CARMEL, Ind. — For college-bound Hoosiers, caddying at Prairie View or Wood Wind golf courses is more than just a summer job.

They’re earning hours towards a prestigious scholarship that offers a full ride to college.

Each caddy is working hard to be chosen as an Evans Scholar– a prestigious scholarship presented by the Western Golf Association that covers housing and tuition for up to four years of college.

The program began in 2014 under course owner Matt Cahoat, who was an Evans Scholar himself.

He decided to start his own program at the golf clubs after noticing there weren’t enough scholarship applicants from Indiana for the allotted amount of scholarships.

“The reason we started the scholarship program here, which is Cohoat and O’Neal, is because there weren’t enough scholarship applicants from Indiana for the allotted amount of scholarships from western golf association,” said Jake Peacock, who oversees the program.

“The thing that’s interesting about us is that we’re public,” Peacock said. “It’s not out of the question that a lot of other golf associations have a scholarship program: Meridian Hills, Woodland, Crooked Stick. There are multiple ones in the area but they’re private. They’re going to get a lot more activity from their members. It’s something out of the ordinary but we have some ways to supplement the program to be able to pay the kids.”

The scholarship is a four-year scholarship that covers housing and tuition.

“It will change my life,” said Reese Gheen, a high school student and caddy. “Going to college is getting more and more expensive. Having a full ride takes those worries away. You see so many people leave college with student loans, debt and if I went to college and got this scholarship it would be a life changer.”

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must have caddied over 100 times before entering their senior year, have excellent grades, outstanding character and a combined family income of under $100,000.

“My parents don’t make enough to pay for my college and this scholarship would change that. It would give me a way to pay for college,” said Gheen.

Since launching the program in 2014, 16 caddies from Prairie View and Wood Wind received the scholarship. They’re hoping to increase that number in the coming years and help more college-bound Hoosiers earn the scholarship.

To learn more about the caddying program, click here.