James D. Standish Award Winners: Charles Klatt, Padraig Toole

Written By: Greg Johnson

FARMINGTON HILLS – Charles Klatt of the University of Michigan, a caddie at Country Club of Detroit, and Padraig “Paddy” Toole of Michigan State University, a caddie at Hinsdale Golf Club in Illinois, are the 2024 winners of the James D. Standish Award.

The award is presented each year to an outstanding Evans Scholar at the Michigan State and Michigan chapters. The Executive Committee of the Golf Association of Michigan established the award in 1968, a year after the passing of James D. Standish, a former champion golfer, GAM and USGA president who helped Chick Evans of the Western Golf Association start the renown caddie scholarship program.

The Standish Award winners have demonstrated scholarship and leadership in their Evans Scholar chapter’s affairs. A permanent plaque that includes the inscribed names of each year’s winners is displayed in the lounge of the Evans Scholarship house on each campus, and each winner is presented with a replica of the plaque. The GAM will bestow the awards at its annual spring meeting.

Klatt, a Biomolecular Science major with a 3.5 GPA, was president of the University of Michigan Evans Scholars Chapter in 2023.

“I love everything about the Evans Scholarship Program and I’m honored to receive an award based off that,” he said. “I think I have gotten everything I could have ever wanted from the program. Michigan was my dream school from an early age and the 20 other scholars I came in with are my closest friends, best friends for life, and I learned so much about effort and the reward you get for it.”

Klatt plans to attend dental school after graduating in 2025 at either Michigan, Harvard or the University of Colorado. He completed the Dental Admissions Exam last summer and scored in the top four percent.

“I always loved sciences and loved the field of health,” he said. “I decided pharmacy or dentistry and then I was able to shadow a dentist during my senior year of high school. I liked how the dentist interacted with patients and how she was able to help them. That entire experience sold me on the field.”

The son of Charles and Mary Klatt said being a caddie also helped prepare him for life after college.

“The relationships, the lessons learned from being a caddie, the things taught me by successful people I met on the golf course have been incredible,” he said. “For someone who was a chapter president I’m really bad at golf, but I also know I will stay connected to it and play it for the rest of my life.”

Toole, a Mechanical Engineering major at MSU with a 3.8 GPA, like Klatt, was president of his Evans chapter in 2023.

“I was shocked and It felt amazing when I found out I won the Standish Award and I’m so honored to represent my family, my club, my fellow Evans Scholars,” he said. “My experience as an Evans Scholar has flown by so fast and has been so rewarding. To have this added to it is awesome.”

Toole will graduate in 2025 and plans to pursue a career in Nuclear Energy. A member of the club lacrosse team, Toole also found time to work with the Tower Guard, an organization that seeks to provide support to the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to help create a more accessible campus.

“My father (Matthew) battled ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for 13 years before he passed away two years ago, and that changed my life immensely,” he said. “I was pretty lucky to make a lot of good memories with him and I’m grateful for his positive attitude, the work ethic I learned from him and making the most out of every opportunity.”

His mother, Karen, worked for the Big Ten Conference offices in Illinois and Michigan State was among the travels he made with his parents as a youngster.

“MSU became my dream school, and early on I was always decked out in green,” he said. “It didn’t look possible for a while, four hours away, out-state admission costs, but being a caddie and being an Evans Scholar changed that and made this possible.”

Toole is not named after Padraig Harrington. He said his mother picked the name out of a book because she liked it. He said the name fits.

“You can’t go wrong with a caddie named Paddy on the bag,” he said.