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Templeton nets caddying scholarship

By Greg Bates

GREEN BAY – Will Templeton started caddying on the links in the summer of 2015 to earn some spending cash.

Little did he know, four years later, his part-time golf gig would be worth in excess of $100,000.

Templeton, who graduated from Notre Dame Academy this past May, was one of 16 seniors throughout Wisconsin to be awarded the prestigious Evans Scholarship.

Will Templeton

The caddy winners were given a college grant for full housing and tuition for four years.

Templeton is the only recipient from northeastern Wisconsin.

“It’s incredible,” Templeton said. “It was super overwhelming, and I’m really thankful.”

Templeton, who will attend the University of Wisconsin, applied for the scholarship last fall.

He had to fill out paperwork and qualify based on certain criteria.

Templeton had to divulge his number of caddy loops (number of times he’s ever caddied), his track record (what his ratings are as a caddy), character, grades and financial need.

“When I heard about the scholarship, it sounded like a cool opportunity,” said Templeton, who caddies at the Oneida Golf and Country Club. “I always had it on the backburner that it was something I really wanted to try and do. When I was finally applying this year, it was really a unique experience.”

Candidates from around the state were pared down, and a select few got the opportunity to take part in final-selection interviews in Hartland.

Templeton had to answer questions at a podium in front of 100 people and was able to meet the fellow candidates.

A couple of days after presenting his case to earn a scholarship, Templeton got the call that changed his financial future.

It will ensure if Templeton graduates from Wisconsin in four years, he’ll leave the university debt-free for housing and tuition.

“It’s definitely taken a weight off the shoulders on that front,” Templeton said. “I can’t say I wouldn’t have gone to college if I didn’t get this scholarship, but it definitely feels a lot better knowing I have this assurance – and it brings up the possibility of grad school if I want to go that route because everyone knows college is not cheap.”

Currently, a record 985 caddies are enrolled in 18 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars.

In addition, more than 10,830 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr. in 1930.

Earning the Evans Scholarship is certainly an alternative way for a student to obtain a full-ride to college.

Templeton jokingly calls the scholarship a “real-life ‘Caddyshack’ opportunity.”

When people ask Templeton about the scholarship, they are shocked to hear its financial impact.

“They’re like, ‘What? You got a scholarship for caddying?’” said Templeton, who was a four-year player on the Notre Dame tennis team. “People are spending hours and hours a day in the gym to get an athletic scholarship, and I’m caddying and getting the same thing.”

This marks Templeton’s fifth summer caddying at the private, members-only Oneida Golf and Country Club in Green Bay.

Over his young career, Templeton figures he’s caddied about 110 times.

Most of the time, the 18-year-old will show up to men’s league on Thursdays to pick up a caddying gig; he also might get requested by a golfer he’s caddied for before.

Templeton’s caddying style is more than carrying and cleaning clubs.

“You’re also talking to the guys, forming relationships and you get to read the greens and other things,” Templeton said. “I’ve made some pretty cool connections through Oneida with people in our community.”

Over the years, caddying has taught Templeton many valuable lessons that he’ll take with him to Madison and for the rest of his life.

“One of the main things I’ve learned is the ability of hard work,” Templeton said. “If you do a good job caddying, you’ll get hired back. I learned the importance of communication. Some people are friendly and chatty and want to talk to you the whole time, and other people want to keep to themselves and want you to read the greens. I learned the importance of responsibility. If you show up on time with a great attitude, you’re going to get the first loop. Then, I learned the importance of integrity. A lot of time members on the course are talking about business deals and stuff they would prefer to keep quiet.”

Being an Evans Scholar, there are special requirements Templeton and his fellow winners have to adhere to in order to retain their scholarship.

Winners have to maintain above a 3.0-grade point average and take part in community service work.

Fifteen of the 16 in-state recipients of the Evans Scholarship will be attending Wisconsin.

The group will live in a house together with about 60 other winners for all four years of the schooling, said Templeton.

“The bottom line is, I’m going to be surrounded by of hard-working people next year – people who will push me to be my best,” said Templeton, who is looking at majoring in business or possibly accounting or finance.

Templeton feels honored to be chosen as an Evans Scholarship winner, and he’ll never forget the hard work he put forward to make the scholarship a reality.

“I view the Evans Scholarship as the American dream,” he said. “I think anyone can have an opportunity to do better in their life regardless of financial background. If you work hard, you’ll succeed in a situation.”

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