Do College Golf Camps Provide a Recruiting Edge?

They can help if used in the right way!


I’m sure you’ve heard of college golf camps. As a parent or young player involved in the world of junior golf, camp brochures and emails have likely been sent your way. Camps have become increasingly popular over the years, and many quality options are available to suit your needs and preferences.

For example, junior golfers can attend camps at a favorite college or university. Exposure camps featuring multiple coaches are often attractive. Even “experience” camps, which include travel to amazing golf destinations, offer a memorable combination of fun activities, practice, and play.

If you’re interested in signing up for a college golf camp, considering the menu of options is just the beginning. Making the right choice will depend on what you want to get out of the camp.

One of the desired outcomes I most often hear parents or junior golfers mention is the hope of gaining a “recruiting edge” by attending camps. Since playing college golf is a dream, and perhaps a realistic goal for many junior players, this motive makes sense. So, does visibility at a college camp strengthen a junior golfer’s candidacy and provide that elusive recruiting edge? Great question! And even if this isn’t the primary question in your mind, you’ve probably thought about it.

What’s the answer? Well, it’s yes… no… and maybe. Having been involved with various camps as a former Division I coach, and also in my current career as an advisor, I can add some useful perspectives.

Keep in mind that college coaches do not work camps with the primary goal of finding their next recruits. Promoting their schools/programs, helping develop junior golfers, and earning supplemental income are top priorities. But yes, coaches might spot a recruit to keep an eye on.

Okay, I can hear a few gasps among readers right now. But hold on a moment. Don’t get down on the idea of camps just yet. I believe coaches provide a great service, and camps do support the recruiting efforts of junior golfers if used in the right way.

Here’s what I mean. The beauty of college golf camps is that they offer a platform for junior golfers to have a lot of personal interaction with coaches. This level of engagement is quite valuable, especially since the NCAA recruiting rules limit the ways in which coaches and junior golfers can communicate outside of camps. (See The NCAA Eligibility Center for more details on recruiting rules.)

Kids also have the chance to learn from experienced college coaches about all aspects of the game. They can get the inside scoop on what college golf is like and how to approach the recruiting process. Additionally, campers get to showcase their golf skills during practice/play sessions, and interaction during educational and social activities gives coaches a sense of their personality and character.

The education, visibility, and relationships that can be gained at college golf camps can help any junior golfer build his or her case as a recruit. However, other things need to be considered to make a recruiting edge more likely.

Participation in camps at younger ages can optimize exposure. Going to camps during 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade might be best. Why? Well, by that time, kids may already be thinking about college golf, and most coaches are still evaluating prospects in those classes. All to say, talented and skilled campers would be in position to earn the respect of coaches and be tracked in future years. Plus, the opportunity for kids to get comfortable with coaches can help them later on as they communicate with coaches during the recruiting process.

Campers who are older (10th and 11th grade) should not be discouraged. It’s still possible to benefit from camps. But I would usually recommend attending camps that include coaches who have shown sincere interest already. Doing so will increase the odds of a junior golfer improving his or her position as a recruit.

Now, one more point. Although college golf camps offer valuable experiences for junior golfers, there isn’t a need to overdo it. Remember that building a resume of quality competitive results will be very important for all recruits as they attempt to strengthen their candidacy. Tournament results are not everything, but they are one of the most important criteria coaches use in evaluating players.

College golf camps can certainly support the development and recruiting process of many junior golfers. By considering the views I’ve shared, you’ll be better equipped to use camps to your advantage in the pursuit of college golf.

To your success,

nicky goetze

Archive


Parents and Junior Golfers New to Going to College? Start Here!

Are You Prepared to Pursue College Golf?

Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players

    What Should I Say When Calling a Coach to Decline a College Offer?
    How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?
    When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches?
    When Should Junior Golf Prospects Expect to Receive Offers from College Coaches?
    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?
    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"

    Are There Golf Opportunities in the NAIA?
    What Can You Learn from College Golf’s Post-Season Championships?
    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?
    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?
    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

    How Do College Coaches Determine Who Makes the Traveling Squad: Qualifying Rounds, Coach’s Selection, or a Combination of Both?
    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

    Should I Play in Junior Golf Tournaments During the Winter Months?
    Do You Know the Rules of Amateur Status?
    What Academic Habits Are Essential for a High School Student-Athlete?
    Are There Benefits to Playing on a High School Golf Team?
    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 Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible

    Are You Being an Effective Self-Advocate?
    With spring around the corner, am I staying active in the college recruiting process?
    What Should Junior Golfers Do Before Their High School Years To Start Pursuing College Golf?
    How Can Golf Recruits Maximize Visibility Among College Coaches?
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    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?
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

Recruiting & Scholarships

    Do College Golf Camps Provide a Recruiting Edge?
    Can My Social Media Activity Affect How I am Recruited?
    Are You Prepared to Pursue College Golf?
    How Should I Respond When a Coach Makes an Offer?
    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?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process?
    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?
    What is a Full Scholarship?