It’s never too early to start planning for college. Earning good grades and being active in school programs should be your first priority. Then try to join your high school golf team and compete in national and state-wide junior events. You will gain invaluable experience by playing in the best tournaments and competing against the best junior players in your area. Review the FHSAA and NCAA amateur requirements so you don't lose your eligibility. Obtain a copy of the Ping America College Golf Guide for assistance. Near the end of winter carefully select a summer golf schedule with your parents. Be careful not to enter too many tournaments; it’s easy to get burnt out. Also, don’t just select national tournaments because being accepted is difficult and can be very costly. It is important to learn how to win, don't just play in tournaments where you consistently finish in the middle of the field.
Call, email or write some coaches and introduce yourself. Tell them you are interested in their golf program and give them your tournament schedule. Ask them to track your performance because by the time you graduate you feel you could be a big help to their team.
The sophomore year can be the toughest year for students to keep focused because students usually experience freedoms they didn’t have in the past due to turning 16. Continue focusing on earning good grades and consider taking the SAT and ACT. You should take these tests several times over the next three years to increase your chances of receiving higher scores. Compete on the golf team and stay active in school activities. Again with your parents, decide on a summer golf schedule. Remember to play in ranked tournaments so you’ll establish a national ranking. This is also a good time to start thinking about colleges you are interested in. Your sophomore year can be very distracting, so stay focused on your grades and golf.
Tip: Continue to contact coaches of schools you are interested in by phone, email, or letter. Inform them of your progress and any outstanding results. Coaches are mostly interested in tournament scores and how you placed. They are usually not interested high school matches or your 9-hole average score. Inform them of a large tournament you're scheduled to play in and invite them to follow you or at least track your scores on the internet.
Concentrate on maintaining your GPA and achieving high scores on the SAT and ACT. Continue competing on the high school golf team and junior tournaments. Make a list of all colleges you are interested in attending. Don’t just include the most prestigious colleges, chose a mixture of colleges (at least 15) by academics, size, location, golf programs, college life, etc. Prepare a letter of interest which should be mailed to the college coaches on your list. This letter should introduce yourself, provide some brief personal information and explain your interest in attending the college and joining the golf team. The letter shouldn't look like a form letter; the letter should catch the coaches attention and show some of your personality. Include with the letter a detailed golf resume. Remember: coaches are receiving hundreds of letters, resumes and videos, so don't make it too long but have it stand out. Schedule visits to some schools you are interested in. After September 1st of the student’s junior year coaches can begin contacting prospective recruits. Send follow up letters if needed and keep detailed records of all mailers and conversations with coaches. Remember to register with NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse once your junior year grades are posted on your transcripts.
Key Dates during Junior Year:
Sept 1 - Coaches may now contact you via letters and recruiting material
July 1 - Coaches may contact you in person or by telephone (June 15 for Div II)
*you may always contact contact coaches via mail, email, or phone
Register with NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse after your junior grades have been posted; you must be registered to be eligible for a college athletic scholarship. Meet with your high school counselor and make sure you meet all the high school requirements for graduation. Many seniors tend to “slack off” during their senior year which lowers their GPA and could potentially hurt their chances of a scholarship. Be careful, don’t slack off. Submit all applicable applications to the colleges being considered. Stay in contact with prospective colleges and send updated resumes with results from the previous summer. Talk with the coach about signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI). Review the NCAA requirements regarding NLI's at www.ncaa.org. Schedule a competitive summer schedule to prepare yourself for college golf.
Key Dates during Senior Year:
Fall - Send in college applications to schools you are interested in attending
November - Early signing period
April - Signing period
The NCAA limits the number of athletic scholarships each school can give to it's players. Golf scholarships may be divided among team members, so a player may receive a fraction of a full scholarship.
|NCAA Division I
|NCAA Division II
|NCAA Division III