Going to College Archive

How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?

Letters, contacts & visits don’t always indicate you are a coach’s top choice

Throughout the recruiting process, NCAA Division I coaches will attend junior golf tournaments to assess players’ skill levels and on-course demeanors. Additionally, these coaches are permitted to write, email, text or phone prospects beginning September 1st of the prospect’s junior year in high school. Coaches can also have face-to-face contacts with recruits and their families no sooner than July 1st following the prospect’s junior year of high school. These contacts generally occur on site at tournaments once the player has finished the tournament or at the prospect’s home. Campus visits (both unofficial and official) also play a key role in the overall recruiting process.

So what does it mean if a coach sends you a letter? Is a phone call (after September 1st) a sign that the coach is planning to offer you a scholarship? If the head coach (versus the assistant coach) watches you play at a tournament, are you someone he/she wants on his team? These are a few of the many questions that junior golfers and their families face while trying to determine which schools are really interested in recruiting them.

To help you answer these questions and to better understand this process, I offer the following suggestions and explanations:

  • Hand-written, personalized letters from a coach are more meaningful than generic typed letters.

  • Official visits (offered and paid for by a coach) are an indication that you are one of the school’s top 3-4 recruits among your graduating class.

  • On-campus meetings with coaches held during an unofficial visit do not necessarily indicate that the coach is interested in recruiting you. Oftentimes, they are courtesy visits.

  • Regular (at least weekly) email exchanges from the coaching staff insure that you are a serious recruit and that the coaches intend to maintain a dialogue with you throughout the recruiting process.

  • Constant on-course playing evaluations at a tournament by members of a coaching staff indicate that you are a top recruit and that a scholarship offer is imminent.

  • A courtesy reply letter from a school does not mean that you are on their recruit target list for your graduation class.

  • An introductory letter and questionnaire sent to you as a sophomore indicates that you are one of 20-30 prospects on that coach’s recruiting list for your graduation class.

  • In-home recruiting visits scheduled by a coach indicate serious interest and generally lead to scholarship offers.

  • September 1st phone calls and text messages (during your junior year in high school) are a definite sign that the coach is planning to recruit you for the upcoming graduation class.

As you experience the college golf recruiting process and communicate with specific coaches through letters, emails, contacts, text messages and campus visits, try to assess how interested each coach really is in recruiting you. This analysis will help make the overall process more efficient and will guide you along the best path as you target various colleges. Remember that actions always speak louder than words, especially in the world of recruiting.

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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