Recent Port Townsend High graduate Tadu Dollarhide got out on the greens this summer.
She and eight of her female peers from around Puget Sound participated in the Western Golf Association’s …
Port Townsend High schooler Tadu Dollarhide got out on the greens this summer.
She and eight of her female peers from around Puget Sound participated in the Western Golf Association’s second annual Seattle Caddie Academy for seven weeks.
Working as golf caddies at the Seattle and Broadmoor golf clubs, the girls have been able to make money, learn more about golf, and build relationships all while working toward the Evans Scholarship. The scholarship provides full college tuition and a housing grant for Seattle Caddie Academy participants after they complete the three-year program.
Sitting down for a Zoom interview with The Leader, Dollarhide and Seattle Caddie Academy alumna Michelle Garcia spoke on the program and all they’ve learned and enjoyed from their time on the courses.
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know and talk to new adults, because building connections is really important … it’s also a builder for my character,” Dollarhide said.
“I have gotten so much better about talking to [adults] and them teaching me lessons, life lessons, what to do in golfing; it’s been great.”
Beyond just learning life lessons and networking on the golf course, participants with the Seattle Caddie Academy are able to enjoy activities, field trips, and more all while staying at the Evans Scholarship House on the University of Washington campus.
“It was a pretty set schedule; different days there were different tournaments and different activities going on. Some days we didn’t caddie and some days we had a field trip or team-building exercises, and we had activities together,” said Garcia, who is also the president of the Evans Scholars Foundation for the University of Washington chapter.
Most participants in the caddie academy are minorities with an average household income of $30,000 or less, and the seven-week program provides life-changing opportunities for them, with many involved potentially the first generation of college students in their family.
“If I were to receive this scholarship, my plan is to become an ultrasound technician, and as a side job, probably a photographer. I just want to learn, make friends, and build connections,” Dollarhide said.
With the second year of the program wrapping up last Saturday, more and more adolescents in Western Washington are getting the opportunity to achieve their collegiate goals through the Seattle Caddie Academy.
“There’s over 100 caddie academy participants that have actually received the Evans Scholarship; we have a great track record,” Garcia said. “There’s people from Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minneapolis, they’re all joining different colleges across the nation.”
In 2022 alone, more than 155 men and women have participated in caddie academies across the United States with additional chapters popping up each year.
“I knew it was gonna be exciting … it was really fun because it exceeded my expectations,” Dollarhide said of her caddie experience.
For more information on the Seattle Caddie Academy and Western Golf Association, visit wgacaddieacademy.org.