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Impacting Young Lives and the Cultural Landscape: Youth Caddying and the Quad Cities Golf Community

Marc Zyla
Matt Blaylock

In this episode of "What's Happenin' QC," host Marc Zyla and Matt Blaylock dive into the world of youth caddying and the Evans Scholarship program in the Quad Cities region. Matt, a former recipient of the Evans Scholarship himself, shares his personal journey and the valuable life lessons he learned through caddying.

The conversation begins with Matt recounting his own experience as a young caddy at the Olympia Fields Country Club. He explains how caddying taught him important values such as dedication, adaptability, and the ability to navigate different situations on the golf course. This passion for youth caddying has led Matt to be a driving force behind the launch of a youth caddying program at the Davenport Country Club, with the aim of not only enhancing the member experience but also providing opportunities for young people to earn the prestigious Evans Scholarship.

Matt then delves into the history and significance of the Evans Scholarship program. Named after Chick Evans, a legendary amateur golfer, the scholarship has been providing four-year scholarships to deserving caddies since 1930. Matt's personal connection to the program as a recipient at Indiana University adds a personal touch to the discussion, as he shares the unique experiences of living in an Evans Scholar house and the lifelong relationships he formed with fellow alumni.

The conversation continues as Matt discusses his upcoming appearance on the "A Real Piece of Work" podcast, where he shares his own career journey as a marketer. He highlights the importance of young people seeking guidance and insight from professionals in various fields as they navigate their own career paths.

To wrap up the episode, Matt expresses his excitement for the upcoming golf season in the Quad Cities and discusses various events such as the Masters, the John Deere Classic, and the new Iron T golf social. He emphasizes the importance of integrating music, entertainment, and social elements into golf to attract and engage the next generation of golfers, ensuring the sport's continued growth and vitality in the region.

Throughout the episode, Matt's passion for youth caddying, the Evans Scholarship program, and the vibrant golf community in the Quad Cities shines through. Listeners gain valuable insights into the impact that these initiatives can have on the lives of young people and the overall cultural and recreational landscape of the Quad Cities.

Davenport Country Club
Western Golf Association
Evans Scholarship

Marc Zyla joined WVIK, Quad Cities NPR in May 2022 as the Director of Community Engagement. Prior to that Zyla had been the Director of Education and Community Engagement with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where he continues to perform as Principal Horn. Zyla believes that there is something for everyone in public radio and brings passion and creativity to his position as Director of Community Engagement.