Spring Checklist for Playing College Golf
With summer being the busy junior golf tournament season, spring is your opportunity to get all your ducks in a row. The college golf recruiting process spans years, but the summer is the peak recruiting season when college coaches are traveling to tournaments and can begin communicating with certain-aged recruits.
Our college golf recruiting guide answers all your questions about when to contact college coaches and how; plus, Junior Golf Hub has some pretty great college golf recruiting tips around school choices.
If you’re a high school sophomore or junior about to head into the summer tournament season, some of these items will be even more heavily weighted, like applying for golf scholarships. If you’re just beginning your recruiting process and want to build up your Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking, for example, familiarizing yourself with the right junior golf tournaments will be a priority.
1. Create a Winning Junior Golf Tournament Schedule
If you’re looking to play golf in college, there is no doubt junior golf tournaments will be a part of your summer plans. Crafting your tournament schedule in the spring will give you enough time to see where and when you’ll be playing; having this foresight allows you to communicate your whereabouts with college golf coaches so they can watch you play.
It’s important to find golf tournaments eligible for junior golf rankings, as this will allow your name to appear on sites like Junior Golf Scoreboard and AJGA Rolex Rankings, which college coaches often view while recruiting their next classes.
While there are thousands of junior golf tournaments that you can compete in, our guide to junior golf tournament planning and our Tournament Finder feature in our app will make this process as easy as possible. Plus, if you use our app and choose to make your schedule public, the tournaments you compete in will aggregate on your profile, notifying interested college coaches when you’re playing and how you played after the fact.
2. Research Colleges and their Golf Programs
It’s never too early to start researching college golf programs. Each junior golfer has personalized expectations of what the college experience will look like, and all options are valid!
Whether you’re looking for a small, Division 3 school with a strong academic program or a large Division 1 college with tons of school spirit, there’s a college out there for you – even junior colleges where you can prepare your golf game an extra year.
- Research and understand the scores it takes to play college golf, especially in the division you’re aiming for. Review your prospective school’s scores from the last couple of seasons.
- Be realistic and honest about your skill level. If you’re a male in your senior year of high school and have difficulty breaking 80, it may not be worth the time to look at the top-ranked programs in the country; there’s no shame in it – knowing your game gets you one step closer to your ideal college experience.
- Make a list of your favorite college golf programs. It’s easy to find and track them in the Junior Golf Hub app!
3. Stay Current with Your Favorite College Golf Programs
Keeping up to date with college golf programs is a two-way street: college coaches are checking in on your progress, so it makes sense to follow their teams’ schedules as well. Knowing you’re invested and staying current with their golf programs goes a long way with college golf coaches and provides you with talking points during your calls and visits.
The College Database on the Junior Golf Hub app summarizes all the latest updates from each college golf program, even academic highlights.
4. Update College Golf Coaches
Reaching out and staying in touch with college coaches is the best way to build a relationship and keep you on the forefront of their minds. Simply sending an update on your game, your tournament schedule or when you might be visiting campus is a great way to continue forging that connection.
The best time to reach out to college golf coaches in the spring depends on the program. If you’re reaching out to a top program that is participating in the NCAA Regionals and beyond, you’ll want to wait till the first week of June. For golf teams that aren’t continuing past their conference championships, you can reach out to them the second week of May and have their full focus.
Even though communication might take place in the early summer, you can start compiling a list of the coaches you want to contact and the tournaments you’ll be playing during the spring.
In addition to reaching out to coaches via email and phone, you can also share your tournament schedule and updates through the Junior Golf Hub app. Simply click the star button to make your schedule and results public so college coaches can view them.
5. Researching Golf Scholarships
As you get closer to signing your National Letter of Intent (NLI), you may have an idea of what golf scholarships are available to you. Be aware of deadlines, and if you’re getting ahead of the game, start planning your application schedule for next year.
If you’re looking at Division 3 schools where golf scholarships aren’t available or simply want to find other opportunities to cover tuition costs, there are academic scholarships and grants you can look into. If you are eligible for a Division 1 or Division 2 scholarship, the spring is also a great time to finish off the academic year strong.
After checking off these 5 to-dos this spring, you can focus on your golf game this summer. Junior Golf Hub can help simplify the busy work, so you can enjoy the tournament season and conversations with college coaches.
To read our full college golf checklist, be sure to sign up for Junior Golf Hub’s membership. It’s the roadmap you never knew you needed (and one that will save you from hours of confusion).