What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
Stay focused on these suggestions and your chance of playing college golf will improve.
Most of the junior golf families I speak
with are overwhelmed with the complexity of the
recruiting process as they attempt to help
their son or daughter find a good college fit.
This is quite understandable, particularly for
those who have never gone through the
recruiting process. To simplify matters, I
suggest junior golfers and their parents pay
particularly close attention to these
suggestions and accept the fact that a
significant portion of this process may be out
of their control.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK – researching schools,
talking to other players/parents, attending
college tournaments, visiting college campuses,
and following the world of college golf will
make you a more informed recruit throughout the
entire process. You will also be more prepared
to ask coaches questions or to answer theirs.
- BE REALISTIC – both from an academic
and athletics perspective as you develop
a “best fit” list of schools. Keep in mind
that most college golf tournaments are
contested on longer, more difficult golf
courses than those played in junior golf and
are held at a time when the weather is less
favorable for shooting low scores. Always
target schools where you have a better than
50/50 chance of playing on a team’s traveling
squad even during your freshman season.
- REMAIN PROACTIVE – taking ownership in
the recruiting process early on will keep you a
step ahead of other recruits in your graduating
class and better prepare you for a positive
outcome. Prospective student-athletes should
communicate with coaches on their target lists
of schools through e-mail and phone calls while
working within the parameters of NCAA rules.
Division I coaches can return e-mails once a
prospect begins his/her junior year and can
return phone calls beginning July 1st following
the prospect’s junior year.
- PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF – a result of
working hard on your golf swing, short game,
course management, mental toughness, and
general strength and conditioning. Having a
support team around you that can help you
develop each of these areas is a key to your
success. Low scores in tournaments always
attract the attention of college coaches and
will increase your options in the recruiting
- WORK HARD IN THE CLASSROOM – making
good grades in a rigorous academic curriculum
and exceling on the SAT (or ACT) exam will open
college doors for you, make the application
process less stressful, and create potential
academic scholarship opportunities. Coaches
prefer to recruit good students and, all else
being equal, will always select the prospect
with the more favorable academic profile.
- CONSIDER NONGOLF FACTORS – selecting
the right college to attend is not only about
the golf team and what it has to offer.
Prospective student-athletes and their parents
should also evaluate the school as a whole,
examine the academic offerings, and determine
whether or not the student will fit in. Ask
the question, if golf was not part of the
equation, would I still attend this school?
- STAY PATIENT – oftentimes prospective
student-athletes do not receive the attention
they expect from coaches early on in the
recruiting process and assume this means they
will never be recruited or offered a
scholarship. A significant portion of the
recruiting process occurs later on when
players’ golf games have developed to a higher
level, their academic profiles are more sound,
and coaches have a better idea of what their
recruiting needs are relative to the available,
uncommitted players still searching for a
college and golf team.
I am hopeful these suggestions will help many
more junior golf families better manage the
college placement process and ultimately find
the right college fit for their son or
daughter. Playing college golf can be a great
Good luck this golfing season!
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