As Edgartown student Jack Walsh began the process of looking for college scholarships this past August, he soon found out he had to be more calculating. Bombarded with hundreds and hundreds of results on Google, “I realized I needed to search for niche categories,” he said.
A caddie at Vineyard Golf since freshman year, Walsh noticed he was the only high school senior on staff, so he altered his Google inquiry to include the keyword ‘caddie,’ which ended up being one of the best decisions he’d ever made.
Stumbling upon the Chick Evans Scholarship for incoming freshmen with “a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need, and outstanding character,” Walsh finally found his niche scholarship.
“That Google search changed my life,” he stated.
In his application, Walsh sent in a photo of him and President Barack Obama at Vineyard Golf, which proved to be a major talking point during his interview with the Evans Scholars Foundation in November.
“They were really about that photo when I did the interview,” Walsh said. “You meet all sorts of people caddying [at Vineyard Golf]; I’ve met two presidents, an owner of the Boston Celtics …”
Finally, flash-forward to January, Walsh and his family heard the news he’d be going to Rutgers University on a full ride next fall. It was an amazing moment for Walsh, who comes from a single-parent household and has a fraternal twin brother who also plans on attending college next year.
“My mom was gonna be paying for the same person twice,” Walsh joked.
Moreover, Walsh will be joining a young chapter at Rutgers. The Evans Scholarship program has only been held at the University for one year. Walsh is really excited to have the opportunity to “make a mark” on the culture there, in which Evans Scholars live and collaborate together for all four years.
“You don’t get that opportunity at any other program,” he said.
This summer, Walsh will caddy once again at Vineyard Golf, before heading out to New Brunswick, N.J., in the fall. Funnily enough, Walsh actually forgot to rake the bunkers during his caddy test as an eighth grader, which could have changed everything. But with some enthusiasm and “borderline harassment” of his future boss, he ultimately nailed the job at Vineyard Golf, a career that he says was “completely self-directed.”
Walsh, a golfer himself since seventh grade, was also part of the varsity golf team at MVRHS that finished as state runners-up earlier this year.