Trophies, medals, and titles look great on the mantle, but college coaches look for more.
Unless you’re among the few elite high school golfers who have college coaches knocking at your door, it can be hard to tell where and how you might fit into a college golf team. While trophies and titles look good on the mantle, but when it comes down to considering high school student-athletes, men’s college golf coaches look at:
Generally, most college coaches will look at a high school player’s national tournament results and rankings before they consider one’s high school golf achievements. While it can vary between programs, most college coaches consider a player’s rank on the Junior Golf Scoreboard, as it factors in verified scores from over 2,000 tournaments nationwide. College golf coaches may also look at rankings from the American Junior Golf Association and Golfweek.
While most rankings are based on tournament scores, college coaches also apply those scores to determine a recruit’s tournament score differential. A tournament score differential is determined by looking at a player’s scores over each round of a multi-round tournament to determine consistency, ability to handle pressure, or a player’s killer instinct.
Want to improve your ranking? Simply find verified, multi-day tournaments near you that are at least 36 holes and on courses longer than 6,600 yards and get entered. The lowest score wins obviously, but as coaches focus on tournament score differential, posting consistent scores is also important.
For college coaches, a player’s average score carries as much weight as his ranking. But remember that coaches also evaluate how and where those scores were attained. For instance, when looking at a player’s scores, coaches consider the course rating and it’s slope rating. Both of those factors provide a better look at a course’s difficulty and therefore, a broader view of a golfer’s talent. For a high school golfer, that means the scores you put up on local muni course during high school tournaments will carry less weight with coaches than scores recorded in more competitive tournaments on tougher courses.
Given that, not all average scores are created equal. However, as a general rule, NCAA Division I coaches look for players whose average score is 70 to 75. Division II coaches look for players whose average ranges from 70 to 79. To be considered by DIII and NAIA golf coaches, a high school recruit can average anywhere from the low 70s to the mid-to-high 80s.
As you may have already noticed, you may need more to get recruited for college golf than just your high school achievements. Instead, most college golf coaches evaluate based on your performance in more competitive tournaments and tours. That includes state golf association championships, Junior Golf Scoreboard-verified tournaments, national golf tours, and the United States Golf Association (USGA) championships.
Remember that, while some of those tournaments may require membership or qualification, many coaches recruit from the same events or same areas year after year. So, if you want to raise your recruiting profile and garner the attention of specific coaches, look at the current men’s golf roster at the schools you’re interested in. Look for patterns in the tournaments they’ve played or the state or region they’re from. If you think you’d be a good match on that team, look for tournaments in those same areas that will give you greater exposure to college golf coaches.
While college coaches may all evaluate a recruit’s scores differently, having a sweet swing is a great way to grab a coach’s attention. However, since most coaches lack the time and budget to see every recruit in person, it’s important that you have a swing video to send to coaches.
A good swing video should be about 10 minutes in length and highlight a variety of swings and club choices from all over the course. That includes swings with short irons, mid to long irons, and the driver shot from a face-on angle as well as from down the line. From there, a swing video should also include chipping, pitching, and sand wedge shots from the same angles. And don’t forget to add short, medium, and long putt video taken face on and down the line, as well as five to 10 foot straight putts from both angles.
Once you have a swing video compiled, embed it in your recruiting profile and post it to YouTube and in your social media accounts. Most importantly, make sure you send it, along with your recruiting profile, when you reach out to college coaches to express your interest in their program
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