A golfing legend and philanthropist, Charles E. “Chick” Evans Jr. left an indelible mark on the world of golf and the lives of countless young people. As one of the most successful amateur golfers of his time, Evans’ on-course accomplishments were only matched by his unwavering commitment to helping others.
The impact of the remarkable life of Chick Evans continues today – 130+ years after his birth, through the Evans Scholars Foundation. By setting the standard as a golfer and golf philanthropist, Chick Evans should be considered the person from the Chicagoland area who has made the biggest impact in golf.
Brief Introduction to Chick Evans
Born on July 18, 1890, Charles E. “Chick” Evans Jr. grew up to become one of the most influential figures in the history of golf. As a highly accomplished amateur golfer, he achieved numerous milestones during his career, including winning both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Championships in 1916.
However, Evans’ legacy extends way beyond the golf course long after his passing at the age of 89 on November 6, 1979. Through his remarkable achievements in golf and philanthropy, Chick Evans continues to inspire generations of golfers and students alike.
Overview of his impact on golf and philanthropy
As a pioneering amateur golfer, Evans’ success and sportsmanship elevated the status of amateur golfers and demonstrated their ability to compete with the professionals. In addition to his golfing accomplishments, Evans’ passion for philanthropy led him to establish the Evans Scholars Foundation, which has since transformed the lives of thousands of deserving caddies.
By providing full college scholarships to young men and women with financial need and strong academic records, the Foundation has opened doors to education and opportunity that would have otherwise remained closed. Evans’ work has had a profound impact on the golf community, demonstrating the power of giving back and creating a lasting legacy that continues to change lives for the better.
Early Life and Introduction to Golf
Chick Evans’ background and upbringing
Chick Evans was born to Charles E. Evans Sr. and Lena Rebecca Evans in Indianapolis, Indiana. The family later moved to Chicago, where Chick spent most of his childhood.
Growing up in a working-class family, Evans faced financial challenges that would later shape his philanthropic endeavors. His parents emphasized the importance of hard work, perseverance, and education, values that would guide him throughout his life. These early experiences played a crucial role in molding Chick Evans into the golfing legend and humanitarian he would become, inspiring him to pursue excellence both on and off the golf course.
His discovery of golf and early golfing experiences
Chick Evans’ introduction to golf began at the tender age of eight when his father brought him to the Edgewater Golf Club. It was here that Chick first experienced the thrill of swinging a club and hitting a golf ball. He quickly developed a passion for the sport, spending countless hours on the course, honing his skills, and learning the intricacies of the game.
Evans began working as a caddie at Edgewater to help support his family and gain deeper insight into golf. This experience not only allowed him to observe the techniques of accomplished golfers but also helped him forge a lifelong connection with caddies.
During his eight year career at Edgewater, Evans earned the reputation as the No. 1 caddie at the club. Chick earned acclaim with his uncanny ability to find lost balls for the members. Chick’s strategy was to lie down and roll his body across the tall grass until he felt the pressure of the missing ball on his body.
Chick’s early golfing experiences laid the foundation for his future success in the sport. His natural talent, coupled with dedication and hard work, propelled him into the world of competitive golf, where he would soon make his mark as one of the most successful amateur golfers in history.
The beginning of his amateur golf career
Chick Evans’ amateur golf career took off when he began participating in local competitions during his teenage years. His exceptional talent and dedication to the sport were evident from the start, as he consistently delivered impressive performances against more experienced players. Evans’ skill and determination caught the attention of fellow golfers and golf enthusiasts alike, paving the way for a successful amateur career.
In 1909, at the age of 19, Evans made a significant breakthrough by winning the Chicago Amateur Championship. This victory marked the beginning of his rise to prominence in the world of golf. Over the next few years, he would continue to refine his skills and compete in prestigious tournaments, earning a reputation as a formidable competitor.
Chick Evans’ Amateur Golf Career
Overview of his accomplishments
Chick Evans’ amateur golf career is defined by an impressive list of accomplishments that solidified his status as one of the greatest amateur golfers of all time. Some of his most notable achievements include:
- 1910 Western Open Championship: Evans won the prestigious Western Open at Beverly Country Club, one of the major golf championships of the early 20th century, at just 20 years old. This victory further bolstered his reputation as a rising star in the golfing world.
- 1916 U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Championships: In a historic feat, Evans became the first golfer to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur Championships in the same year, an achievement only matched by Bobby Jones in 1930. This remarkable accomplishment cemented his place among golf’s elite.
- Other notable achievements: Throughout his career, Evans claimed multiple titles, including four Western Amateur Championships (1909, 1912, 1914, and 1920), two U.S. Amateur Championships (1916 and 1920), and numerous state and regional championships.
Evans’ impressive list of accomplishments not only highlights his incredible skill and dedication to the sport but also showcases the lasting impact he had on the world of amateur golf.
The Birth of the Evans Scholarship
Chick Evans’ personal struggles with finances and education
Despite his success on the golf course, Chick Evans faced financial challenges throughout his life. His humble upbringing and the economic struggles of his family made it difficult for him to pursue higher education. These experiences deeply influenced Evans and fueled his desire to help others overcome similar obstacles.
The idea and motivation behind the Evans Scholarship
Evans recognized the importance of education in shaping a better future and was determined to create opportunities for young people who shared his passion for golf. Drawing from his personal experiences and his connection to caddies, he conceived the idea of a scholarship program specifically for deserving caddies. Evans’ vision was to provide full college scholarships to young men and women with financial need, strong character, and a commitment to education.
Founding of the Evans Scholars Foundation
In 1930, Chick Evans partnered with the Western Golf Association to establish the Evans Scholars Foundation. He donated the royalties from his popular golf instructional book, “Chick Evans’ Golf Book,” to fund the scholarships. The Foundation quickly gained support from the golf community, and the first two Evans Scholars were awarded scholarships in 1931.
Impact of the scholarship on the lives of caddies
Since its inception, the Evans Scholars Foundation has had a transformative impact on the lives of caddies. The Foundation has awarded nearly 12,000 full college scholarships, helping young men and women achieve their dreams of higher education. By providing financial support and mentorship, the Evans Scholars program has opened doors to countless opportunities, enabling these individuals to excel academically, professionally, and personally. The scholarship program continues to honor Chick Evans’ legacy and his commitment to giving back to the golf community.
Later Life and Legacy
Chick Evans’ post-golf career
As Evans transitioned out of competitive golf, he remained deeply involved in the sport he loved. He contributed to the growth of golf through various roles, including serving as a golf instructor, author, and radio commentator. Evans shared his knowledge and experiences with a wider audience, helping to popularize the sport and inspire future generations of golfers.
His continued support for the Evans Scholars Foundation
Even in his later years, Evans remained devoted to the Evans Scholars Foundation and its mission to provide educational opportunities for deserving caddies. He actively participated in fundraising efforts, promoted the Foundation’s work, and served as a mentor to the scholars. His unwavering commitment to the cause ensured that the Foundation continued to thrive and expand its impact.
Awards, recognitions, and hall of fame inductions
In recognition of his contributions to golf and philanthropy, Chick Evans has been honored with numerous awards and accolades. He was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame, the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, the Caddie Hall of Fame, and in 1975, he became a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Additionally, Evans has been posthumously awarded the USGA’s Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the organization, in acknowledgment of his sportsmanship, character, and dedication to the game of golf.
Chick Evans’ remarkable life stands as a testament to the power of dedication, passion, and generosity. His outstanding accomplishments in amateur golf and his commitment to helping others through the Evans Scholars Foundation have left a lasting impact on the world of golf and beyond. Evans’ contributions have not only changed the course of the sport but also provided life-changing opportunities for thousands of young men and women, enabling them to pursue higher education and fulfill their dreams.
Encouragement to learn more about Chick Evans and support the Evans Scholars Foundation
We hope that this exploration of Chick Evans’ life has inspired you to learn more about this incredible golfer and humanitarian. By supporting the Evans Scholars Foundation, you can help carry on his legacy and ensure that deserving caddies continue to receive the life-changing gift of education. Together, we can honor the spirit of Chick Evans by giving back to the golf community and helping young people realize their full potential.