Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

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

Published

on

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.

Your Reaction?
  • 39
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

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!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Podcasts

Ping Engineer Paul Wood explains how the G400 Max driver is so forgiving

Published

on

Paul Wood, VP of Engineering at Ping, joins our 19th Hole to discuss the new G400 Max driver, which the company calls the “straightest driver ever.” Also, listen for a special discount code on a new laser rangefinder.

Listen to this episode on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes.

Your Reaction?
  • 18
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP7
  • OB6
  • SHANK29

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

WATCH: How to Pull a Shaft from a Composite Club Head

Published

on

Composite club heads are increasing in popularity with golfers thanks to their technological and material advantages. For that reason, it’s important to know how to pull shafts from composite club heads without damaging them. This video is a quick step-by-step guide that explains how to safely pull a shaft from a composite club head.

Your Reaction?
  • 11
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

10 Years Later: Why the assistant coach has made college golf better

Published

on

It’s been 10 years since the NCCA Legislation began allowing assistant golf coaches to perform on-course coaching in college events. Today, 94 percent of the top-100 men’s golf teams have assistant coaches, and the coaching pool is stronger than ever, with individuals such as Jean Paul Hebert (Texas), Jake Amos (South Carolina), Ryan Jamieson (Florida), Robert Duck (Florida State), Donnie Darr (Oklahoma State), John Mills (Kent State), Garrett Runion (LSU), Zach Barlow (Illinois), Bob Heinz (Duke), and 2017 Assistant Coach of the Year from Baylor, Ryan Blagg. The list includes a guy with 20+ PGA Tour experience (Bob Heinz), several former college standouts and some National Championship wins (Jean Paul Hebert – 1, Runion – 2, Amos – 2).

In the 10 years since the expanded role of the assistant golf coach, the National Championship has still been dominated by major conference schools, with only three non-major conference schools earning a spot in match play (Kent State 2012, and Augusta State in 2010, 2011). Of course, Augusta State went on to win both of its appearances in match play, earning back-to-back national championships under Coach Josh Gregory.

One of best examples of the success of assistant golf coaches is Chris Malloy at Ole Miss. Malloy, a graduate of Ole Miss, began his coaching career as the women’s assistant golf coach at Florida State. Shortly after, he was working with both programs and had an immediate impact, which included helping the men win their first ever ACC championship. Shortly after, Chris took over as the men’s golf coach at University of South Florida, transforming the team into a National Contender and a top-30 ranking. Today, at Ole Miss, Chris has done the same thing, transforming a team and a culture in three years, earning a spot in the 2017 NCAA National Championship at Rich Harvest Farms.

Another great example is Sooner coach Ryan Hybl, who in 2017 lead his team to the NCAA National Championship. Hybl, an outstanding player at Georgia, then was an assistant with the program from 2005-2009. The system continues to work as three notable assistants made moves this summer; Jim Garden from OU to Coastal Carolina, John Handrigan from UF to Notre Dame and Dusty Smith from Vanderbilt to Mississippi State.

Although to date, mid-major teams have not fared consistently on the national level. The system of assistant coaches has proven to be an excellent tool in broadening the pool of candidates. Last year’s National Championship featured six mid-major schools with half being wily veterans, and half being a product of the assistant coach route; Michael Beard of Pepperdine served as the assistant at Arizona State; Bryce Waller of University of Central Florida served as the assistant at the University of Tennessee; Bryant Odem of Kennesaw State served as the assistant at the University of Wisconsin. It will also feature teams like Oklahoma State, Baylor, Virginia, Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Purdue, which have coaches who have benefited from their experience as assistant coaches in their roles with these programs.

Practice Facility at the University of Central Florida

Practice Facility at the University of Central Florida

The pool of candidates for coaching positions today is deeper than ever. Athletic Directors are blessed to be able to interview several good candidates for almost each job. The result for the players are fully engaged coaches who bring passion and desire to improve each of their programs.

Bowen Sargent, the current head coach at University of Virginia and former assistant coach at the University of Tennessee under Jim Kelson, started coaching when the rules only allowed one coach. In the 10 years since the rule change, Bowen believes “it’s a positive change for sure. Having two coaches allows for a better student-athlete experience and for them to have more access to their coaches.”

Coach Bowen Sargent of UVA, along with former players Denny McCarthy and Derek Bard at the US Open

Coach Bowen Sargent of UVA, along with former players Denny McCarthy and Derek Bard at the U.S. Open

The diversity among coaches is also greater. Today’s juniors have the option to play for a skillful player such as a Mike Small at Illinois or Casey Martin at Oregon, or Doug Martin at Cincinnati, or even a world class instructor like Bryce Waller at UCF, Ben Pellicani at Limpscomb or Casey Van Dame at South Dakota State. Waller, an excellent instructor himself, has lead UCF to three National Championship appearance in 7 years. Likewise, Ben, a Golf Digest top-40 under-40 instructor who spent several years learning from Mike Bender has been instrumental in transforming Limpscomb into a national contender, participating in their first ever National Championship in 2017. Lastly, Casey who spent several years under Jim Mclean, then as the assistant at University of Tennessee, has transformed South Dakota State Men’s and Women’s Golf, with both teams currently ranked in the top-100 in the country.

Ben Pellicanni of Limpscomb University helping to read a putt

Ben Pellicanni of Limpscomb University helping to read a putt

Athletic Directors are also starting to put more funding towards golf resources. The result has been an explosion of golf-specific training facilities across the scope of college golf. Many mid-major schools have top-notch practice facilities, including places such as University of North Texas, University of Richmond, University of Central Arkansas and Illinois State to name a few.

Golf facility at the University of Central Arkansas

Golf facility at the University of Central Arkansas

The tremendous pool of coaching candidates has also benefited other levels of golf. For example, 2014 Assistant Coach of the Year Chris Hill is now the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Concordia University, a Division 3 School near Austin, Texas. In his two years as coach, he has already lead the program to seven tournament titles.

As time passed, I believe that we will see a change at the NCAA Championship and it will include a growing trend towards mid-major universities not only earning spots at the National Championships, but having success like Augusta State. The person at the head of one of those programs is likely to have come from the assistant coach ranks and should be thankful for the rule change, which lead to these opportunities.

Please note: As of writing this article, only 6 men’s teams in D1 do not have assistant coaches. They are UTEP (51), McNeese (84), Nevada (88), Richmond (89), Cincinnati (92) and Tennessee at Chattanooga (96).

Your Reaction?
  • 16
  • LEGIT5
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending