Considering College Golf? Or maybe you are taking your talents to the next level very soon? How well do you understand the time commitment that goes into playing golf in college? Here, we’ll take a look inside look at the Life of a College Golfer.
Ever wonder what life is like as a student athlete on the golf team at a college?
Many golf teams practice 5 times a week, for roughly 3-6 hours at a time at the home course or practice facility the team uses. Technically the NCAA specifies 20 hours of total practice time per week however here at The Hub we’ve heard rumors that the time commitment can exceed this.
Practices can vary greatly depending on the coach and the facility being used, but most practices consist of 1-2 hours of player chosen practice on either full swing, short game or putting, then 2-4 hours of playing on the golf course.
Over the weekend, many programs will allow both days to be off, and others will make either Saturday or Sunday a ‘Play Day’ to a course a little farther away that allows more time for players to travel and play 18 holes for their practice.
One day a week on the weekend is typically reserved as a rest and recovery day.
When a tournament is approaching, or to set the lineup at the beginning of the golf season, teams will often hold inter-squad qualifying for the starting five although this can vary by the team. Teams and coaches develop a system to determine which spots in the starting five are available when and to which people on the team. We recommend checking with the coach to determine exactly how the starting five is set.
The starting five (plus any individuals chosen by the coach) travel to the location of the tournament. There is almost always a practice round for players, on either a Friday, or a Sunday (typically). The next day is 36 holes of stroke play, shotgun start. You will play with two to three other players, all from separate teams and you all will carry your own bag for 36 holes. The day after this is 18 holes of stroke play, same format, and the winning team is announced after that round. After each round, the low four scores from the starting five are taken and added together. This process is repeated for each of the three rounds, and the team with the lowest three round aggregate score is crowned the champion. There is also recognition given to the individual winner of the tournament. In all tournaments except the conference championship, the tournament goes toward the school’s record, however if a team wins Conference, they advance to Regionals. If the team wins Regionals, they go to the National Championship for their Division.
For almost every golf program out there, if a college golfer scores well in a tournament, they will be rewarded by staying in the starting five for the next tournament. If they didn’t play very well, their spot may be up for qualifying, and they will have the opportunity to earn a spot again.
Go to The Hub’s Essential Guide for exclusive player stories from current and previous college golfers from all different divisions on their perspectives. There, we’ll cover everything from the general landscape of the college golf season, the team, coaches, schedule, practices, workouts, tournaments, academics, managing your time and more! In reading, we hope to provide you with important information on what to expect in of college golf.