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Caddying paying off for Baltimore high school student

Baltimore student goes from First Tee program to thriving as a caddie
Baltimore student goes from First Tee program to thriving as a caddie 02:49

BALTIMORE - For most golfers, this weekend's Masters signals the unofficial start of the season.

At Baltimore Country Club, a high school senior is making her college dream come true all because she picked up a golf bag and learned how to caddie.

"It's just perseverance," said Shawntae Wilson. "It's a difficult time initially when you are walking 18 holes. It's like five miles here, but when you try over and over again, you get used to it. It gets better over time." 

Wilson takes her job as a caddie at Baltimore Country Club seriously, from properly raking the bunkers to making sure the golf clubs are clean and ready to use. 

But it's not all work for Wilson. She takes time to enjoy her surroundings.

"All this greenery, it's very beautiful to look at," Wilson said. "I don't get to see it in the city where I live, so being out, it's just a different experience. I also love the small talk and the conversations I have with people meeting people over four hours and getting to know them."

Golf wasn't on Wilson's mind until two years ago.

That's when the First Tee of Greater Baltimore made a presentation at her high school about the benefits of becoming a caddie. She made the bold decision to give it a try.

"It's was, why not? I stay in the house every summer. I didn't do a lot," Wilson said. "I didn't talk to a lot of people, and with caddying, I would be doing all of those things, which I thought would be great."

"The members help them with that as well, you know, when they were out there with them for four hours, they get to know them and know what they like and dislike, and what they enjoy doing and try to help them along in like," said Greg Jones, with the Baltimore Country Club.

"I am so happy that I got into it and took the chance because I usually don't take chances but I did this time and it really paid off," Wilson said.

Caddying did indeed pay off because the Baltimore Country Club is part of the Evans Scholar Program, a long-running charitable foundation that awards full college scholarships to high-achieving caddies from around the country.

Wilson was named an Evans Scholar in February.

"I saw the congratulations and it didn't feel real," Wilson said. "But my grandmother and my aunt were crying and that's when it began to set in. They are very happy because they have such high hopes for me. Without the scholarship, I didn't believe I would be able to attend college as early as I wanted to and then I got it, and my dream, essentially since I have been little, is coming true. It's happening right now."

After Wilson finishes her senior year at Bard High School, she will be attending the University of Maryland where she will study biology in her first step toward becoming a veteranarian.

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