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By Jack Mendesh
The tradition of caddying and the Evans Scholarship runs deep in the Polanski family. Amanda, Jared and Josh Polanski’s father, Michael, was awarded the Evans Scholarship out of The Minikahda Club in 1988 and 30 years later, the triplets were awarded the Evans Scholarship out of the same club to the University of Minnesota. There were encouraged to caddie at a young age by their parents due to the impact it has on a person’s personal growth and the impact it can have on a person through relationships with golfers.
Minikahda has a rich Evans Scholar and caddie tradition. The Evans Scholarship program was started by Chick Evans, a top amateur player who won the U.S. Open at The Minikahda Club in 1916. As a young adult, Chick was forced to drop out of school due to financial reasons, so Chick turned down all his golf prize money and other related revenue to start the Evans Scholarship Program for young caddies. The first Evans Scholars attended Northwestern University in 1930. Minikahda has had 40 Evans Scholar Alumni since 1959 and 5 more slated to be graduating this Spring.
Once they arrived at Minikahda, the starter, Mark Harrigan made the biggest impact on the three siblings. He always told stories about the triplets and introduced them to the members of Minikahda. They mentioned he was instrumental in their success in caddying. When they were on the course and caddying, they learned many valuable lessons such as communicating and selling themselves to adults. Additionally, they all gained confidence in developing relationships with successful businesspeople that outside of caddying, they would not have the chance to meet and interact with.
Amanda, Jared and Josh have made Minnesota Evans Scholar history as the first triplets to be awarded the Scholarship at the same time. They have also made and will leave their impact on the Evans House. This past school year, all three of them were on the Executive Board of the Evans Scholar House. They held three of the six Executive Board positions at the same time, an Evans Scholars first. Amanda held the position of House President, Jared was the VP of Administration and Josh was the VP of New Scholars. Amanda also was the Co-Chair of the National Committee, which includes all of the top leaders in the country for the Evans Scholars. Amanda said about her experience on the Executive Board with her brothers, “It was a great experience and one that I am very proud of. We were all able to learn our strengths as well as growth opportunities that will serve us long past our time as Evans Scholars.” Josh also said of the experience, “I was able to build my leadership skills and was able to put myself in other’s shoes to see various views and backgrounds.”
The Evans Scholarship has made a significant impact on the three of them and their family. They stressed the fact they learned the importance of community, especially at such a big university. Jared went on to say, “The Evans Scholarship has allowed me to create lifelong friendships that I would not have had without living in the Evans Scholarship House. I have had the opportunity to meet people with similar interests and ambitions moving forward as me.” They also mentioned that having a full academic/housing scholarship has allowed them to have no student debt and opened them to opportunities that they would not have had otherwise.
The three of them all have plans following graduation. Amanda is planning on attending graduate school for genetic counseling, Jared has accepted a full-time position with TTI, an electronic component company, in their leadership program, and Josh is planning on pursing a doctorate in occupational therapy.