According to the NCAA and NFHS, around 7% of high school golfers will go on to play varsity golf at any level in college. Getting recruited to play college golf is a long and difficult process which causes confusion, time, money, and pain for many student athletes and their families. Since the odds are stacked against many high school golfers looking to play college golf, I thought it would be helpful to share some information for parents and students who do not get recruited to play college golf. There is a lot of advice out there about getting recruited, but not enough information to help the 93% that do not get recruited.
Play collegiate club golf
- Did you know anyone can play college golf? The National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) runs college golf tournaments all across the country for students at over 400 colleges and universities. NCCGA hosts weekend tournaments for students to compete on a local and national scale during the fall and spring semesters while in college. Anyone can play club golf since the events are co-ed, all swings are welcome (tournament scores range from 65-105), and the only requirement to play is that you are a full-time college student. Learn more about playing club golf.
Play golf for fun on campus
- There are around 100 college campuses in the US that have golf courses directly affiliated with the campus. A course like Forest Akers on Michigan State’s campus is especially welcoming and accommodating to students by offering students 36 holes and the ability to play golf for a significantly low rate. If you are looking to focus on academics, but not playing on a golf team any longer, just playing for fun while at college can be the best medicine to relax during those stressful times.
Still looking to get recruited to an elite program, but started too late?
Delay college for a year
- Delay college for a year – If you are someone who should have been recruited to play college golf, but may not be ready for college or need another year to prepare your game for a specific level program, there are many golf academies that help high school golfers with college golf preparation. Golf academies are typically very costly. However, they will do a great job getting you prepared for college and help you get recruited a year later. Need some help finding a golf academy?
Try to walk-on
- Walking on to a varsity college golf team is very, very difficult. There are many great stories out there about kids who have walked on to programs and been very successful college golfers, but it is rare to even get a chance for a walk-on spot especially at a larger school. Although I do not have any direct data or research to back this besides numerous conversations with college golf coaches, the majority of coaches I speak to do not even off a walk-on tryout anymore. A better alternative to walking on the team might be playing club golf and proving yourself to the college coach. Here is a story about how Ian Martin from the University of Michigan did just that.
If you are in the 93% of high school golfers who do not get recruited to play college golf, do not worry since you are 1 of 200,000 other kids in the same boat. Hopefully the above advice is helpful for you to stay involved in the game of golf and enjoy your college experience at the same time.
Click here for a full, comprehensive college golf recruiting guide.