Going to College Archive

What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?

Stay focused on these suggestions and your chance of playing college golf will improve.

Most of the junior golf families I speak with are overwhelmed with the complexity of the recruiting process as they attempt to help their son or daughter find a good college fit. This is quite understandable, particularly for those who have never gone through the recruiting process. To simplify matters, I suggest junior golfers and their parents pay particularly close attention to these suggestions and accept the fact that a significant portion of this process may be out of their control.

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK – researching schools, talking to other players/parents, attending college tournaments, visiting college campuses, and following the world of college golf will make you a more informed recruit throughout the entire process. You will also be more prepared to ask coaches questions or to answer theirs.
  • BE REALISTIC – both from an academic and athletics perspective as you develop a “best fit” list of schools. Keep in mind that most college golf tournaments are contested on longer, more difficult golf courses than those played in junior golf and are held at a time when the weather is less favorable for shooting low scores. Always target schools where you have a better than 50/50 chance of playing on a team’s traveling squad even during your freshman season.
  • REMAIN PROACTIVE – taking ownership in the recruiting process early on will keep you a step ahead of other recruits in your graduating class and better prepare you for a positive outcome. Prospective student-athletes should communicate with coaches on their target lists of schools through e-mail and phone calls while working within the parameters of NCAA rules. Division I coaches can return e-mails once a prospect begins his/her junior year and can return phone calls beginning July 1st following the prospect’s junior year.
  • PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF – a result of working hard on your golf swing, short game, course management, mental toughness, and general strength and conditioning. Having a support team around you that can help you develop each of these areas is a key to your success. Low scores in tournaments always attract the attention of college coaches and will increase your options in the recruiting process.
  • WORK HARD IN THE CLASSROOM – making good grades in a rigorous academic curriculum and exceling on the SAT (or ACT) exam will open college doors for you, make the application process less stressful, and create potential academic scholarship opportunities. Coaches prefer to recruit good students and, all else being equal, will always select the prospect with the more favorable academic profile.
  • CONSIDER NONGOLF FACTORS – selecting the right college to attend is not only about the golf team and what it has to offer. Prospective student-athletes and their parents should also evaluate the school as a whole, examine the academic offerings, and determine whether or not the student will fit in. Ask the question, if golf was not part of the equation, would I still attend this school?
  • STAY PATIENT – oftentimes prospective student-athletes do not receive the attention they expect from coaches early on in the recruiting process and assume this means they will never be recruited or offered a scholarship. A significant portion of the recruiting process occurs later on when players’ golf games have developed to a higher level, their academic profiles are more sound, and coaches have a better idea of what their recruiting needs are relative to the available, uncommitted players still searching for a college and golf team.

    I am hopeful these suggestions will help many more junior golf families better manage the college placement process and ultimately find the right college fit for their son or daughter. Playing college golf can be a great experience.

    Good luck this golfing season!

    Coach Brooks
    Red Numbers Golf®

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