Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

Do You Need Help with the College Admissions Process for Your Junior Golfer?

Published

on

Two months ago, I typed “college golf scholarship” into Google. When the results came up, I was shocked. All the easily accessible content, in my humble opinion, was misinformation or bad information. So, in short, the answer is “yes,” you need help. No wonder parents are going crazy; they crave information, but what is available is either incomplete or simply misleading. With all this misinformation, many juniors and their parents feel lost and think they need help in the process. This article is going to address the question and help provide you with the feedback you need to make the right decisions.

With a lack of information, many parents resort to the cognitive bias known as anchoring, which is defined as the use of irrelevant information as a reference for evaluating or estimating some unknown value or information. For example, you are at a junior tournament with your son who is 15. He places 6th, two spots ahead of a young man who you hear is attending Duke on a full ride. You share this data with your son and now he starts thinking about major schools like Stanford or UCLA based on one data point and some hearsay.

Before addressing the idea of help, I want you to know that I have done some data collection in preparation for this article. Based on speaking to 50+ families, they report spending an average of 60 hours on the process. My own experience suggests that this number has a large standard deviation depending on the student, their skills, the strength of the market that year, luck and their academic/athletic credentials. However, assuming it is close, you need to start by asking “do I or my young golfer have 60 hours?” Please note this assumes that the adolescence in charge has the personal responsibility to handle the daily emails, phone calls and texts from coaches on top of their current academic, social and athletic responsibilities.

Let me now introduce you to Dr. Richard Thaler. He is a current professor at the University of Chicago, as well as the winner of the 2017 Noble Prize in Economics for his contribution to Behavior Economics. Of his many contributions, the one that Golf Parents need to be aware of is the Binmore Continuum which suggests we do small stuff such as buy milk or eggs or gas often enough to learn to get it right, but when it comes to choosing a home, a mortgage, or a job, we don’t get much practice or opportunities to learn. And when it comes to something like the college decision, barring reincarnation, most of us do it once. Because learning takes practice, it is likely we are going to struggle with the nuances of the decisions which makes it logical to inquire about help on something so important.

Now let’s assume that you agree; we have a lot of bad information out there and you want help! How do you go about finding good help? Let me tell you that professional help is not cheap; someone with a background in the business should charge approximately $4000-$5000 for the process which should include an in-person evaluation, personal introduction to coaches and help through the process. When considering different candidates, parents and student athletes should consider:

  1. Why will this person make an excellent reference? Are they a skilled swing coach? Why will coaches value their opinion?
  2. Where does the person get their clients? Hint: the more diversity, the more likely the person is going to have strong connections
  3. What is their personal philosophy on education? Hint: A great answer would include sending your young golfer to a place they can acquire a variety of developmental assets across a broad spectrum of skills including leadership, time management and growing friends among diverse populations.
  4. What makes the person an expert? What have the accomplished this week or month? Who endorses them? Do they pay for the endorsements?

Above all else, ask about how the person will make introductions. As I demonstrated in my article last month on GolfWRX called “Stop Bothering Me! Why NCAA Coaches Already get too many emails,” coaches already get too many emails with a sizable percentage from “recruiting services.” Most of these emails, up to 90 percent, are simply deleted by coaches. So, make sure, anyone you work with can be personal introductions via phone or text!

Your Reaction?
  • 27
  • LEGIT20
  • WOW20
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK7

Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nat

    Jan 6, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Ive had two sons go through the recruiting process for football, and it is true. The second time I was much smarter and efficient in my time. O e of the best comments my oldest received (from a starting DE at Maryland) was to go to a school you could imagine be happy at if you never played a down. This decision, for most, is about School and education, not only about golf. If you’re a slam dunk PGA tour pro, you’re kidding yourself. I watched 3 star juniors grow up, and the least talented as a junior is now a PGA tour winner. So you never know. But the odds are not in your favor. So chose a school to get an education , and enjoy golf.

Leave a Reply

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

Podcasts

TG2: What’s this on the back of the Mizuno JPX919 Hot Metal irons?!

Published

on

Speculation about Mizuno’s new JPX 919 irons that recently popped up on the USGA Conforming Clubs list, as well as in-hand photos of new Srixon Z785 and Z585 irons. Also, Editor Andrew Tursky and Equipment expert Brian Knudson talk to a special guest, Steven Bowditch’s caddie from the 2018 John Deere Classic (who he found on Twitter).

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Podcasts

The 19th Hole: Mark Rolfing and architect David Kidd on Carnoustie’s challenges

Published

on

It’s Open Championship week at Carnoustie! This week, Michael Williams hosts NBC and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing and award-winning architect David Kidd (Bandon Dunes) to talk about how the pros will try to tame “Car-nasty.” It also features Jaime Darling of Golf Scotland on the many attractions around Carnoustie outside the golf course.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

How often should you actually get “Up-and-Down” based on your handicap?

Published

on

‘Up and Downs’ have long been the accepted measure of skill in the short game. The chart below shows average performance in this area for the PGA Tour and an array of handicap levels. How do you fit in?

A few points of definition: The above refers to short game shots around the green, other than from the sand. [Stay tuned: sand shots will be my next article.] I consider the short game to be all shots from within 50 yards of the hole. This distance was a topic of debate 30 years ago when I was developing my golf analysis program. I was fortunate to be working with Golf Digest Golf Schools and some of the top instructors were good enough to embrace the better form of game analysis that I was creating. In particular, I owe a great deal to Chuck Cook, Jack Lumpkin and Hank Johnson. Their help and encouragement in my early stages gave me a much needed boost of momentum. Little did we know that what I then called “Strokes Lost and Saved” would ultimately become the accepted standard of analysis on the PGA Tour — now know as “Strokes Gained.” Anyway, we agreed that 50 yards was the right distance range for the short game for two reasons:

  1. It represented the short game for virtually every handicap level, men and women.
  2. It was a short enough distance that it didn’t need to be sliced even further.

That said, I do NOT believe that “Up and Downs” are an appropriate or accurate measure of short game skill for two reasons:

  1. It represents the combination of two skills: Short Game and Putting.
  2. It ignores the ERRORS or shots that actually miss the green.

In my 30+ years of studying performance at all skill levels, I have found that it is the FREQUENCY and SEVERITY of bad shots (errors) that do more to influence a player’s scoring level than do all the good shots. Accordingly, I built the ability to capture data on the common errors in the game into ShotByShot.com.

The true measure of a player’s short game skill is their Strokes Gained in that facet. BUT, that is simply a number — a positive number is good and a negative number, not so much. But how then to best display the skill that is associated with the Strokes Gained number? I believe the combination of three stats to be the correct way to display short game skill:

  • Average putting distance, when the green is successfully hit.
  • Percent shots hit to within 5 feet of the hole
  • Percent errors, or shots that miss the putting surface.

Where does your game fall in these two important categories?

Note, that the two lines cross at about a 16 handicap. That is actually a better than average golfer yet for every Chip/Pitch shot that they successfully get to within 5 feet of the hole, they are also chunking or sculling one and missing the green altogether. Work to dramatically reduce the errors and that 16 will drop to 12 or 13?

You might ask: How can the PGA Tour make more errors than the scratch golfer? Good question! I have two explanations:

  1. They really are that good! Regardless of the relative difficulty of the shot, Tour players will go for it. They have the confidence that when they miss they will get the next up and down. At the same time, the amateur that has reached the lofty level of Scratch has generally done so thru rigorous consistency and the avoidance of errors. At the low handicap levels, a bogey can be acceptable but a mistake that results in a double is NOT.
  2. The tour Shotlink data considers the fringe of the green to be a miss whereas I recommend that players count the fringe as a green hit and a putting opportunity. Your long game has been efficient enough to get there and should be rewarded with the GIR. At the same time, to count the shot from the fringe as a short game shot will unfairly reward your short game skill for what was actually a putt.

That reminds me again of my very early days when Chuck Cook said to me: “Pete, Tour players don’t make errors in the short game!”  See Chuck, I was right, they do! For a Complete Strokes Gained Analysis of your game, log on to: ShotByShot.com.

Related

Your Reaction?
  • 276
  • LEGIT23
  • WOW10
  • LOL7
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP4
  • OB2
  • SHANK17

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending