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Is playing for average academic D1 that is underfunded worth it?


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No one talks about it but lets face it a lot D1 schools are at best average academically and have unfunded teams.

 

Is it truly worth playing at them and not getting much money.  I know people get needs based and academic money but in many cases there is income requirements for these.

 

In a lot cases it seems like you really just paying for golf because the education is nothing special.

 

The surprising thing is a lot these players may be better off at D2 or D3 at the end if the day.

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47 minutes ago, jayslaysongolf said:

No one talks about it but lets face it a lot D1 schools are at best average academically and have unfunded teams.

 

Is it truly worth playing at them and not getting much money.  I know people get needs based and academic money but in many cases there is income requirements for these.

 

In a lot cases it seems like you really just paying for golf because the education is nothing special.

 

The surprising thing is a lot these players may be better off at D2 or D3 at the end if the day.

It's a multi layer question and one we are thinking about a lot as a parent of HS sophomore.

 

I have to think it's a different answer for a lot of people.   It probably varies a lot state to state.   Generally speaking, in our area, D1s are public schools of varying quality and D3s are private schools are varying quality.   D1 schools have somewhat cheaper in state tuition usually, and D3 schools are more expensive, but seem to have a way of giving out money.   Nothing really much in the way of D2 schools here.

 

For the last few years, my son has been very passionate about golf, and is on the course every day playing and practicing.   He's not the kind of kid who's going to an ivy or anything, but his grades are good enough for most schools below that level.   

 

He's thinking his priorities are finding a school with great golf facilities and course access, and one that lets him play.   The schools that fit that bill around here are all decent academically, so not many I would cross off that list for that reason.   If the choice comes down to a D3 school that has a competitive golf team with top notch facilities and courses vs a middling D1 school that doesn't seem to put much investment into golf, then the D3 school would be the obvious choice, and then re-evaluate options after a year or two.

 

Playing time is going to be the trickiest part of the equation.  Things change, but the way he is now, he's not going to be happy going somewhere where he spends less time on the golf course and playing competitively than he does now.

 

I'll always strongly encourage him to get a degree.  But what he takes and where he gets it from is his call.   I've always been of the mindset that the academic prestige of a school is over-rated for most subject areas anyway.   

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My son goes to a DIII school that has their own driving range and practice facilities on campus ... But I think that's pretty rare.

 

Most schools, at any level, are known for some academic field. If it fits what your child is looking at, then the school is a good fit.

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That's a good (but loaded) question as everyone will have a different idea of what an average academic school. 

Depending on the students' ambition or major, an average school might be great or not so good. 

 

In general, we've found that the better the school, the less likely of getting money from the golf program (for Ivies & D3's, it's zero).

If it's a catholic D1 school, there's often "merit" money to supplement golf $ to make it similar to state schools. 

 

Imho, the main variables to factor in (in no particular order): 

1) the coach & his coaching style & track record for growing students

2) whether one will play in more than half of the tournaments

3) what major & whether or not there will be good career options (if golf doesn't work out)

4) geography & where the player might end up setting down (if not pursuing golf)

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2024 at 4:25 PM, jayslaysongolf said:

No one talks about it but lets face it a lot D1 schools are at best average academically and have unfunded teams.

 

Is it truly worth playing at them and not getting much money.  I know people get needs based and academic money but in many cases there is income requirements for these.

 

In a lot cases it seems like you really just paying for golf because the education is nothing special.

 

The surprising thing is a lot these players may be better off at D2 or D3 at the end if the day.

my answer: "no" to this rhetorical

Edited by Golfquant
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There are ~300 D1 programs (men's).  There are ~200 D2 programs.  The top D2 programs are very competitive especially with the back half of D1.  Due to the Clippd points allotment giving more points to D2 for D1 tournaments, there will be many D2's competing in D1 tournaments going forward (unless something changes).

 

Nonetheless, many juniors still want to be able to say they played D1 golf no matter what the funding/class of program looks like at a particular school.

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Ignoring the students choosing a school for purely academic reasons, is there any reason to not pick a school where you are likely to play the first year?   It seems it would be frustrating to spend a freshman year on the bench only to watch transfers come in and take the starting spots next year.  Isn't better to try to be one of those transfers?  I have to think that most kids improve more playing somewhere than watching.   

 

I'll have no qualms if my kid wants to spend the first couple college years figuring out how good he can be at golf, and what he wants to do academically.  No one cares where you started college, only where you graduated.

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11 minutes ago, TroyB123 said:

Ignoring the students choosing a school for purely academic reasons, is there any reason to not pick a school where you are likely to play the first year?   It seems it would be frustrating to spend a freshman year on the bench only to watch transfers come in and take the starting spots next year.  Isn't better to try to be one of those transfers?  I have to think that most kids improve more playing somewhere than watching.   

 

I'll have no qualms if my kid wants to spend the first couple college years figuring out how good he can be at golf, and what he wants to do academically.  No one cares where you started college, only where you graduated.

Realistically if your kid wants to go to one of the elite schools (OU, OSU, ASU, Stanford, Vandy, etc) they would need to not only be highly ranked in the AJGA Rolex standings but also have done really well in the US Jr or other USGA events. The only other viable alternative is to transfer in via the portal which is only going to work if you’ve got some solid finishes at whatever level you’re at which, traced back, means you have to have played early in your college years. 

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There's definitely something more important that I should be doing.
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27 minutes ago, jda said:

.The younger one chose a high-academic UC school mostly based on the location and the academic prowess.  This place does not have a huge athletic presence nor a greek life, but she did not care.  Her degree will likely enable her to get any interview with any company anywhere near her field and likely a pretty high starting salary.  This is a top-20 school.  She used sports to get into this school and get it paid for.  Sports is a job to get the degree and live in paradise.

Excellent reply overall. 
 

This section screams UCSB to me. 

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Posted (edited)

Well to be honest even some of these big public schools are overpriced and there easier to get on if your willing to spend money.

 

One of the schools that approached us is Texas however it will be about $200k out of pocket expenses based on talking to the coaches. The of out of state tuition in Texas is crazy expensive and how they fund the school.

 

It a good school and the golf program is nice so it isn’t an automatic no. 

 

However I don’t think it is worth $200k either.  My guess is they’re going down the list and getting a lot of rejection. 

Edited by jayslaysongolf
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4 minutes ago, leezer99 said:

This section screams UCSB to me. 

 

La Jolla.  SB fits all of the criterion, though.

 

Please, nobody underestimate the city that any college is in.  Classes, practice and playing is still a very small percentage of their time.

 

I also forgot about the league.  My kid has travel by bus to southern cal and a fight once a year to Hawaii.  This is pretty easy.  Most JC and CC leagues have short bus trips.  Plane flights from Rutgers to Washington and all over the US every week is a real problem for some kids and especially those who are struggling with school and need to be around campus more.  Most athletic departments give plenty of help but sometimes the kid still needs to be there.  Golf team is not flying in chartered planes with direct flights and stuff like the revenue sports kids.

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1 hour ago, jda said:

She used sports to get into this school and get it paid for.  Sports is a job to get the degree and live in paradise.

Bravo to you and your kid!

 

Now I do not know why, but most parents are saying stuff like oh it was the weather, lack of facilities, school life, academics etc etc etc for why my little boy/girl sucked at college golf. Still inferring that their kid is still in possession of some innate golf skills beyond some junior events. When in fact the goal was already achieved by their 11th grade when they were recruited?

 

How about the kid used his/her sporting prowess to get into a specific school and "live in paradise?!"

 

Makes perfect sense. Bravo!

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jda makes really good points. Especially regarding the city. My oldest did college at a small college town in farm country, loved it for the first 2 years and then quickly found herself pretty bored. Basically the same parties at the same places over and over for 4 years gets a little stale. Almost hates it now. 

 

My golfer kid only has 2 hobbies, golf and surfing and so she really wants to be on the CA coast somewhere. I know she is definitely willing to look down the line at smaller schools to make sure she gets to play, and that she can get in the ocean pretty regularly. I think that the access/facilities would be the next big thing for her decision.

 

The hardest part of all of this is that the kid has to try to decide what they want to do with their life, before they winnow down the list. I mean why go to a good engineering school if you want a degree in History, etc?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, RmoorePE said:

My golfer kid only has 2 hobbies, golf and surfing and so she really wants to be on the CA coast somewhere. I know she is definitely willing to look down the line at smaller schools to make sure she gets to play, and that she can get in the ocean pretty regularly. I think that the access/facilities would be the next big thing for her decision.

 

 

Can always surf Scripps/shore, Birdrock, Windansea or even Tourmaline at UCSD. Blacks is just on the other side.

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Ce

3 minutes ago, Tugu said:

Can always surf Scripps/shore, Birdrock, Windansea or even Tourmaline at UCSD. Blacks is just on the other side.

Certainly schools around SD have the biggest attraction. We have surfed Scripps, LJS, and Tourmo plenty of times on vacation.

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3 minutes ago, RmoorePE said:

Ce

Certainly schools around SD have the biggest attraction. We have surfed Scripps, LJS, and Tourmo plenty of times on vacation.

Good one. I lived opposite shores for years. Try blacks on a smaller day when there's no crowds. Good fun.

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If any coach feels that the parents are helicopter or snow plow type of people, they will walk away.  Sometimes, just answering one question on behalf of your kid is enough to sour them.

 

Having played in Power 5 myself helped, but also an awareness that nearly NOBODY goes on to be pros helps a ton too.  Once the kid gets past needing to join the PGA tour, LPGA or MLB, then they can step back and make solid, well rounded decisions.  I am all about following your dreams, but you have to be smart too.  You can make decisions about your career and life outside of sport and still pursue being a pro.  Nobody has ever regretted getting an good degree while also getting better at sport - the world is harsh and most flame out early by the choices of others and then they are happy that they have the diploma and even spent 4/5 years somewhere that they liked.

 

Let me tell you that "waiting your turn" in a better city and better school is probably the right answer for most people.  This takes foresight and patience, which benefit people in all walks of life.  The kids that are older than you waited your turn too and often a 23 year old man or woman is probably better than a 18 or 19 year old kid - even if the parents don't think so.  If your kid "has to play right now" then I would start talks about how petulant this is.  Coaches have seen 18 year olds that WANT IT NOW (imagine stomps foot) for their whole career and have no time for this.  Some are good enough to play right away - most are not.  No coach is screwing your kid if they don't play as a freshman or even sophomore.  JC, CC and lower level programs are for kids who NEED to play right away.

 

I also forgot about kids who might not go to college without sports.  I coached both boys and girls who would never have went to college without sports - interest or money based.  Most of them end up loving it and see all of the other benefits once they get there, like having teammates/brothers/sisters, degrees, etc.  Encourage this - sports should not be number one, but it might have to be for a while until the kids learn more.

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..more thoughts.

 

Your kid does not have to decide what they want to do in life.  If they have a general idea, then they are good.  Economics or General Business if they are thinking some sort of business, sales or finance.  Electrical Engineering, Math or Physics if they want to be technical.  Nursing if they want health care.  There are many more things like this.  If hey decide that they want to go to law or med school as a Sophomore or Junior, then plenty of time to take the requisite classes even if they don't change their major.  You don't have to start pre-med or pre-law to get into law or med school.

 

Economics degrees are VERY versatile.

 

Besides, who do you know that does what they went to college for after 10-20 years?  Nearly nobody, right?  I did 20+ years as a software engineer with a Comp Science degree, but now I am in real estate and spent much of my SE time running and selling a company which is mostly business and finance related.  You don't have to end how you start.

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2 hours ago, tssgj65 said:

There are ~300 D1 programs (men's).  There are ~200 D2 programs.  The top D2 programs are very competitive especially with the back half of D1.  Due to the Clippd points allotment giving more points to D2 for D1 tournaments, there will be many D2's competing in D1 tournaments going forward (unless something changes).

 

 

Clippd/Scoreboard is an unmitigated disaster. My understanding is that there rankings will be going away sooner rather than later.

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1 hour ago, jda said:

Let me tell you that "waiting your turn" in a better city and better school is probably the right answer for most people.  This takes foresight and patience, which benefit people in all walks of life.  The kids that are older than you waited your turn too and often a 23 year old man or woman is probably better than a 18 or 19 year old kid - even if the parents don't think so.  If your kid "has to play right now" then I would start talks about how petulant this is.  Coaches have seen 18 year olds that WANT IT NOW (imagine stomps foot) for their whole career and have no time for this.  Some are good enough to play right away - most are not.  No coach is screwing your kid if they don't play as a freshman or even sophomore.  JC, CC and lower level programs are for kids who NEED to play right away.

You make some solid points, but how much does a wide open transfer portal change things?   

 

Are the schools going to be as loyal to their players that started with them as they have been in the past?  Or, are they just going to bring in experienced players while the now sophomore student continues to not play?

 

Yeah, going to the top program you can get into, and sulking at not getting play time is petulant.   I don't think that trying to find a place that gives you lots of playing opportunities in a sport they're passionate about is petulant.   Waiting your turn is one possible path to success in life, but so is proving yourself as a big fish in a small sea and taking advantage of the opportunities that brings.   Different paths for different people and circumstances.

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I went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philly to study engineering.

There are plenty of things to do in Philly besides studying.  Lots of museums to visit.

I remember one student who went to watch the Philadelphia Flyers, the professional hockey team!

 

I was at the same place for 37 years and retired just before I turned 60.

Figured I didn't need any more savings to enjoy retirement.

 

 

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Most non revenue coaches are true to their word and do not recruit over kids who are true to their word.  However, your spot on the team and scholarship does not guarantee playing time.  This is not even close to the same as for revenue sports.  I am not sure that the transfer portal has fully shaken out yet in any sport even though any kid can enter it.  Like I said above, risk avoidance is paramount with most golf coaches so the reasons and circumstances that make kids want to transfer really matter.  My gut tells me that for the masses, this is not free agency unless they want to move down a level or are complete studs.

 

There are worst things than getting a degree in a good town and barely playing.  Golfers are student athletes and not athlete students.  I doubt that any coach at any college is going to guarantee playing time to any recruit or transfer.  Regardless of the  circumstance, you are going to have to earn it so plan on not playing much at first and work hard... better to be driven and play earlier than expected rather than be bitter and mad.

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2 hours ago, jda said:

If any coach feels that the parents are helicopter or snow plow type of people, they will walk away.  Sometimes, just answering one question on behalf of your kid is enough to sour them.

 


Most coaches don’t like it when you ask hard questions. If you kid asks them that is even worse then a parent.

 

There are basically like someone selling you life insurance and are looking for the easy close.   
 

Kids need to know what they want and need. if the school can’t provide what you it is time to walk.  

 

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52 minutes ago, Tugu said:

I do love me a lawyer who stays on message.😆

I will get my shots in when I can.

24 minutes ago, jda said:

Most non revenue coaches are true to their word and do not recruit over kids who are true to their word.  However, your spot on the team and scholarship does not guarantee playing time.  This is not even close to the same as for revenue sports.  I am not sure that the transfer portal has fully shaken out yet in any sport even though any kid can enter it.  Like I said above, risk avoidance is paramount with most golf coaches so the reasons and circumstances that make kids want to transfer really matter.  My gut tells me that for the masses, this is not free agency unless they want to move down a level or are complete studs.

 

There are worst things than getting a degree in a good town and barely playing.  Golfers are student athletes and not athlete students.  I doubt that any coach at any college is going to guarantee playing time to any recruit or transfer.  Regardless of the  circumstance, you are going to have to earn it so plan on not playing much at first and work hard... better to be driven and play earlier than expected rather than be bitter and mad.

Recruiting the past 3 years has changed because of the portal. If a player is going to a top 50 program and can't play within 2 years, they should probably pick another school. The player and parents have to be realistic about it as well.

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42 minutes ago, LawGenius305 said:

 

Recruiting the past 3 years has changed because of the portal. If a player is going to a top 50 program and can't play within 2 years, they should probably pick another school. The player and parents have to be realistic about it as well.

If one can't play play freshman year at a power 5 school (esp if there are over than 9 players), the gut feel is that most should not expect to play much for rest of their college career.

Some top 20 schools will want the spot, while other coaches might just let the player keep practicing (and occasionally play as an individual.

 

As an example, check out Ivies, or even Duke & Stanford where the bottom 3 players often shoot high 70s+ and don't travel w/ the team. When the academic standards are stringent, the coaches can't really bring portal guys in. 

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