Ana Lohman-Meza was 13 years old when she followed her sister Paty to Crystal Lake Country Club as a caddie.
There was, perhaps, no one better for Ana to learn from than her big sister, who a year later received a Chick Evans Scholarship from the Western Golf Association, which has paid for her education at Northwestern.
“She laid out a little path for me,” said Ana Lohman-Meza, a senior at Jacobs. “We had a one-year overlap. I was Paty’s little sister at the country club. She helped me make a name for myself, she helped me with how to talk to members, how to talk to staff, how to get more loops, how to communicate with other caddies and make friends.”
Ana Lohman-Meza took it from there and eventually earned the same kind of reputation of her sister, right down to the Evans Scholarship.
Recently, a large envelope was sent to Lohman-Meza’s house. Her mother, Rosario Rodman, quickly peeked inside and planned a quick surprise party. When Ana arrived at home, her mother said she had something important to tell her.
“Everyone was in a room and she gave me the letter,” Lohman-Meza said. “You know you got (the scholarship) when it’s a big letter. It was a big envelope. A whole bunch of emotions came down. It was just amazing. It was something I had been waiting for for so long and it finally happened.”
John Piumbroeck, director of the Western Golf Association, is a member at Crystal Lake Country Club and chairman of the CLCC Caddie Program. He said Lohman-Meza is the 26th Evans Scholar the program has produced in 20 years.
“Ana was rewarded for her outstanding caddie record, her wonderful academic achievements and her volunteerism and excellent character,” Piumbroeck said. “She also was able to demonstrate financial need. Caddying has been an unbelievable gateway to incredible educations for the Lohman-Meza girls.”
Evans Scholars get full tuition and live in dormitories with other Evans Scholarship winners. Paty Lohman-Meza is a senior engineering student at Northwestern; Ana is waiting for acceptance from potential schools. She has a 3.9 GPA and scored 31 on the ACT.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Paty Lohman-Meza said, regarding Ana. “She’s doing so well in school. I’m really happy that she has this, she’s been working really hard toward it.
“Like most siblings, she really wanted to get out there and learn on her own (about caddying). So whenever she asked me questions, I was able to answer, like what side of the bag to stand on and some of the intricacies of fore-caddying. But she was the one who got her own loops, made relationships with the golfers and became a good caddy.”
The girls’ stepfather, Tom Rodman, had caddied while he was growing up and suggested Paty try it a few years back. Naturally, Ana followed and the job has served them both well.
“My goal for a round is at the end of the loop they think of me as a good caddie, a respectful caddie and a good person,” Ana Lohman-Meza said. “Once they have that image of you, they’re going to want to take you out again, they’re going to recommend you to other golfers, you’re someone they know and trust. You want them to have a good image of who you are.
“The members are very supportive. We’re a small club, they support the caddie program. They got us out every day, that’s the reason I had so many loops. They took a chance on us. I was able to develop relationships with a lot of them who wrote me recommendation letters (for the Evans Scholarship). A lot of them came to my interview, which was amazing.”
Lohman-Meza plays trombone in the Jacobs marching band and ran track and field her first two years of high school. The track season was wiped out last spring by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lohman-Meza plans on working at Crystal Lake Country Club for one more summer.
“I also work in the bag staff room as well,” she said. “This is the last summer I will be doing it a lot. I’m going to try to work this summer as much as I can.”