As a former high school golfer and now golf coach at St Xavier High School in Cincinnati, OH, I have seen every type of golfer come through over the past 10 years. From collegiate Division 1 scholarship recipients to golfers who shoot in 100’s, it has been great getting to witness and help shape these golfers’ futures.
As a coach, one of the things I get asked most often is “what does it take for me to play varsity golf in college?” For some (and I do mean some), D1 scholarships are a reality especially for those who average around par. For many, their competitive golf career of playing on a team ends when the caps are thrown at graduation. Not so fast….
“Of the 226,514 competitive high school golfers only 11,263 go on to play varsity collegiate golf.”-Berecruited.com
It wasn’t until around 2003 that club golf was founded and former high school golfers started forming club golf teams on campuses across the country. As a coach we are often faced with the difficult discussion with players about their reality of competing at a varsity level in college. Over the past decade, parents and students are more seriously factoring club golf into their college decision.
Division 2 or 3 varsity opportunities are perfect for some people. I can speak from personal experience that as a mid to high 70’s golfer in high school, I could have played D3 golf at a nearby smaller university. Instead, I went to Dayton University, a larger “D1” school with strong academics and a great campus experience. I wasn’t good enough to play on the varsity golf team so decided to play club golf.
I was able to enjoy my college experience by having more free time to do what I wanted without being bogged down by everyday practices, morning workouts, and required activities. I played on the club golf team (and actually improved as a golfer with less stress and a more relaxed, yet competitive environment) and was able to focus on my engineering degree, hang out with friends, play other sports on campus, and be involved with other on-campus opportunities.
Over the past few years, I have received more and more parents and students asking me about club golf and weighing that as an option when determining which college to attend. As I watch club golf continues to grow and thrive, I’m sure more parents and students will continue to factor club sports into their college decisions.
If you are curious to learn more about playing club golf versus varsity golf, check out this infographic.
I’m happy to answer any questions from parents or students about my background and expertise on choosing the right college for golf. Contact me at Matt@highschoolgolf.org