Badger High School golfer receives full-ride to UW-Madison for caddying
FONTANA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- It's fair to say Sarah Teske knows her way around the golf course at Big Foot Country Club.
"It's roughly 7,500 steps all around the course," Teske said. "The greens always slope towards the lake."
Golf has been a huge part of Teske's life since she was just four years old, learning the intricacies of the game with from her parents and grandparents. While a student at Badger High School in Lake Geneva, she played on the varsity team all four years. She'll even turn on a big match while watching TV at home.
"We play it as a family," Teske explained. "It's something you can play your whole life."
Her love and dedication to the game has paid off in a big way. This coming fall, Teske will attend UW-Madison on a full-ride scholarship with the intention of double majoring in biochemistry and genetics. While her time on the golf course made her receiving this scholarship possible; it's not the time she spends swinging golf clubs but rather carrying them.
"I received the Chick Evans scholarship for caddies," Teske said, beaming with pride. "Four years, full-ride, room and board, everything."
Charles "Chick" Evans Jr., was an amateur golfer who played in the early 1900s. A caddie himself, Evans gained fame across the world in 1916 winning the U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open in the same year. He was the first person to accomplish the feat. Wanting to keep his amateur status on the golf course, Evans took the money he would receive from golf and put it toward scholarships for caddies.
"Chick Evans decided caddies should have the same opportunity as other kids. Particularly, kids who may not come from households that can automatically afford college," explained Mike George, Wisconsin's state director for the Evans Scholarship Foundation and a member at Big Foot Country Club. "Coast to coast there are actually 12,000 graduates of the program. There were 300 scholarships awarded this year nationally."
Of those 300 caddies awarded the scholarship, 21 live in the state of Wisconsin. When asked about Sarah and the qualities that she presents to be named an Evans Scholar, George says the list goes on and on.
"You're immediately attracted to her personality," George explained. "She's warm and outgoing and she can converse with you. It's a terrific start. Then you start to learn that she's an excellent student. That's a second qualification here. She's ambitious. She wants to get ahead so she's making very good grads and she wants to get ahead so going to college is very important for her. She has career aspirations."
After double-majoring in biochemistry and genetics, Teske says her next mission will be medical school with the hopes of becoming a pediatric endocrinologist. It's a decision inspired by her own diagnosis with Kallman Syndrome, a rare genetic condition.
"I would be able to help kids like me just understand what they're going through," Teske said about her career aspirations. "They're never alone and their doctors are always her for them."
It's that motivation, selflessness and character from the teen that has inspired so many golfers that have had the privilege to spend time with her on the links.
"What I think pulls Sarah apart is the fact that she is quietly assertive," explained Donna Neshek, a member at Big Foot Country Club who Sarah has caddied for. "She brings her personality to the game, yet she's not imposing at all and she's good company. I look forward to spending five hours with Sarah a lot more than I would, I hate to say, someone in a cart that I might not know very well."
Good characteristics while carrying the bag on the course, and conversing off.
"You really don't see any entitlement with her. She really is driven, but in a very positive way," Neshek said. "I'm just really proud of her and I'm really happy to be part of her journey."
As for Sarah, while the scholarship will be a huge help in paying for what will be just a third of what's expected to be her 12-year college education, she says the life lessons she has learned through the game of golf and caddying are just as, if not more valuable.
"I think, early on in my golf journey, I learned to, one, never give up but also always try your best with whatever comes at you," Teske said. "You may be having a bad day on the course or you may be having a bad day in the classroom, but always try your best and never give up. If it's important to you, it's important to other people that you're trying and I think that's the most important life lesson."
For more information on the Evans Scholars Foundation and qualifications for the Chick Evans Scholarship, visit the foundation's website: https://wgaesf.org/