley, Westfield High School (WW)

Former caddy Hannah Vanderbosch displays the degree she received from Purdue University. Her tuition was covered by the Evans Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Vanderbosch)

2017

  • Hannah Vanderbosch, Cathedral High School (PV)
  • Elliot Shide, Lawrence North High School (PV) (turned down Evans Scholarship to attend Ball State University on a music scholarship)

2018

  • Amber Hedges, Westfield High School (WW)
  • Ashley Hedges, Westfield High School (WW)

2019

  • Nicole Neuenschwander, Westfield High School (PV)
  • Jacob Espey, Westfield High School (WW)

2020

  • Grayson Wittbrod, Noblesville High School (PV)

2021

  • Meris Shotton, Westfield High School (WW)
  • Kaiden Miller, Cathedral High School (PV)

2022

  • Lizzet Ochoa, Ben Davis University High School (PV)
  • Deanna Aguilar-Hernandez, Riverside High School (PV)
  • Mike Lupke, Cathedral High School (PV)

Michael C. Ford