As a former college golf coach, I appreciate how challenging it is for my colleagues to not only lead a team of
approximately 10 student-athletes, but also to handle the key administrative duties associated with college golf
programs. Between tournament scheduling, budget maintenance, fundraising, organizing practices, facility development
and NCAA compliance paperwork, coaches are constantly faced with significant time management challenges associated with
And, of course, they have to allocate a substantial amount of time to recruiting student-athletes – arguably the most
important task they face in an effort to build a competitive golf program. So when do most coaches handle their
recruiting responsibilities and when should prospective student-athletes communicate with coaches to show interest in
their respective school and team? I am often asked these relevant questions.
As the summer season concludes and the academic year sets in, college golf coaches face the busiest time of their
year. Having been on the road recruiting at numerous junior golf tournaments throughout the summer, coaches now have to
return to campus, welcome their new freshman class and immediately begin competing in their fall season (usually 4-6
tournaments). As the fall season concludes, the National Letter of Intent early signing period takes places in the
second week of November. Coaches finalize their recruiting efforts for the current class during the two months leading
up to early signing while also managing their team during the busy, condensed fall season.
Once the fall season wraps up and the one-week early signing period has passed, coaches can dedicate more time to
recruiting. This break from competition allows them the necessary time to answer emails, call/text recruits and in many
cases, host prospective student-athletes on unofficial campus visits. I encourage junior golf families to focus on
November, December and January as the ideal time to visit campuses and potentially meet with coaches. Keep in mind,
NCAA Division I coaches can only return calls, emails, text messages or letters if the recruit has reached September 1st
of their junior year of high school (June 15th following their sophomore year for NCAA Division II coaches). There is
no time limit for NCAA Division III.
Always do your homework before communicating with coaches. What are the academic requirements for admissions at a
particular university, how competitive is the golf team and does the golf roster indicate players will be graduating in
your class and therefore creating vacancies you may be able to fill? Develop a “best fit” list of schools and try to
arrange calls and campus visits with these schools and coaches. Although other times during the year could work as
well, November, December and January may be the best window to communicate with coaches.