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]

How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?

Understand the differences as you target “best fit” golf teams

It’s common for junior golf families to research college golf tournament results and, based on that information, determine which teams their son or daughter could ultimately play for. While this strategy makes sense on the surface, I would suggest further analysis before making any conclusions on which teams are potential “best fits.”

Is a score of 75 in a junior golf tournament comparable to a score of 75 in a college golf tournament? I ask this question of college golf coaches whenever I have the opportunity and always appreciate their perspective. Generally speaking, college golf coaches say college golf tournaments are at least three shots per round more difficult than average junior golf tournaments. With that being said, most college golf coaches view a junior golfer with a 75 stroke average as a college player who will likely average 78 in his/her freshman year of college. This is a subjective process, and there are numerous factors that affect these averages.

  • How long are the golf courses for each tournament? (typically much longer in college)
  • What time of year are the tournaments played? (college golf is fall/spring – cooler weather)
  • Do the players play 36 holes in one day? (most college events include a 36-hole day)
  • Are the players taking full-time classes during their season? (in college, the answer is yes)
  • Do the players select which tournaments/courses they will play? (in college, the answer is no)
  • How are the golf courses set up for the competition? (hole locations, rough, etc.)

These are a few of the differences that affect scoring averages between junior golf competitions and college golf competitions. Keep in mind, however, there are exceptions to the rule, and in certain cases, a junior golf tournament may be contested on a very challenging golf course in poor weather conditions. Make sure this information is communicated to college coaches as they evaluate your son’s/daughter’s golf game as a potential fit for their programs.

Another good practice to employ when researching potential “best fit” college golf teams is to consider the team’s current players and how they played the final two or three years of their junior golf careers. What scores did they post and in what tournaments? This is an excellent way to compare your son’s/daughter’s current junior golf career with players who have now transitioned to college golf and are competing at the next level.

In the final analysis, every prospective student-athlete should strive to target college teams where he/she can ultimately compete as a top-five player on the traveling squad. This will make the college athletics experience much more enjoyable and will provide the golfer with an opportunity to improve and develop as a player during his/her four years in college. Always keep a realistic mindset when targeting schools and continue to compete in regional/national tournaments as much as possible.

Play Well!

Coach Brooks

Red Numbers Golf®


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*

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
    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*
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