If you follow pro golf in the Midwest, you've probably heard of the Evans Scholars Foundation. For years, it's been a deserving beneficiary of the erstwhile Western Open, now known as the BMW Championship, the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The namesake of that program, Chick Evans, also has his name on one of the golf courses in the Forest Preserve Golf family. So who is Chick Evans?
Evans was the first golfer in American history to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur, completing the feat in 1916. He was a prolific champion in the 1910s and '20s. But he was an amateur golfer, so he couldn't accept prize money. Nevertheless, his fame offered him the opportunity to write golf tips for magazines and a book. The royalties he would have been paid would have compromised his amateur status, so he came up with a use for the money: a scholarship fund for caddies. That money was the genesis of the Evans Scholars Foundation.
Evans teams up with the Western Golf Association, which managed the Western Open, to start the program in 1930 with a pair of caddies earning scholarships to attend Northwestern in Chicago. In the 84 years since, the program has expanded nationwide and delivered some $306 million in scholarships to 10,600 caddies.