CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- 12 teenagers from across Charleston are caddying for the Lowcountry’s golfers this summer as a part of a program to grow the game of golf and help the children financially.
At the Charleston Municipal Golf Course, caddies like rising high school freshman Kimberly Hernandez are going from strangers of the game to experts.
“I didn’t know any of the things, like that you have to know how far the ball is,” said Hernandez. “I just knew they hit the ball that’s about it.”
Thanks to her school counselor, Hernandez and her parents heard about the program, which is in Charleston for the first time this summer.
When the program started on June 17, Hernandez had butterflies in her stomach.
“I was pretty nervous. I didn’t know (the golfers), but once I started to walk with them and talk with them I was like ‘Oh they’re pretty nice. I really love them,'” said Hernandez.
Over a month into her time caddying, which requires clocking in at 7:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Hernandez is in love with the game and setting an example for other caddies.
“I really was not good. So once I got used to it I was like ‘This is pretty much really easy.’ I got the hang of it. It’s really easy,” said Hernandez.
“She’s got the best work ethic I’ve ever seen for a 14-year-old,” said Hale Kilborn, the caddie manager for the course. “Without these kids this program is nothing and without the community it’s nothing.”
The program is a part of the Western Golf Association’s pathway to being considered for the Chick Evans Scholarship, which is a four-year tuition and housing scholarship worth $120,000.
The program is new to the Charleston Municipal Golf Course and two other courses on the east coast.
“I think the Muni is the heart of golf in Charleston so it’s really incredible to have a caddie program start at the Muni,” said Kilborn.
Hernandez has to return to caddie for a few more summers and keep her grades up to be considered for the award, but that should not be a problem.
“The reason why I love it is because you get to know the people, they respect you and they treat you as one of them,” said Hernandez.