Going to College Archive

What’s the Story on Club Golf?

This emerging college golf opportunity may be right for you.

As a junior golfer aspiring to play varsity college golf, you may have a “dream” school in mind—a college or university that is exciting because of its reputation, academic quality, energized sports culture, campus life, location and, of course, its top-notch golf program. During your recruiting process, perhaps you will be selected as a student-athlete at your dream school. But what if you don’t make the cut? What options exist?

Most likely, you will have other attractive college golf opportunities to consider. Or, maybe your college golf options are not that appealing. Possibly, you may decide that a full-time varsity college golf career is not for you.

So is that the end? Are you left with a collection of college golf possibilities that will not allow you to attend your dream school? Maybe not. A new college golf opportunity is emerging—club golf!

Okay, you may think this isn’t a reasonable solution for competitive golf in college, especially given that playing varsity golf was your original goal. You may also think that club golf tournaments are absent of strong talent. Well, read on! You might be surprised by the scope and legitimacy of this solution. Bottom line, it may allow you to have all of the advantages of being at your dream school while still enjoying a fun, competitive golf team setting, with practice and play opportunities and post-season championships to boot.

Enter the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA). The NCCGA was established in 2006 and has really taken off in the last several years. Since 2010, the NCCGA has grown from a small recreational league of 25 teams into an expansive, competitive organization, hosting tournaments for more than 300 teams across the country. The association offers a bi-semester, two-day weekend tournament structure and has a regional qualification process for National Championships, which are held at the conclusion of each semester. In addition, club teams often compete in various club-scheduled tournaments throughout each semester, including Ryder Cups, dual matches, and invitationals. The level of play is similar to that of Division III golf, featuring players capable of under par to low 70s scoring and also accommodating players who shoot in the low 80s or more.

Does this sound good? Well, it gets better! As an added bonus, NCCGA's parent organization, Nextgengolf allows club team members to take advantage of reduced “collegiate rates” at more than 500 courses. This is a nice benefit for club golf participants who want to maintain a reasonable budget while pursuing the sport they love. So, by providing tournaments, memberships, and career-networking exclusively for 18- to 29-year-olds, Nextgengolf enables college students and young adults to get into (and stay) in the game.

At the end of the day, you can pursue your goal of playing college golf in different ways. Playing varsity-level college golf at your dream school may or may not happen. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on that school. Club golf is definitely a choice that may allow you to go to the school you love and stay with the game that you really enjoy!

If you would like additional information on the NCCGA and Nextgengolf, I recommend that you refer to their websites for more information.

Here’s to you finding your dream no matter what shape it takes!

nicky goetze


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