One of the most significant, and perhaps least lauded, scholarship funds continues to set records for providing money to deserving students involved with the golf industry in Massachusetts.
The Francis Quimet Scholarship Fund will award a record $1.5 million in scholarships to students for the 2008-09 academic year. The fund has set a new scholarship record in 17 of the last 18 years, and the $1.5 million represents a 15 percent increase from the previous year.
The Ouimet Fund, named after the legendary golfer who captured the nation’s attention when he won the 1913 U.S. Open as a 20-year-old amateur, was founded in 1949. During its 49-year history, more than 4,500 students have received over $19.2 million.
The Ouimet Scholarship is a renewable, need and merit based competitive undergraduate scholarship, with grants ranging from $1,500 to $7,500 per year, depending upon financial need and ranking in a competitive evaluation process. The value of the award over four years can be $10,000 to $20,000 or more.
To be eligible, applicants must have completed at least two years service to golf as caddies, helpers in the pro shop or course superintendent operations at a club in Massachusetts. Applicants are evaluated based upon golf service, academic excellence, school and community activities, character and certified financial need. Off-course, driving range, miniature golf, or country club dining room, kitchen, office, pool or tennis employees are not eligible.
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund is one of the largest independent scholarship organizations in New England and has touched countless lives through its history. The founders of the Fund, and those who have carried it forward, dedicated themselves to providing the golf community an opportunity to give back to golf and society by assisting youth in furthering their education. The Fund also seeks to preserve the history of Francis Ouimet’s contribution to American Golf.
The Fund raises money through a variety of methods, including an annual banquet, a memorial tournament, a golf marathon and other special golf events.
The popular Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament was held for the 41st time on July 30 at Wollaston Golf Club, July 31 at Framingham Country Club, and August 1 at Woodland Golf Club. The 54-hole stroke play amateur invitational is for players with handicaps of three or less. The tournament was begun in 1968, the year after Ouimet died. Among the winners have been PGA Tour star and Rhode Island native Brad Faxon and prominent national-level players such as Jerry Courville and Ed Tutwiler.
The 17th annual Ouimet Golf Marathon will be held Aug. 6 at Stow Acres Country Club in Stow. The event is the largest golf marathon in the country and has raised $3.1 million for the Scholarship Fund. Some 45 clubs and organizations send a representative to play a 100 holes of golf during the day with players supported by pledges.
In June, the Ouimet Fund unveiled a new display on “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” in the Ouimet Rom at the William F. Connell Golf House in Norton, Mass. The Ouimet Fund worked closely in the development of Mark Frost’s acclaimed book of the same title, which won the USGA’s International Book Award in 2003 and was made into a popular movie. The Ouimet Fund also worked with Frost in producing and writing the screenplay for the 2005 movie based upon the book that chronicled Ouimet’s victory in the 1913 U.S. Open.
The original manuscript with editor’s notes, photos of the movie’s premier, a hat from the movie, a pass from the movie’s premier, a movie poster, a movie DVD and a copy of the copy of the book are on display.
For further information about the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, visit www.ouimet.org