Recently, I conducted various interviews with NCAA Division 1 college coaches, these are coaches from successful universities and have very good incite into college golf and what it takes to become a successful member of a Division 1 golf team. Some of the names have been excluded due to some NCAA rules. Please contact me, if you have any further questions or would like further consultation on how to your son or daughter can play at the next level.
Assistant Men’s Golf Coach
Big Ten Conference
What are the two most important strengths of a collegiate players’ game?
“The best players in college golf separate themselves with their wedge/short-game and course management. Players that travel in the top 5 of a Division 1 team all have similar ball-striking skills, but the ability to control distance and trajectory with wedges and make par or better when a green is missed separates any traveling player from an NCAA All-American. College golf tournaments are set up very difficult. Smart decisions on club selection off the tee and hitting into the greens play a major role in scoring. Deciding to layup on a reachable par 5 is
difficult, but with a solid wedge game, a player will always have a strong birdie opportunity. It is important to realize that there are hardly ever any green-light pins! A short-side miss into a green leads to unforced bogies and double bogies more times than pars.”
How many hours does the team practice per week and also on average how many hours would you say players practice each week on their own time?
“During the season players are allowed 20 hours of play/practice time under coach direction. This includes team workouts. In the off-season the players are allowed 8 hours. Coaches cannot organize any play or practice in the off-season. During the season, players are encouraged to use their remaining time for school work and study hours. We encourage any extra practice time on the player’s own to be spent on short-game or playing. Course load consists of 12-15 hours a week. After adding up class time and practice/playing, it is almost equivalent to a full time job! Add study hall, meal time and social life and the student-athlete is busy all hours of the day. Time management skills are very important.”
**The transition from high school to college is always a difficult time for student athletes without solid time management skills.**
What scoring average are you looking for in high school prospect?
“It is rare to find an NCAA All-American with a scoring average over 73. Most of the nation’s best prospects will have a scoring average no higher than 75. This is usually a solid barometer for gauging a prospect’s talent. The ability of a player to win on any level as well as their ability to shoot low scores also comes into account. There are plenty of late bloomers out there, but finding them is a challenge and sometimes risky. Although a player that could be a late-bloomer is not offered much scholarship aid, they are taking up a very valuable spot on the team. Many schools and conferences limit the roster size to 10-12 players. If there is no room on the team for a recruit or transfer, it does not matter how much aid you have for targeting other prospects.”
What junior tours would you recommend playing to be recognized by college scouts?
“The American Junior Golf Association is the most popular and highly recognized junior tour. Future Collegians World Tour is another respected organizer of junior events. There are plenty of regional junior golf associations that coaches watch. Southeastern Junior Golf Tour,
Mid-American Junior Golf Tour come to mind and the state by state PGA Jr. events are always watched. If a player has a history of winning and shooting low numbers he will get noticed regardless of playing in a national or regional stage!”
What roll does a golf specific fitness program play in a high school players development?
“It is important for a high school player to begin golf specific workouts. Core strength, flexibility, balance and overall strength will help the player to maximize their game. Once a player gets to college the workouts can be very intense. If a player comes from high school without any formal training similar to this it can be a difficult learning curve.”
What SAT/ACT scores should a player target to be eligible to play Division 1 college golf?
These scores vary between institutions but the NCAA has minimum requirements see:
How much does a players’ GPA come into account in the recruiting process and what, if any, what are the requirements for recruits?
“A prospect’s GPA comes into consideration for the institutional requirements for student-athletes. A higher GPA will also show that a prospect will not be a burden to the strains of academics and maintain eligibility. A 3.0+ is a solid and inviting GPA for college golf coaches. Some schools have different minimum requirements than others. The NCAA also has minimum requirements for eligibility (see above link).”
What would be the most important thing you would recommend to a high school player to help them get recognized and/or reach the next level, college player?
“Maintain a solid academic record and participate in other sports if you have the opportunity. Play as many national junior events as finances will allow. Beginning the sophomore year of high school – start to narrow down the schools where you have interest and even contact coaches with emails, calls or mailing resumes and tournament schedules. Understand that coaches cannot return an email until September 1 of junior year. Prospects are free to call or email the coach anytime and as much as possible. Play well!”
Assistant Men’s Golf Coach
Big East Conference
*What are the two most important strengths of a collegiate players’ game?
“Short game and length. Length is very difficult to teach and is a great attribute for the college game. Short game is the second strength because it has a great affect on score.”
*How many hours does the team practice per week and also on average how many hours would you say players practice each week on their own time?
“We are allowed 20 countable hours per week for team practice in which we use. The players also work at their games on theire own time for another 10-20 hours per week.”
*What scoring average are you looking for in high school prospect?
“Typically 74 and below. But I really take into account the National Tournament averages.”
*What junior tours would you recommend playing to be recognized by college scouts?
“AJGA, FCWT and any US AM, Junior AM, Western Am, Southern AM you can get into.”
*What roll does a golf specific fitness program play in a high school players development?
“Huge, with core strength and flexibility, a golfer has a solid foundation to make improvements to their game and work towards the next level. Also, we have 36 hole days during events that fitness plays a vital role.”
*What SAT/ACT scores should a player target to be eligible to play Division 1 collage golf?
“We typically try to stay above a 500 in math and 500 in Verbal. Act’s above 21.”
*How much does a players’ GPA come into account in the recruiting process and what, if any, what are the requirements for recruits?
“It definitely comes into play but the test scores are a bigger translation to admittance. 3.0 or higher normally is a baseline.”
*What would be the most important thing you would recommend to a high school player to help them get recognized and/or reach the next level, college player?
“Play as many national tournaments as possible. I don’t put a lot of weight in high school tournaments.”
MORE INTERVIEWS TO BE POSTED SOON!!