In addition to making the 4.5-hour trek around Victoria Golf Club to get their “loops,” Lachlan Stewart and Laslo Torok pursued their passion of things that fly.
The two Victoria Golf Club caddies are headed to the University of Washington-Seattle to study engineering this fall on scholarships valued at $200,000 US for four years of tuition and housing.
The Evans Scholar caddy program is reserved for the children of families who are not members of the Victoria Golf Club and who could not otherwise afford to attend such a prestigious university program.
They earned it for their high marks in school, Torok at St. Andrew’s Regional School and Stewart at École Victor-Brodeur. Add to that a well-padded resume of extracurricular efforts, starting with a minimum 120 loops, or rounds of golf, caddying for Victoria Golf Club members.
“You also have to show community involvement and leadership,” said Stewart, 18. “There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the Evans Scholarship even if you get your loops and get good marks.”
For Stewart, that ranged from leading his school’s road cycling team on week-long trips to joining the UVic Rocketry Club as a high schooler and volunteering at the Halt to Poverty Club. He also carries a 4.0 GPA in the school’s International Baccalaureate program.
“The feeling right now is surreal, I’m struggling to describe it to people,” Stewart said. “I started this in Grade 8 which is a bit younger than most of us in the caddy scholar program at Victoria Golf Club. It was a long time but it went fast.”
Starting early did two things for Stewart. It eased the pressure on how many rounds of golf he needed to work each summer.
“Some kids join in Grade 10 or 11 and don’t have a lot of time to get their ‘loops,’” he said.
That meant he could revisit what kind of community involvement and other activities he could participate in, such as joining the UVic Rocketry club early.
Stewart joined the aero-structure team and though he couldn’t do everything at UVic as he wasn’t a student, he did help build a rocket for last year’s competition.
This doesn’t end the caddy work for Stewart and Torok. At university, they’ll live in a house with other Evans Scholars and will caddy as needed in the Seattle area. Stewart will also return to Victoria Golf Club this year where his little sister Holly is now caddying.
For Torok, who came to Canada with his mother and brother from Hungary in 2008, it’s a new stage in a Canadian life that started with him speaking very little English.
Torok was driven to work hard in school and at the golf course, undeterred due to his discipline learned through karate, which he has done since the age of nine.
Torok also chaperones at summer camps, competes in a badminton league and enjoys military history. He will now study engineering with a goal of being an aeronautical engineer.
The Evans Scholars Program at Victoria Golf Club is open to promising young students from financially-challenged families; applications do not require any previous golf experience. The club is accepting applications for the 2020 season until May 30.