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2022 Grad - Gap or not 2 Gap, that's the question!


PlusHCP

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I'm a 2022 HS grad ranked ~450 in JGS, +2.2 HCP, 74 scoring avg in junior tournaments and placing in top 30% in amateur tournaments I play in.  I was injured in the first half of 2020 and couldn't play golf but have gone from 78 to 74 in the past year, and still improving.  Ordinarily I would have reached out to coaches last year but, as you can see, the timing was about as bad as it could be - my scores before 2020 not being great and no way to show them in 2020 🙁

 

Now I'm finding that most D1s have filled their roster or have a 11-12 person rosters with many 5th year and senior players, which means I won't play.  I have zero interest in warming a bench for 1-2 years.  I have a couple of D1s interested and I can play on the teams (with no scholarship but not a problem) and they're not great academic choices nor are they powerhouse golf teams.  I want to be a Tour Pro and know how low the odds are, but don't want to give up without giving it my absolute ALL!

 

I've recently been wondering if I should take a gap year, focus on my golf, play amateur tournaments, see how I do and then look at different options:

1. reach out to college coaches next year when I'll for sure be even better

2.go for top academic schools (I know I can get in for sure with my grades and SAT) and forget about competitive golf

3.get into a top academic school now, request a deferral and reach out to the golf coach to see if I can play

 

Advice?  Feedback?

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D1's are working on 2024 and late 2023 bloomers.

 

Here is the thing.  D1 isn't the end all be all.  You don't have to play D1 to go pro.  Often or not high level D2 and D3 will be better than D1 mid majors.

 

Personally, I think a Gap year is a waste of time.  Why would a D1 go after a Gap year when they can get a 2024/2025 that is just as good or better than the Gap year kids?

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5 hours ago, heavy_hitter said:

D1's are working on 2024 and late 2023 bloomers.

 

Here is the thing.  D1 isn't the end all be all.  You don't have to play D1 to go pro.  Often or not high level D2 and D3 will be better than D1 mid majors.

Thanks for the advice!  To make sure I understand correctly - you're saying that it would be better to go to a top D2 or D3 instead of a mid-D1?  Looking at the scoring averages for all of D1,2,3 though for 2020, the D2s and D3s are at least 3-4 strokes below all but the lowest D1s.  Many are even in the high 70s and low 80s and I thought that's why they're recruiting me strongly.  What am I missing?

 

5 hours ago, heavy_hitter said:

Personally, I think a Gap year is a waste of time.  Why would a D1 go after a Gap year when they can get a 2024/2025 that is just as good or better than the Gap year kids?

I guess my question is why wouldn't they?  Although my 2021 tournament average is 141, I'm currently shooting 138 and getting better.  Of course I couldn't play juniors in the gap year but I'd have a WAGR ranking and scores at amateur tournaments that will indicate better skills.  Alternately if I don't get much better, I can get into an Ivy or top academic university and play at that level the next year.  Is this something that I should tell coaches about this year so they can track me if I take the gap year?

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I really don't understand why anyone would want a GAP year. Maybe I am missing something but to me if you graduated from high school why would you put college on hold or worry transferring after you already started college.

 

You need to just keep plugging away looking for colleges and keep an open mind.   Stuff happens and rosters all change all the time so you just never know what happens.  

 

Also remember you don't need to play on a college team to turn pro. The only thing stopping most of us we can't play golf at that level.  If you can shoot low 60's on PGA courses  go out and enter a qualifier.

 

At the end of the day if you don't get a scholarship look at attending a school with a golf course as amenity.  Some schools offer students access to the same course as the college players. The truth is that is all you need to practice on your game and you may be better off because you will have total freedom.  

 

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I'd also advise against a gap year because to me it just seems to be delaying the inevitable. What I mean is that there aren't going to be a mass influx of open roster spots next year. Chances are there will be about the same as this year. You'll just be competing against kids who are a whole 1+ year younger than you are for those spots. So why would a coach take a 19/20 year old when they could take a 17/18 year old with the exact same level of talent?

 

If I were you, these are the two options I would look at:

  1. If you DON'T need athletic scholarship money look at attending a school you would be happy at and try to walk on the team. It's not a frequent occurrence, but plenty of DI programs have walk ons. I played at a Top-25 DI program in the mid-late 2000s and we had one on our team. Worst case if you don't make the team at least you're at a school where you can be happy just being a student.
  2. If you DO need athletic scholarship money go play somewhere that can offer it to you, and look at possibly transferring down the road. I've known plenty of DII and even JUCO players who later transferred to DI programs. Several of them ended up being the best players on their DI teams. 

 

At the end of the day the decision is 100% up to you. Just try to make the best choice for yourself and your future. It's okay to ask for advice, but don't count on strangers from the internet to make the choice for you. 

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1 hour ago, PlusHCP said:

Thanks for the advice!  To make sure I understand correctly - you're saying that it would be better to go to a top D2 or D3 instead of a mid-D1?  Looking at the scoring averages for all of D1,2,3 though for 2020, the D2s and D3s are at least 3-4 strokes below all but the lowest D1s.  Many are even in the high 70s and low 80s and I thought that's why they're recruiting me strongly.  What am I missing?

 

I guess my question is why wouldn't they?  Although my 2021 tournament average is 141, I'm currently shooting 138 and getting better.  Of course I couldn't play juniors in the gap year but I'd have a WAGR ranking and scores at amateur tournaments that will indicate better skills.  Alternately if I don't get much better, I can get into an Ivy or top academic university and play at that level the next year.  Is this something that I should tell coaches about this year so they can track me if I take the gap year?

 

From a pure coaching standpoint, if I can take a kid that is the same exact rank as you and a year younger, I am taking the kid that is a year younger. 

 

For what it is worth, the kid ranked 450 has an average per round of 75.

I am GenX.  If you really think I care about what you have to say, I don't.

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2 hours ago, PlusHCP said:

Thanks for the advice!  To make sure I understand correctly - you're saying that it would be better to go to a top D2 or D3 instead of a mid-D1?  Looking at the scoring averages for all of D1,2,3 though for 2020, the D2s and D3s are at least 3-4 strokes below all but the lowest D1s.  Many are even in the high 70s and low 80s and I thought that's why they're recruiting me strongly.  What am I missing?

 

I guess my question is why wouldn't they?  Although my 2021 tournament average is 141, I'm currently shooting 138 and getting better.  Of course I couldn't play juniors in the gap year but I'd have a WAGR ranking and scores at amateur tournaments that will indicate better skills.  Alternately if I don't get much better, I can get into an Ivy or top academic university and play at that level the next year.  Is this something that I should tell coaches about this year so they can track me if I take the gap year?

Not sure where you are getting your info from.  This is information is from American College Golf Guide.

 

Purdue D1 and ranked 22nd in the country.  Last years top 5 player averages with no seniors were 72.1,72.1,72.8,74.2,75.1 for a 73.26 team average.

 

Lynn University D2 currently ranked 17th in the country.  Last year top 5 player averages were 70.4,71.8,72.6,73.4,74.2 for a 72.48 team average.

 

Emory University D3 and currently ranked 3rd in the country.  Last year top 5 player averages were 71.7,71.9,72.3,72.7,74 for a 72.52 team average.

Edited by heavy_hitter
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