How Does College Golf Recruitment Work?
Joining a college through a sports program is an excellent way to further both your career and education with the help of a scholarship and coaching. So how does college golf recruitment work? Since golf is a non-revenue sport, teams often aren’t as big when compared to other sports. That means having good grades is a big help, and so are a couple other factors we’ll be explaining in more depth.
First, to apply for a scholarship it’s important to be a ranked player, practice regularly, and take part in tournaments. This helps create data that can be used to describe your skills, as well as spread your name, create achievements for applications, and keep you sharp! Registering with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) eligibility centers is also an important part of the process, in addition to knowing their rules and guidelines for future student-athletes.
Athletes start early careers, and college coaches know this! When starting high school and your first season as a player, I recommend having a good grasp of where you plan on studying in the future, and getting in contact with said coaches as early as you can. Keeping in contact with coaches and informing them of your future plans and scores is a great way to fine-tune your mid-term goals to further your chances up ahead. Knowing what coaches look for early, getting playing tips, and making a friendly connection are things that have a high potential benefit for you both as a player and as a future applicant to the athletic scholarship.
To begin with, it’s important to have tangible goals: choosing colleges and programs, then researching the requirements, tests, and grades required for enrollment. This will help give you a clear-cut goal to follow, as well as easy to grasp steps you’ll be able to focus on to complete the process. Once you have your list, a good first step is getting in touch with coaches or the athletics department to get a feel for what they are looking for, and to spark their interest in what you have to offer. Having a resume ready with an introduction and information about yourself and your sports achievements (in the form of video or scores) is a crucial step to starting a good relationship with the coach/college.
From there, find out more information you might want about the program and your future, as well as making your application more than a sheet of paper with a name on it. Keep in mind that like any university, grades are important! Though you are applying for a scholarship you’re also applying for a field of study and have to meet all the requirements other students have to; such as GPAs and SATs! According to athleticscholarships.net to receive a scholarship you need a 3.5 GPA, be top 20% of your class, and 1140 SAT score or 100 ACT composite score.
At this point, you already have a solid plan in the works, maintaining communications with key people in the programs you’re keen on entering and working to further your scores means the next step is making yourself stand out as a more promising candidate. Team coaches are the ones who are scouting talent, so appealing to them is very important. Keeping them informed of your progress, scores, and plans is a great way to show your dedication and skill, as well as keeping your application on their minds. It’s also good practice to keeps tabs on the coaches locations, it’s extremely advantageous to meet a coach in person: especially if they get to see your skills in practice. Coaches travel to see games, as well as traveling with their teams. If you find yourself with plans to play somewhere the coach is headed take the chance to make a personal impression by inviting them to watch you play.
Another way to make your application more personal would be to attend a summer camp/showcase for the colleges you’re most interested in. Traveling can cost money and take up time, so chose wisely and make sure you’ve made contact with the coach so they know to look out for you specifically. Like any student applying for university, going there on a college visit to see the campus is a great chance to get to know the facilities and introduce yourself in person to the coaches.
What Are the Most Well-respected Golf Programs I Should be Applying to?
There are a lot of well known universities with excellent golf departments. Specifically for golf, one of the first names to come to mind is Oklahoma State. They’ve had numerous NCAA medalists, and have fielded many tour pros, and are currently in first rank of men’s college golf. Another big name is Stanford University, which has a great program and is located near some renown courses that have been played on by some of golfs biggest names. Lastly, Georgia university is known to have produced players that have gone on to win many important tournaments and whose team, the Bulldogs, are 5th rank nationwide.
When it comes to sports it’s important to start early; start playing competitively as soon as possible and get in touch with coaches of programs you’re interested as early as freshman year of high school. But, be mindful that colleges are looking for more than just skill so keeping a wide network of colleagues and being in contact with people is a huge boost to further your career and to help you always have contacts to practice with! And remember college applications are foremost about education! Keeping your grades up is just as important as practice.