It’s no secret that junior golfers have a lot of options when it comes to planning their summer golf schedule. Often, having so many options can create confusion and frustration for the entire family. To best understand whether a camp or tournament is a better fit for you this year, we need to explore a player’s background and what one is looking to gain with participating in both.
Some questions that need to be examined before determining what route is best: How long have you been playing competitive golf? What previous tournament experience have you had? Have you had any formal instruction? Are you planning to play golf in college?
College golf camps are a great educational tool for junior golfers who are newer to the game. These camps provide Instruction from PGA professionals and top tier college coaches, insight into what a coach looks for when recruiting a player, and an opportunity to experience true college life. One of the values that college golf camps can provide for a junior player is an opportunity to receive face-time with a college coach. This allows a junior golfer to make a good first impression and a chance to form a relationship with the coach moving forward.
A college golf camp can help you improve your performance on the course and understand how to play your best under pressure situations. If you are looking for some great options for this summer, be sure to check out this link to see what college camps are near you! https://collegegolfcamps.com/
Shifting focus over to junior tournaments, the first item to understand are the levels of junior golf. Local and state events are typically 18 or 36 hole events played with smaller fields and shorter yardages, perfect for players who are newer to the game. Generally, these tournaments will be broken up into division levels by age.
Regional events are tournaments that are 36 holes and field sizes that will be 20 or more players in a given age division. These are perfect for the junior golfers who have excelled at the high school/state level and who are looking to play on some harder courses and longer yardages this year.
National events are typically 54 hole events or longer and have some of the best competition available throughout the country. Tournament fields are typically one age division with upwards of 100+ players and are played from 7,000 yards for boys and close to 6,000 yards for girls. These are for the experienced player, ones who are looking to play against top tier players on course setups that will mimic to what you will find in college golf.
Tournaments allow a golfer to showcase their talents with a score and finish that can be communicated to a college coach. The great thing about the game we play is that it’s absolute— 72 will always best 74 and 74 will always beat 76. Building a solid resume of tournament rounds and finishes provide you the best opportunity to prove to a college coach that you are up to the challenge.
As you consider all of these levels for junior tournaments, the main idea is to start low and work your way higher, find success at the local and state level before moving onto regional and national events. You want to build a tournament schedule that will reflect where you are currently at in your own personal golf game and showing that you are taking the steps to improve it.
Be sure to check out the resources we have on highschoolgolf.org to help you understand what tournament options are available to play in this summer!