Going to College Archive

Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?

College coaches pay close attention to tournament results

Everyone who has played the game of golf knows how challenging the sport really is and that consistency is always something to strive for. Furthermore, no one is exempt from having a bad round, especially in competition. Even the greatest players in the world struggle at times and shoot scores in the 80s.

So why is it then that some junior golfers who post high first round scores have a tendency to withdraw from tournaments? Other than being embarrassed for shooting a high score, one might think the player is concerned with how this poor performance will affect his or her national ranking and eventually his or her ability to be recruited by college coaches. Keep in mind that there will always be “justified withdrawals” in cases where the player is injured or has a family emergency. The AJGA and other tournament organizations have systems in place to protect a player who withdraws for a legitimate reason. Most would agree that playing poorly is not a legitimate reason and that players should finish tournaments they start.

College coaches pay particularly close attention to those who tend to “manage rankings” by withdrawing from tournaments or “no-carding” after bad rounds. They frown upon these actions and would be less likely to recruit those players. Coaches know that their players will struggle at times in college events and therefore will expect them to have what it takes to manage their games and their emotions in an attempt to shoot the lowest score they possibly can on a given day. Quitting or withdrawing is not an option at the collegiate level.

Instead of withdrawing, junior players who post high first round scores should realize that they have an opportunity to make a great comeback in subsequent rounds. I remember initially recruiting one of the best players I have ever coached immediately after he shot 85- 67 in the first two rounds of a junior tournament in Florida. I had never watched him play before, but once I saw his ability to bounce back from a very poor first round, I knew he was a player I should consider recruiting. He turned out to be an excellent Division I player and someone who demonstrated a lot of character on the golf course, especially in tough situations. He never quit or gave up after a bad start to a round or a tournament.

Parents should always encourage their children to do the best they can and to never let one bad round cause them to worry about how it will affect rankings or college recruiting. Part of the learning process for junior players is to know how to come back after shooting a high score or to deal with adversity during a round. Unless a player is sick, injured, or has an emergency to deal with, he needs to complete the tournament.

And always remember, coaches will be impressed with the player who demonstrates he can bounce back after a bad round!

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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