Going to College Archive

Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Adopting our “best fit” philosophy leads to sound decisions

Determining which college to attend is one of the toughest decisions a young person will face. This decision will shape a person’s life in a number of ways—academically, athletically, and socially. Throughout this process it is important to consider all factors relevant to selecting your college and to make the right decision on your first attempt.

At Red Numbers Golf, we promote a “best fit” philosophy when helping junior golfers evaluate and select colleges to attend. The selection process is extremely personal and should be taken seriously by all junior golfers and their parents.

Academics should be considered initially. What degrees are offered, and does the institution provide adequate academic resources to help the student succeed? For some students, large classes with little or no teacher interaction are fine. For others, small classes with regular teacher interaction are essential. In either case, target schools that provide the ideal learning environment for you as a student. The overall size of the school should be considered as well.

When evaluating various golf programs, the most important aspect concerns your ability to play for the team and to help them reach their competitive goals. Before contacting coaches, do your homework. Consider their class breakdown, scoring averages, overall team size, and recent rankings and accomplishments. Be realistic with yourself. If you were on the team’s roster, would you ever play in tournaments? Remember, only five players travel to tournaments.

Other factors that should be considered when determining which college to attend include the location of the school and the seasonal climate. Are you comfortable attending school in an area where snow is prevalent, or do you need to settle in a warmer climate? If you grew up in a southern state, traveling to the north to attend college may not work for you.

Scholarships are the primary focus for most prospects when considering colleges. Keep in mind that most golf teams only provide student- athletes with partial scholarships (if any scholarship at all), which means you will have to cover a portion—if not all—of your cost of education. Therefore, the cost of the school is a very important factor for most families. A 10 percent golf scholarship to an inexpensive school may be a better deal financially than a 50 percent golf scholarship to an expensive school. The bottom line is, how much will be left for you to pay after the scholarship is applied?

When deciding on a golf program, evaluate the team’s practice facilities, tournament schedule, and available resources (athletic budget and booster support). These elements will determine your ability to improve as a player if you attend the school. This is very important to keep in mind throughout the process. Finally, what do you know about the coach? What is his coaching style and does his personality fit yours. Ask former players and parents about the coach and keep in mind that not all coaches will be a good fit for you as a player and as a person. Do you want your coach to be an “in your face” coach or merely a friend? Different strokes for different folks. Just make sure you are compatible.

If you keep our “best fit” philosophy in mind, you will have the opportunity to attend the right college to study and play golf. Overall, quality of life issues will be the most important elements in making this critical decision. Think about your welfare as a student-athlete and consider all factors throughout the process.

Key factors to consider:

  • Academic degrees available
  • School size
  • Golf program’s competitiveness
  • Team size
  • Class breakdown
  • Scoring averages
  • Team’s ranking and recent accomplishments
  • Climate
  • Scholarship opportunities/cost of education
  • Practice facilities
  • Tournament schedule
  • Resources available to promote team
  • Coaching style and personality

Good luck!

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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