PARK CITY, Utah – A Utah teen is bringing the plot to Caddyshack to life, as the first in the state to receive a full-ride college scholarship for being a golf caddie.
“Honestly, it’s one of my favorite feelings,” said Park City High School senior Jack Hanskat while sitting at Park Meadows Country Club.
“Being out in nature and walking for four and a half hours, just enjoying the peace and quiet, hearing the birds and all the green and lush, it’s just surreal," he said.
For Jack, golf is a way of life.
“I’ve grown up out here my entire life… the golf course,” he said.
Always behind the club, he never thought he’d be carrying someone else’s.
“I never really expected that I would be a caddie, and even if I was going to be a caddie I never thought it would bring me an opportunity like this,” Jack said with a smile.
Three and a half years ago, Jack was told about a coveted scholarship for caddies that would completely cover the cost of college.
“We all thought it sounded too good to be true,” Jack said, reminiscing on the moment he and his parents were told about the scholarship.
Since 1930, more than 10,000 high school students have received the Chick Evans Scholarship for caddies.
But in nearly 90 years, not one recipient was from the state of Utah.
“We didn’t really think that there was a whole lot of a chance that I would get the scholarship,” Jack said.
Despite the odds, Jack started to caddie.
“No matter what I was doing I would just drop everything and come caddie,” he said.
Jack has worked to learn his golfer's habits.
“He’s had the same putter forever,” Jack laughed, pulling an old customized club out of a client's bag.
“It’s different for every person, it changes out there on the course,” he said.
And he's studied his course as well.
“I’ve seen every slope on these greens, I’ve seen every undulation,” he said.
“I try and picture a line that I think the ball's going to take,” Jack said, explaining how he reads the greens. “Where it lies, if it’s in the rough or if it’s in the fairway.”
Years later that dream and scholarship are his.
“I’m the first from Utah!” he said.
“I got a big envelope in the mail, I was like shaking,” he added, remembering the moment he found out he got the scholarship.
“It said, 'Congratulations! You’ve received the Evans Scholarship for caddies.'"
Even now, Jack says it’s not about the money, it’s about the love of the game.
“One of the ladies that I was caddying for had a 90-foot putt, the odds of her making it obviously weren’t very high… putts like that never go in,” Jack said as he told us his favorite story from his time as a caddie.
“I told her, 'Alright, hit it right to this spot over here on the green,” Jack said. “Sure enough, it was just dead center and she drained it.”
“That’s what caddying is all about for me is helping someone enjoy the game of golf as much as I do,” he added.
The average amount given to Evans Scholars over the course of a four-year degree amounts to $100,000.
This fall Jack will head to the University of Washington. As of now, he wants to continue playing golf, but just for fun and not as part of the college’s team.