Going to College is devoted to helping junior golfers and their parents better understand the college recruitment process and to providing insight on what qualities are necessary for young players to compete successfully at the collegiate level. Each month, a popular topic will be discussed to offer advice and counsel to interested juniors and their parents.

Going to College Authors

John Brooks

As a former college golf coach and someone who has worked with talented junior and collegiate players for over 25 years, John is well qualified to help families navigate junior golf and manage college placement. For this purpose, he founded Red Numbers Golf® in 2003. [click for picture and bio]

Ted Gleason

Ted Gleason founded Road To College Golf in 2006 to assist junior golfers and their families with the College placement process. Formerly the Head Golf Coach at both the University of Southern California and Southern Methodist University.  [click for picture and bio]

Nicky Goetze

As an independent consultant, Nicky Goetze specializes in providing expert guidance to families as they pursue college Golf. He helps young players and their parents maximize opportunities at the junior golf level and more effectively handle the college placement process.  [click for picture and bio]

Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two

What you need to know.

In a Part One of this article series, the “repeating a grade” option was explored and examined. Now, let’s explore the “post-grad year” option.

For years, post-graduate programs have afforded students the opportunity to mature and grow emotionally, strengthen their academic profiles in an attempt to gain admittance into higher ranked universities, develop more proficient study habits and time management skills, and enhance their community service/overall resume for the college admissions process. In recent years, the post-grad option has been considered by student-athletes, as well, in an effort to bolster their athletic profiles.

Upon high school graduation, certain junior golfers should consider pursuing a post-grad (or gap) year for the following reasons:

    1. It allows additional time for junior players to develop their respective golf and academic profiles, thus creating more opportunities for better college fits.

    2. Student-athletes who committed to golf late in the process (the classic “late bloomers”) would now have the potential opportunity to compete at the college level.

    3. Junior golfers residing in colder climates that limit year-round opportunities and access to practice and compete could spend a year in warmer weather destinations to allocate an additional full season to developing their game.

    4. Finally, some prospective student-athletes are young relative to their peers upon high school graduation, and an additional year prior to entering college would afford them the opportunity to develop and mature before matriculating at the university level as full-time students.

While the post-grad option is certainly not for everyone, it does provide an additional year of personal, academic, and athletic growth and better positions the junior golfer in his pursuit of college opportunities. Furthermore, the post-grad plan better ensures that a student-athlete is best prepared for the busy life of a collegiate student-athlete. Once the junior player determines a post-graduate year aligns with his respective golf and academic goals, there are a few options to consider.

The two most popular post-graduate year options for junior golfers are (1) attending a golf academy in a warm climate or (2) creating a structured, personalized golf and academic program of their own. The golf academy option includes a built-in structure and curriculum for the junior golfer, complete with academic offerings, golf instruction, a fitness program, and access to tournament competitions. Junior golfers who go about their post-graduate year on their own would need to organize their own daily schedules, workouts, and tournaments and take a couple of classes each semester either online or at a local college. (Taking less than a minimum full load prevents the student-athlete from “triggering” his NCAA clock and thus preserves his five-year window, which states a “student-athlete shall complete his or her seasons of participation within five calendar years from the beginning of the semester or quarter in which the student-athlete first registered for a minimum full-time program of studies in a college institution.”) Additionally, there are preparatory schools (primarily in the northeast) that offer post-graduate opportunities and, in some cases, could work for golfers. With each scenario, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

    1. Create and implement a detailed plan for your post-grad year that includes an academic curriculum (important to maintain the discipline and mental exercise of a student-athlete), regular golf instruction, a comprehensive fitness program, and regular/frequent tournament competition. Specifically, with respect to tournament opportunities, a post-graduate golfer would be able to compete in select junior tours (that allow 19-year-old high school graduates to compete) as well as a myriad of local, regional, and national amateur events.

    2. Ensure you have met the NCAA Initial Eligibility Requirements upon high school graduation. Refer to both the NCAA Eligibility Center website and the 2015-16 NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete as resources. Specifically, NCAA legislation (NCAA Bylaw permits post-graduate competition during the calendar year upon high school graduation and prior to full-time collegiate enrollment. However, multiple gap years would be disadvantageous to prospective student-athletes and would have a negative effect on eligibility.

    3. Communicate your detailed plan for a post-grad year to your schools of interest, making them aware of your intentions and goals for this additional year. You should continue to focus on the important recruiting action items during this post-grad year (e.g., email updates, calls, campus visits, attending college tournaments to observe schools during competition, etc.).

The junior player pursuing a post-grad year must be highly motivated and prepared to deal with the reality that the vast majority of his high school friends are matriculating at a university right away and beginning the next chapter of their lives. Also, remember there is no guarantee a junior player will improve his college options solely because he chooses to defer enrollment following a post-grad year. This additional year is best suited for junior players who are sincerely committed to investing time to improve the overall golf and academic resume in an effort to create additional (and better) college options at the conclusion of his post-graduate experience. In any case, he will likely be better prepared for life as a college student-athlete.

Each junior player should carefully consider his individual situation when evaluating the post-grad year option, as well as the possibility of repeating a grade in school. The additional time both of these options provides can be used to help a prospective student-athlete optimize his college fit both from an academic and athletics perspective while gaining the additional year to develop and mature personally. In either scenario, it is paramount that junior golf families create a plan that is best suited to maximize their development and always be conscious of and understand the NCAA Initial Eligibility Requirements.


Ted Gleason

Road to College Golf


Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players
    Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics? *Recently Updated*
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"
    How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?
    How Do I Know Which Schools Are “Best Fits” for Me?
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”?
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges? *Recently Updated*
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary?
    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf? *Recently Updated*
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part One
    Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to "Redshirt"?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve His Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible
    How Can Golf Recruits Maximize Visibility Among College Coaches? *Recently Updated*
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach? *Recently Updated*
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
    Will Playing AJGA Events Increase My Chances of Earning a College Scholarship? *Recently Updated*
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2 *Recently Updated*
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1 *Recently Updated*

Recruiting & Scholarships
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    Can Facebook or a Social Network Site Affect How I am Recruited?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period? *Recently Updated*
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships? *Recently Updated*
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me? *Recently Updated*
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process? *Recently Updated*
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI? *Recently Updated*
    What is a Full Scholarship? *Recently Updated*
Red Numbers Golf