Collegiate Golf: Considering Colleges
Submitted by Tom O’Brien
Written by Carl Santos-Ocampo
Below is a list of several factors to take into consideration that I have found to be important when picking the right university for college golf. The list is not ranked in any order.
- Campus Life. Does the size fit your preference? The culture? Do you see yourself going there for four years and enjoying it? Will you be proud to have graduated from this University?
- Academic Reputation. Getting recruited to play collegiate golf is the fastest track to entrance to those universities that demand extremely high SAT and GPA requirements to the normal student. If you wish to take advantage of this, go for it. But again, it is your preference and this is just another factor to consider.
- Athletic Program. Does the school treat its athletes well? Are professors considerate to the athletes? How much do you value going to a big-time Division I school to enjoy the football or basketball atmosphere?
- School’s Golf Ranking. You must assess your ability as a junior golfer. Depending on how skilled you are now and what you think your potential is, approach those schools that you know will give you attention. Rankings can be found on golfweek.com or golfstat.com. Most schools carry about 10-12 players. You have to ask yourself whether you are capable of making the travel squad lineup (starting 5). Being able to get playing time is the best way to develop as a golfer and enjoy the experience. Do not rule out Division 2 or 3 schools.
- Team Dynamic. Your teammates will end up being your closest friends. Do you think you can get along with the members of the team? How do they approach practice and tournament play? Do they have similar goals and priorities as you do?
- Coaching Staff. This is an important one. Every coach has a different strategy and approach. Do you think you will get better playing for this coach? Is he genuine? Does he really want you as a recruit? You have to be able to see through the marketing of his program whether he really has good intentions. What does he expect out of you as a member of the team? Some might prefer a military-style authority, while others might thrive in a more relaxed atmosphere. Is he more of a swing coach or a mental coach? What is his process of picking guys to play in the lineup? Is this consistent? Is he respected by his players? The best source of this information would be from the players themselves.
- Golf is an outdoor sport and is meant to be played outdoors. Unfortunately, not all schools have this luxury all year round. How do you think you will deal with the winter months in some schools? Are you one of those who needs to practice every day to keep his game at a top level? Having a little break could be good to get the itch of playing golf back. However, for some this might limit their potential.
- Indoor Facility. To continue developing and to attract recruits, many schools have built indoor golf facilities. While there is still no comparison (outdoor golf is way better), having an indoor facility during the winter months is better than having nothing at all.
- The golf program’s budget. Basically, how much free stuff do you get? Athletic apparel, hats, shirts, shoes? Is equipment paid for, medical services, tutoring, mental conditioning, and strength training part of the program? What does the travel schedule look like? Do you get to play a variety of locations or even go international?
- Proximity to home. Do you feel too attached to your parents, friends, and hometown that you don’t want to go far from home? Or are you one of those who doesn’t mind being as far away as possible?
Considering colleges is a big deal! Have questions for our team about how to pick a university? Looking for some instruction from top-level pros to get ready for competitive golf? Call us today: 239-236-5536