The WGA Caddie Scholarship Fund


The man behind the Caddie Scholarship Fund was local golfing great Willie Turnesa, one of the most successful amateur golfers in United States history. One day, Turnesa was golfing with his close friend Udo Reinach, a member of Quaker Ridge. Their discussion turned to their appreciation and love for the game, and they decided it was time for them to give something back. Inspired by the success of the Chick Evans and Ouimet funds, they established a similar program for caddies from clubs in the Westchester County Area. They named their organization the Reinach-Turnesa Scholarship Fund.

Willie and Udo soon began to spread the word and were ecstatic when a flurry of applications arrived. As they reviewed the applications, they culled the list and identified six qualified applicants – but there was a catch. They could only afford to award three scholarships. Willie and Udo then drew the lucky three names from a hat. The next day, the local newspaper carried the story, including a complete list of the six qualified candidates and the three fortunate recipients.

Copyright © Leslie Jones

Willie Turnesa with his caddie at the 1934 Masters Tournament, Agusta National


Upon reading this story, Sally Francis, a golfer from the Apawamis Club in Rye, N.Y., phoned her friend Willie to ask how much was needed to fund the remaining scholarships. Sally’s check arrived the next morning. Her generosity inspired the Fund’s mission never to turn away a qualified candidate with financial need.


Today, the Caddie Scholarship Fund provides post-secondary scholarships to caddies and others in service to golf across the nine-county WGA region. To date, the Fund has granted over $10,000,000 in scholarship awards to over 2,500 students.


Willie Turnesa being welcomed home by the Turnesa family and friends after winning the 1938 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club. © Times Wide World Photo


Willie's Wins:


CSF Founders Willie Turnesa and Udo Reinach head to the British Amateur, won by Willie in 1947.