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6 Tips for seniors in high school still looking to play golf in college

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If you’re a high school senior and have not signed with a college yet, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Data suggests that up to 25 percent of the top 250 players in the class are still not signed according to National Junior Golf Scoreboard (NJGS). The question is, if you’re still looking, what should you be doing now? Like always, we have the answers.

1) Get Motivated

Before we talk about recruiting, let me ask you a question; are you all-in on the process of getting better at golf? Data collected by me last year suggests that on average, many of top amateurs and college players in the world are spending approximately 4 hours per day on golf, 285 days per year. That means they are spending 6 days a week practicing, competing and working out specifically for golf. Ask yourself, honestly, are you putting in the time? When you play golf are you playing for fun, or playing serious matches against similar matched opponents with consequences? If you’re not being serious enough and you really love the game, demonstrate your passion by fully committing to your golf. People will notice, and it may make an enormous difference.

2) Communicate About Expectations

Now is the time to have honest communication with schools. As a recruit, you must remember that NCAA rules allow coaches to communicate with both High School Juniors and Seniors concurrently. It is likely that at this point the coach, particularly at the Division I level, have opportunities within both classes and if he can get the younger player that is ranked about the same as you, he is likely to do so with the understanding they have more time to develop their skills. Don’t be afraid to ask coaches for honest feedback about the odds of a fit, including what you can specifically do to change their mind.

3) Be Ready to Work

The fact is the recruiting process not only takes a lot of time but also often requires you to email coaches. On average you should expect to spend about 50 hours of communication with coaches, with many introductions coming via email. Unfortunately, email is unavoidable, so you must get into the routine of checking your email both in the morning and evening, during a time when you can not only read the messages but have time to craft careful, thoughtful responses.

4) Research Options

For many, this will be a time to consider new options. The first thing I would do is compare your NJGS class rank to those who have already signed. Where did people with similar ranks sign? What are the athletic rankings of those schools? Research those schools, as well as schools ranked 5-10 spots ahead and behind those schools to find options that match you academically, then email those schools with your SAT, GPA and ranking in the subject line. Try to get emails out either before December 15th or after January 3rd and before January 21st. If you don’t get a response within 48 hours, email again. If still no response, move down the rankings 10-15 spots, find some other schools and email them, following the same process.

5) Play Golf

The best way to get a coach’s attention to have a good tournament against solid competition; coaches care about things such as scoring average, head-to-head record and rounds under par. Ask coaches about up coming tournaments they might attend or events they suggest you should play. Then go out and kick some butt!

6) Junior College

For many reading this article, an amazing option, which is almost never considered is Junior College. This option offers everyone the opportunity to have 2+ years of further development while earning a quality education and playing fierce competition. It has also proven a pathway to playing elite major conference golf with top 10-15 players getting multiple offers from Division I schools.

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Estefania Acosta-Aguirre is a former college coach and player who has won an individual conference championship and two PGA Minority National Championship. She holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in International Business, and is a K-Vest, Flight Scope and Putting Zone Certified Coach. She is currently pursuing her masters in Sports Coaching at the University of Central Lancashire, as well as finalizing her second book due out in early 2018. You can follow her on Instagram at steph_acostacoaching

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ryley Fitzsimmons

    Dec 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Great article, but you are missing a big crucial element here and quite frankly(as my old golf coach would say) I am shocked you left it out. This being having a great family support system around you. I can speak to this because I did my own recruiting and had so much help from my parents to have the ability to play college golf and to make sure I was in compliance with the NCAA. If I were a kid who were to open up this article on the internet and read it I would think that I have to do all this by myself and add so much more pressure which could cause you to hate the game and or play bad.

  2. ronny

    Dec 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    … and play a full set of PXG clubs to show you’re serious about your game!!!

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