AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Teens in Aiken County have a chance to become golf caddies and earn money, too.
“I have some good memories of messing around in the sand traps with my granddad when I was younger; him having to chase me out there,” Aiken High School senior Reed McClain said.
More than 20 teenagers are completing caddie training, and for Reed McClain, it’s a trip down memory lane. “It was fun. It was one of the things that made me fall in love with playing golf with my buddies,” he added.
These young caddies are now carrying golfers’ bags, with the chance of earning a full college scholarship through the Evans Scholars Foundation.
“This is one of our first courses where we really devoted a lot of time and energy to developing a youth only caddy program. And our hope is that through the model that we’re creating here, we can expand to many more courses throughout the region,” Evans Scholars Foundation Vice President Ed Brocker shared.
Old Barnwell, founded by Nick Schreiber, opened its doors in mid-September with a mission to unite people from all backgrounds through golf.
“I’ve experienced how golf can play a role in helping people on and off the course. And so that really kind of stuck with me as a kid,” Old Barnwell founder Nick Schreiber recalled.
The group is partnering with a number of groups, including the ANNIKA Development Program, HBCUs and local organizations. “Finishing up my degree as well as my PGA certification, working both with Evan Scholars and Old Barnwell, which really just tied together perfectly,” Assistant Pro and Caddy Master Chase Jackson shared. Everybody on both sides was very supportive. Evan Scholars has stuck with me all the way through my career in school. And it’s just worked out perfectly.”
Organizational leaders have ambitious plans to grow the program, aiming to send 1,500 students to top colleges across the country by 2030. They also plan to establish partnerships with more universities in the Southeast. “Really enjoying it. Have a good time, being around the game of golf and making some money,” McClain added.