Lord Thomas' Guide to College Golf

Lord ThomasLord Thomas Resident RoyalJunior Mod Squad Posts: 880
There have been a number of questions about college golf brought up in the last few weeks. Think of this as a guide, but if you have any more questions about college golf or college in general, don’t hesitate to ask.



If you want to play college golf, there is a program somewhere that is looking for someone like you. I only played one year of high school golf before a wrist injury ended my high school golf “career” and I still garnered interest from about six Division II and Division III schools.



I recommend looking at college as an academic experience where you can continue to play golf, and not as golf with a few classes interspersed. I think of golf in college as a bonus and not as the reason I am attending college. While college coaches look at things like the Junior Rankings and tournaments such as the US Junior Amateur, if you want to play in college you have to do a bit of legwork yourself. I would start by constructing a “Golf Resume” with a listing of tournaments you have played in, your score, the result, and other pertinent details (course played, course rating / slope rating, yardage, etc.). This resume can then be sent to coaches of schools who are good matches for you. By good match I mean a school that is academically a good fit, as well as a good fit in terms of the quality of golf played at that school.



It is important to keep in mind that while only Division I and Division II schools can offer athletic scholarships; most Division III schools offer academic scholarships and have good financial aid departments. A division I or II school may not offer you a scholarship, but they may offer you the chance to walk-on.



Grades are almost as important as golfing ability to a college coach. Coaches don’t want to deal with you becoming academically ineligible, because then you can’t play. If you have been successful academically, you could include things like cumulative grade point average, ACT or SAT score, or class rank on your Golf Resume. Oftentimes an outstanding test score or grade point average can help your resume stand out from the numerous other players a coach is looking at.



Even if you are a freshman or sophomore in high school, but have some idea where you want to attend college, contact the coach and ask them what they look for in a golfer, whether certain tournaments are of greater importance than others, and that will show interest which the coach hopefully will remember down the road.



Here are a few other threads where the topic of playing golf in college has been discussed:


http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18743

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14144

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=13375



-Thomas

Comments

  • stickmanstickman Jr. Boomers Posts: 1,981 ✭✭
    Great Post ! thanks Thomas !
  • 7D2 7D2 Members Posts: 739
    Lord Thomas wrote on Feb 26 2006, 04:35 PM:
    Even if you are a freshman or sophomore in high school, but have some idea where you want to attend college, contact the coach and ask them what they look for in a golfer, whether certain tournaments are of greater importance than others, and that will show interest which the coach hopefully will remember down the road.




    Can the Coaches Email you back, or are they not allowed to till after your junior year?
  • NickasInSaltLickNickasInSaltLick Members Posts: 49
    getyoursrixon wrote on Nov 2 2008, 07:00 PM:
    Lord Thomas wrote on Feb 26 2006, 04:35 PM:
    Even if you are a freshman or sophomore in high school, but have some idea where you want to attend college, contact the coach and ask them what they look for in a golfer, whether certain tournaments are of greater importance than others, and that will show interest which the coach hopefully will remember down the road.




    Can the Coaches Email you back, or are they not allowed to till after your junior year?




    I'm pretty sure there's some rules on the NCAA level about that. On the NAIA level where I'm coaching, there's hardly any rules when it comes to recruiting other than the obvious ethical ones.
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  • titleist_player69titleist_player69 Members Posts: 9
    Is there anything else that i should put in my golf resume, besides the tourney and grade stuff. Like personal information, what?
  • golftitleistgolftitleist Jr. Boomers Posts: 858
    Possibly other activities you participate in; other sports, clubs, community service, things of that nature, I assume it varies from coach to coach regarding what they're interested in, but I would think those things would be good. Swing videos or recommendations from pros or coaches also not a bad idea.
  • nas1021nas1021 Members Posts: 421
    i'm 16 and im very interested in playing in college. currently, im a 7 handicap and i would like to play at a D1 school. (i dont care if the team is terrible), I just want to play in at least 5+ tournaments a year. but my question is, what is the best way to let colleges know I want to go there? do I look for them, or do they look for me? thank you
  • titleist_player69titleist_player69 Members Posts: 9
    edited Mar 10, 2009 #9
    I'm 15 and a 1 handicap. I live in ontario and don't have the money to travel down to the states for more than two maybe three tournaments a year and need to stay on the east coast. How important are playing in the american events like AJGA? And besides the USGA U.S. Junior Amateur what other tournaments would you recomend playing in or trying to qualify for? What's the best tournaments to get recognized by College D1 coaches?



    Possibly: AJGA FootJoy Invitational, AJGA The Junior Players, Jr. Orange Bowl International what?



    Thanks image/ok.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':ok:' />
  • golftitleistgolftitleist Jr. Boomers Posts: 858
    titleist_player69 wrote on Mar 10 2009, 07:03 PM:
    Possibly: AJGA FootJoy Invitational, AJGA The Junior Players, Jr. Orange Bowl International what?


    The Footjoy and Junior Players are both invitation only, so it would be tough to get into that. Orange Bowl, Verizon Junior Heritage, and the Optimist are good places to start.
  • pigolferpigolfer Members Posts: 3
    what kind of minimum grade requirement are most college coaches looking for?
  • Coach ArgonautCoach Argonaut Members Posts: 5
    We can email you back but can't talk to you over the phone or meet in person and speak until June 15th after your Jr. year of high school.
  • 7D2 7D2 Members Posts: 739
    Coach Argonaut wrote on Apr 29 2009, 05:10 PM:
    We can email you back but can't talk to you over the phone or meet in person and speak until June 15th after your Jr. year of high school.




    Just a few questions.

    What would coaches expect to see in an email from a player?

    When would it be a good time to start talking to coaches?

    Do coaches look at junior golf scoreboard?

    What would be a good ranking for a player looking to play at a top 100, D1 school?
  • Coach ArgonautCoach Argonaut Members Posts: 5
    getyoursrixon wrote on Apr 29 2009, 06:19 PM:
    Coach Argonaut wrote on Apr 29 2009, 05:10 PM:
    We can email you back but can't talk to you over the phone or meet in person and speak until June 15th after your Jr. year of high school.




    Just a few questions.

    What would coaches expect to see in an email from a player?

    When would it be a good time to start talking to coaches?

    Do coaches look at junior golf scoreboard?

    What would be a good ranking for a player looking to play at a top 100, D1 school?




    First, make it personal, not an obvious canned letter.. give your handicap and avg. tournament score with low tournament rnd., your age and grade, whether or not you are registered in the NCAA clearinghouse, SAT scores and **** GPA..how long have you played golf, and your upcoming tournaments so that the coach can access your finish..

    yes we look at scoreboard and we pay more attention to multi day tournaments and scoring potential.. a top 100 D1 school isnt that good so you dont have to be a great player, but you need to show that you have potential and have broken par in solid tournament fields.. good luck..
  • 7D2 7D2 Members Posts: 739
    Coach Argonaut wrote on Apr 30 2009, 08:50 PM:
    getyoursrixon wrote on Apr 29 2009, 06:19 PM:
    Coach Argonaut wrote on Apr 29 2009, 05:10 PM:
    We can email you back but can't talk to you over the phone or meet in person and speak until June 15th after your Jr. year of high school.




    Just a few questions.

    What would coaches expect to see in an email from a player?

    When would it be a good time to start talking to coaches?

    Do coaches look at junior golf scoreboard?

    What would be a good ranking for a player looking to play at a top 100, D1 school?




    First, make it personal, not an obvious canned letter.. give your handicap and avg. tournament score with low tournament rnd., your age and grade, whether or not you are registered in the NCAA clearinghouse, SAT scores and **** GPA..how long have you played golf, and your upcoming tournaments so that the coach can access your finish..

    yes we look at scoreboard and we pay more attention to multi day tournaments and scoring potential.. a top 100 D1 school isnt that good so you dont have to be a great player, but you need to show that you have potential and have broken par in solid tournament fields.. good luck..




    Where do you coach?
  • MiffWildCatMiffWildCat Members Posts: 51
    Hello,

    I just began golfing about 3 years ago and at the beginning of this summer and I shoot between 77-81 and i plan on working my butt of to get to scores between 72-76. Unfortunately, my two other years were not so hot (Freshman 1 9 hole round of 56) and sophmore (93-99) and junior (82-88) but i am improving quickly and working my butt off. My next year is senior year and even though i plan to compete in a few tourneys, they are only local and i dont plan to do so well until near the end. Will senior year match scores and end of summer tourney scores be too late for coaches to scout me or do i just have to hope to be a walk on? (sorry for the lengthy question)
  • designer22designer22 Members Posts: 6
    Coach Argonaut wrote on Apr 30 2009, 09:50 PM:
    yes we look at scoreboard and we pay more attention to multi day tournaments and scoring potential.. a top 100 D1 school isnt that good so you dont have to be a great player, but you need to show that you have potential and have broken par in solid tournament fields.. good luck..




    My son has played on 3 state high school championship teams. He had a season scoring average of 76 at some pretty tough courses playing at yardages of 6800-7000+ yards. He places high as an individual on a regular basis with rounds in the lower 70's and has a national title (FCWT) to his credit. Most importantly, he is still improving. He will be a senior this year and has 3.55 GPA with a 25 ACT. He has sent out upwards of 75 resumes to the colleges he would like to attend and play for but hasn't had any positive responses. Just 'Thanks for your interest' form letters. What are we doing wrong?
  • generaljhcgeneraljhc Members Posts: 461
    Any luck designer?
  • LaBraeGolferLaBraeGolfer Members Posts: 794 ✭✭
    I was wondering how bad a 122 would hurt you if you shot three more tournment rounds in the low 80's I typically shoot low 80's but I had an extreme off day where I couldn't hit the ball more than ten feet on many occasions typically I hit 10 greens a round this was on the Northern Ohio Junior Pga Tour so most players are looking at college golf
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  • stoakers1314stoakers1314 Members Posts: 15
    Great Post Lord Thomas! Remember to any of those out there trying to play college golf that golf is unlike football, basketball, etc. in that D1 is the only level with good golf. Men's golf in particular is extremely deep and some of the best golf can be played at levels other than D1 and D2. Teams in D3 and NAIA are good, and can offer you the right fit. You may not travel as much during college, but this will allow you to stay on top of your classes easier while still playing golf. If you don't believe me check out golfstat.com and take a look at the scores players are posting at each level of collegiate golf.
  • Titleist876Titleist876 NCAA DII Golf - Southeastern OSU Members Posts: 57
    Designer this is much too late but for the benefit of others, here is the method I used to land my scholarship:



    I played College Golf at Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Division 2. What you need to understand is Coaches email inboxes are FLOODED with requests! Their mailboxes are Loaded with kids dying to play there. It was the same way even at our school - a very under performing D2 school.



    The ONLY way to get in touch with the coach is by Direct contact i.e. - Phone Calls. You will definitely leave Voicemails so be prepared to leave an EXTREMELY Short Voicemail, your name, sons name, his awards, achievements, along with a call back number and keep all that under a minute and a half. (Difficult but do-able with practice). What you want to state just before leaving the call back number is your sons genuine interest of attending the school for academic purposes (again mentioning his strong GPA would be good here) and that you want to meet him and visit the campus.



    Once you get a call back, you have to talk up that your son has ALREADY applied to the university (Hopefully ALREADY gotten accepted) and now wishes to discuss playing on the team. Usually at this point, depending on the program, is when you will want to exchange a resume/video with the ultimate goal here of scheduling a Campus Visit and getting a "Try Out". Depending on NUMEROUS factors like (How many Seniors did he graduate last season? How many are already on the team? How many players has he already Recruited? Where your son will realistically play on the team? etc.) will determine if it gets that far. Some larger programs wont even mess around with people calling, sending resumes/emails or that jazz because they know who they want and will get them. My method I feel would work for Lower NAIAs & D1, Most D2 and D3 programs.



    Just think, there are tons of other dads out there calling about their Sons and the only twist you have to use is the "My Son is going to this university regardless and will help out your golf team" mentality. If you are able to get a tryout, awesome, thats all you can do as a dad! Its your Son's time to perform. All of the above, I used to get my scholarship, I made the calls (I wish my dad would have for me though, ha ha), I got accepted, chose to attend the school regardless, got the interview/tryout and shot a little 73 on a course with a rating of 76.2 from the tips playing the last three holes in near darkness. It was the toughest/most nerveracking round of golf in my life and I did it. Your son can do it too, and I didnt shoot the scores your son did in High School.



    Best of luck!
  • Benmitchell327Benmitchell327 Members Posts: 18
    i am going to be a senior in high school i began playing golf in 9th grade and my scoring average was 41....sophmore 39 and junior 38...i have played in some big tourneys...shooting under par a few times and one second place finish...i have spoken to a few d3 coaches...how can i elevate myself to d1 or d2?....is it too late?
  • DATDAT Members Posts: 9
    I am 14, going to be a freshman in high school. I on average shoot high 70s and am dropping that score quickly. I have always wanted to play college golf. I play in local tournaments but not anything on a national stage, although I would like to play in some AJGA tournaments. The only reason I don't shoot much lower is because I dont hit the ball far at all, which can be fixed over time.

    Im just wondering what my odds are for playing college golf or if anybody has only advice to give me that would be much appreciated.
  • generaljhcgeneraljhc Members Posts: 461
    edited Jul 6, 2014 #24
    College is certainly a possibility. Not sure where you live, but find a state and/or regional tour to play on, play in state jr amateur, and yes try to play some AJGA. If you don't have a swing coach get one, also work on short game, course management, and mental game.



    Check out info at: http://www.juniorgolfscoreboard.com/ss_4_start.asp
  • tour23tour23 Members Posts: 40


    I'm 15 and a 1 handicap. I live in ontario and don't have the money to travel down to the states for more than two maybe three tournaments a year and need to stay on the east coast. How important are playing in the american events like AJGA? And besides the USGA U.S. Junior Amateur what other tournaments would you recomend playing in or trying to qualify for? What's the best tournaments to get recognized by College D1 coaches?



    Possibly: AJGA FootJoy Invitational, AJGA The Junior Players, Jr. Orange Bowl International what?



    Thanks image/ok.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':ok:' />




    I was in a similar situation, the cost of racking up some AJGA's can be just as much as a scholarship is worth. In my opinion College golf coaches value what they can compare to players they are familiar with just as much as competing against other juniors. If you can play in some men's tournaments, preferably with other D1 players you can take those comparable scores to coaches so they can get a feel for how you stack up against current college players. I was lucky enough to play in the Jr. PGA, Orange Bowl, and a handful of AJGA's but I think my eventual program (D1, Top 50 team all 5 years I was there) was more influenced by my scores at Men's state Amateurs where I was competing head to head with his current players.
  • Jordan SochaJordan Socha Members Posts: 6
    Lots of good info in here. Thank you.
  • Sonja HenieSonja Henie Members Posts: 186 ✭✭✭

    Lots of good info here but remember there are NCAA-imposed limits on when a coach can communicate with kids. I believe it is still June 15 after junior year for golf. These rules keep changing for other sports, so be aware of them. What that means is that you might be just what the coach is looking for, and you may be on their shortlist but you won't have any idea of that until June 15. On June 15, you'll be hoping for your phone to ring or for texts or emails to start coming in.

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