Recently we have had many questions from site visitors on how to go about starting a high school golf team. The reality is that there are many high schools in the U.S. that do not support either boys or girls high school golf. If you are interested in starting a golf program at your school, here are the steps you need to take to turn your vision into a reality.
Gauging interest – surveying: One of the most important steps in creating a golf team is to see how interested other students at your high school are in golf. A suggestion would be asking your friends if they play golf and if they would be interested in playing on a team. At lunch, you can set up a table where students can sign their name and provide contact information to learn more about becoming part of the team.
Speaking with the Athletic Director/Booster Club: Approaching your school’s athletic director is important to find out if it would be financially possible to support a high school golf team. The athletic booster club would be an important group to get on your side as well – typically their main purpose is to develop support for newer sport teams. The booster club could be a great outlet to help with raising money for your new golf team.
Securing a home golf course: Having a home golf course to play and practice on will be a must. Approaching local public and private courses about using their facilities is the best approach. A suggestion would be to work something out with the course pro or superintendent such as helping clean up the course during spring or fall clean up. Small volunteer work around the course can be an easy way to keep costs down for your school.
Finding a coach: Securing a coach for the team is crucial. A suggestion would be to ask around to different parents who either play or are passionate about golf and if they would be willing to step up. Local PGA or LPGA professionals at golf courses could also be some great people to approach. Finding someone who has been competitive in golf is a bonus, but not a must have.
NFHS coach curriculum: The National Federation of High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. I would recommend that the coach complete the four courses that the NFHS provides on becoming an Accredited Interscholastic Coach (AIC).
Fund-raise for equipment and tournament fees: Raising money for your high school golf team does not have to be hard work. The NHSGA is fortunate to have great supporting partners such as SCNS Sports Foods that supply 1st and 10th Tee Nutrition and Energy Bars. Through the NHSGA you are able to purchase 1st & 10th tee bars at a discounted price which can be sold at fundraisers to your family and friends! Just use the code: NHSGA30 at Checkout.
Joining a state high school coach association: Unfortunately, not every state has a high school coaches or golf coach association, but for states that do, these can be great outlets for clinics and educational tools to better a coach’s understanding of the game. Currently, only 15 states have coaches associations including Michigan, Florida and Kentucky. If you are fortunate to live in a state that supports a coaches association, be sure to join to up in order to learn more on coaching at the high school level and resources available in your state.
I hope these above steps will give you a clearer path on the steps to take to bring a high school golf team to your high school!