Local caddy hails impact of top BMW Championship beneficiary – Daily Local

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WILMINGTON, Del. >> A longtime caddy at Wilmington Country Club, Frank Yocum has extensive experience in the quartet business. But that’s nothing compared to growing up in a family where he’s quadrupled.

That’s right, Yocum was born on the same day as his three siblings – one brother and two sisters.

“Four at the same time was enough for my parents,” Yocum joked.

A Delaware County native and 2021 graduate of Garnet Valley High School, Yocum was a guest speaker late last month at media day for the upcoming BMW Championship, a PGA Tour event to be held at Wilmington Country Club in the August 18 to 21.

“(This) is an amazing place, and I’m so excited for the world to see this in a few months,” Yocum said.

One of the club’s first to receive a prestigious Evans Scholarship, Yocum’s presence makes sense as the Evans Scholars Foundation has been the primary beneficiary of the BMW since its inception in 2007. The non-profit organization is run by the Western Golf Association and has provided full scholarships and housing to caddies since 1930.

“The BMW Championship is always an exciting week, but its lasting impact is truly the one it has on young caddies,” said Steve Colnitas, vice president of the Western Golf Association.

Over the past 15 years, BMW has raised over $40 million and sent over 3,000 caddies to college. And in 2021, a record 1,070 young men and women left for 21 top universities, including Yocum.

“All of these students have significant financial need, and many come from families that have never seen a parent go to college,” Colnitas said.

Yocum is preparing for his sophomore year at Penn State and pursuing studies in accounting.

“I learned countless lessons on the golf course,” he said. “Caddying taught me the art and importance of perseverance, relationship building and respect. Very quickly, I learned the dedication necessary to achieve my goals.

When he started caddying six years ago, Yocum was about 5 feet tall and weighed about 110 pounds.

“I thought a lot of people would wonder if I could even carry a bag,” he laughed. “But the more loops I took, the more my confidence and caddy skills increased.”

Yocum made such a positive impression that during his senior year of high school, several members of the Wilmington Country Club recommended that he apply to the Evans Scholar program. He did.

“I worked incredibly hard on the bid, with so much guidance and support from many club members,” Yocum said.

A decision letter arrived at his home in Glen Mills in February 2021. Surrounded by family and friends, Yocum admitted he nervously fumbled the package.

“When I finally opened it, with the biggest smile on my face, I told everyone the news that really changed my life,” he recalled.

“It meant my siblings could now commit to four-year colleges and paying for college wasn’t going to be such a burden on my family and me.

“Without the Evans Scholarship, I really don’t know where my siblings and I would be today.”

Yocum also made a strong impression during media day presentations that included Delaware Governor John Carney, Wilmington Country Club trustees and golf course architect Andrew Green.

“He was the best speaker of the day,” Carney acknowledged.

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