HAMILTON — When it comes to summer gigs, Luke Schlimgen has it pretty good.
“I had the chance to caddie for Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock was also here last week,” said the Corvallis High School senior.
Caddying for Stock Farm Club since he was 13-years-old, Schlimgen has worked his way through the ranks, learning what it takes to keep the prestigious golf course living up to its reputation.
“I started off full-time caddying for two years, then I transitioned into the cart barn, so cleaning the carts, dealing with the driving range, and then this year I'm kind of supervising downstairs and then working up in the pro shop as well,” said Schlimgen.
Judging from the dream job and the laid-back attitude, you’d never know of some of the trials Luke has faced.
“I lost my dad when I was pretty young, I think I was eight years old,” Schlimgen told MTN News, “My mom was a single mom for 11 years after that, and then it was just kind of always tough because we were also on one income for that amount of time.”
Schlimgen said it’s his mom who’s always had to be the rock in the family, "she’s been my biggest inspiration to keep going.”
Now, the soon-to-be high school graduate is doing his part and supporting the family by eliminating any financial strain that could come from college expenses.
For his dedication to caddying, academic strength, and outstanding character, Schlimgen is a recipient of the highly competitive Chick Evans Scholarship -- a full ride valued at $120,000 over four years.
You might as well call it a Schlimgen family tradition seeing as Schlimgen’s mom played basketball and golf at the University of Montana on a full ride.
His older brother also received a full ride for academics. He knows his dad would have loved to see him following in their footsteps.
“I know he's probably pretty proud of us,” said Schlimgen.
What began as a summer gig to play a little golf and earn some cash is now opening doors for Luke’s future -- to continue exploring the world of golf and anything else he sets his mind to.
“Oh, it's opened up so many just because I can save all my money now.”
Even with his eye on the future, Schlimgen said it will take more than a full ride to forget Montana's fairways and the course that started it all.
“I'm excited for the college experience and I think it'll be great going and living somewhere else other than small town Montana, but I think I'd probably like to come back here when I'm older.”
Schlimgen will attend the University of Washington to study business administration and finance. Down the road, he hopes to attend PGM school and continue his love of golf.