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Mastering the Course

Inaugural Class of Outstanding Golf Caddies Comes to UMD

By Liam Farrell

Caddies walk on golf course

The Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Foundation this fall welcomed its two first Evans Scholars at UMD, both former caddies in the Baltimore area. The foundation has also purchased a College Avenue house that will serve as the future home for Evans Scholars (below).

Photo by iStock; rendering by Quinn Evans

Becca Lannon ’25 and Varada Maulkhan ’25 faced the same standardized tests, personal essays and pressure to keep their grades up as other college-bound students, but their prep also included a few nonstandard requisites: carrying clubs, figuring distances to greens and warning people about sand traps.

Evans Scholars house rendering

The two freshmen are the inaugural University of Maryland class of Evans Scholars, a program run by the Western Golf Association that provides full tuition and housing scholarships to outstanding golf caddies with financial need. This year, more than 1,000 students nationwide are attending 21 universities on Evans Scholarships, mostly in dedicated housing. Lannon, Maulkhan and future UMD Evans Scholars will eventually have that same opportunity, as the association recently purchased a College Avenue house with a lead gift of $2 million from the Caves Valley Golf Club Foundation in Owings Mills, Md.

“A public land-grant institution affords equal opportunity to pursue higher education, and I am grateful for scholarships that create new pathways to the University of Maryland for students in our state,” said UMD President Darryll J. Pines at an August reception for the scholars.

Varada Maulkhan ’25 headshot

Maulkhan, the daughter of Guyanese immigrants, started playing golf at age 7 through the First Tee of Greater Baltimore youth program and competed on the varsity team for Catonsville High School. She started caddying two years ago and credits her experiences at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club and Baltimore Country Club with teaching her responsibility and how to effectively communicate.

“I’m not carrying my own clubs, I’m taking care of someone else’s property,” said Maulkhan, who plans to major in secondary education and history. “The scholarship was just a really, really great plus. It wasn’t just a job, it was a hobby.”

While Lannon, who is from Timonium, is not a golfer—she played soccer at Dulaney High School. Her older sister went to Ohio State as an Evans Scholar, and she followed in her footsteps as a caddy at Baltimore Country Club.

“I’ve been super outdoorsy my whole life,” she said. “It’s just a real unique summer job to be outside and getting in some physical activity.”

Becca Lannon ’25 headshot

Lannon is considering a major centered on environmental science. Whatever track she pursues, she is confident the connections she has made on the golf course will help in the future.

“It teaches me hard work, (a) good work ethic,” she said. “But I think caddying is really about the people you get to meet and being able to communicate.”

Lannon and Maulkhan are living in a residence hall as roommates for now; the off-campus house is expected to be fully renovated and open in 2024.

“We are thrilled to send our first Evans Scholars to Maryland,” said WGA Chairman Kevin Buggy. “This is a critical next step as we expand the reach of the Evans Scholars Program and its life-changing impact on the East Coast.”

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