For many junior golfers college golf is the pot of gold at the end of the tunnel. The path to that goal however is a tricky one and you have to know how best to navigate it if you want to reach your destination.
First of all you need to know what options are out there. NCAA division 1 schools sponsor 300 men’s teams and 263 women’s. Division 1 schools can offer 4.5 scholarships on the men’s side and 6 on the women’s.
There are 231 Division 2 men’s teams each with 3.6 scholarships and 181 women’s teams each with 5.4 scholarships. NCAA Division 3 schools have 293 and 184 teams respectively but do not offer athletic scholarships and NAIA schools have 5 scholarships for each gender with 170 men’s teams and 146 women’s.
What does this mean to you? That earning a college golf scholarship is a highly competitive endeavor! And, notice that schools have fewer scholarships available than they typically have members on the team. That means that almost all golf scholarships are partial in nature!
How do you earn one of these coveted spots? First of all, hard work. That goes without saying. But second, with research. Make sure you know which schools have teams that you are a good fit for. Good fit means that you are capable of playing with the top 2 or 3 players. Coaches are not looking to improve their number 5 player, they get better by recruiting to the top of their line-up.
Also, do you fit in with the school academically and financially? Can you meet the requirements for admission and since scholarships tend to be only partial, is the rest of the tuition something your family can afford? These are all part of the equation when picking the right schools to contact.
That said, there is no substitute for contacting as many schools as possible. The more communications you send the better chances you have of getting responses. This is where quantity absolutely counts!
And you absolutely need a good guide. The NCAA has a great deal of rules regarding recruiting and you need someone who understands all of the ins and outs. You also need someone who has built relationships with enough college coaches to help get you recruited. Remember, one of the NCAA rules on recruiting severely limits the contact you and your parents can have with a college coach. Having a coach of your own who can speak knowledgably with these college coaches is invaluable.
At the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy we have sent more than 50 players on to college golf including an NCAA and NJCAA National Player of the Year. Our contact list of college coaches is second to none. If college golf is your desired destination, then the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy is your road to college golf.
Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330