Going to College Archive

What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?

Do your homework before developing your list of target schools

As you begin thinking about college and where you might like to play golf, realize that the Internet can be extremely helpful to you and your parents throughout the college placement process. It is very important to develop a target list of schools to research, visit, and possibly contact. This task should be completed no later than the first semester of your junior year in high school. In most cases I recommend that sophomores start formulating ideas about what they want out of their college experience. It's never too early to start this process.

So where do you begin? The Ping American College Golf Guide, developed by Dean Frischnecht, is an incredible tool to help prospective student-athletes learn more about the various colleges that offer intercollegiate golf teams. Every junior golfer who aspires to play golf at the next level should have access to this website and use it regularly as he/she searches for a college to attend. AJGA members are provided access already. Begin considering what region of the country you prefer, how large/small the campus can be, what degree you are seeking, your college budget (ask your parents) and, most importantly as it relates to golf, where you will have a better than 50-50 chance of playing college golf.

Once you have your preliminary "best fit" list of schools developed, begin researching each school on its respective website. Pay close attention to the golf team website during this search to learn more about the team and how it may or may not be the right place for you. First, review the team's roster and consider the class breakdown. How many players will be graduating prior to you arriving on campus? Will it be a significant recruiting year for your class, or does the team have little to no turnover that year? Remember, recruiting is a numbers game. Try targeting schools that appear to need at least two or more players from your class. This will help your odds of being recruited. Also take note of each player's hometown and see if the coach has a pattern for recruiting players. Are many of the players from other countries or specific regions of the United States?

Also consider the team's tournament schedule. Do they play a regional or national schedule? Use Golfstat (included in the Ping Guide subscription) to track results from all college events. Keep in mind that the golf courses are typically longer than most courses played in junior events, the hole locations and rough are more challenging and, on average, the weather is less favorable for golf in the fall/spring months versus the summer. I suggest you use a 2 to 3 shot per round adjustment to compare junior golf to college golf results.

Most golf team websites will include information on their practice facilities. Where does the team practice (driving range and short game area), and where do they have access to play golf? Is the access every day of the week? What about weekends? And does the team have a private practice area, or do they use a facility that all students (and the public potentially) can also access? You may also find information regarding the strength and conditioning facilities at the university and whether or not it is restricted to athletes only. Some of the larger universities offer workout facilities that are restricted to several teams only.

The coach's bio is always posted on a golf team's website. Make sure you take time to read this information to better understand the coach's background. Was he/she a collegiate or professional golfer? Does he/she have teaching experience? How long has he/she coached at the collegiate level, and what is his/her record? Historically has he/she remained at a school for a long period of time, or has he/she changed jobs more frequently? You can also see from the coaches section of the website whether or not the program has an assistant coach. Is that person full-time or part-time? What is his/her background, and what role does he/she play in coaching the team? Does he/she coach, or is he/she there for administrative support only?

As you can see, a tremendous amount of useful information is available to you via a golf team's website. Make sure you spend time researching everything mentioned in this article and use it to help you target potential "best fit" schools and golf programs.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to research schools before the Internet way back in the early 1990s?

Coach Brooks
Red Numbers Golf®

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