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Why you should consider playing Club Golf in college

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In 2003, college golf changed for the better when the Southeastern Club Golf Association started. The organization sought to provide college students in the southeast an opportunity to participate in organized, competitive golf. The Southeastern Club Golf Association grew to become the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) and is the governing body for club golf nationally. Today, fifteen years later, the NCCGA is a doing amazing things under the umbrella of Nextgengolf. Golf entrepreneurs and Nextgengolf founders Kris Hart, Matt Weinberger, and Mahesh Murthy were the guys behind making this happen. The NCCGA had 30 teams in 2009, and is now represented by 350+ programs including a wide spectrum of universities from Stanford, to the University of Florida, to Black Hills State University. With participation in the 10,000s, Nextgengolf is positioning itself to play a bigger role in the college and junior development scene.

Of the roughly 220,000 high school varsity boys and girls golfers, only about 17,000 will go on to play collegiate varsity golf. “Less than 8 percent of high school golfers will play any level of varsity golf in college,” Kris Hart, CEO of Nextgengolf, explained when describing the vast, pivotal industry segment.    

Club Golf teams play a fall and spring season with over 60 tournaments being offered in the spring of 2018. These tournament allow both individuals, as well as teams, to compete on a regional and national scale. No matter the size of your college or skill level of your game, every college-aged golfer has a place to play and compete. Tournament entry fees are $95 on average per player for a two-day, weekend event at quality course. There are additional membership dues of $400 per team or $60 per individual as well. Teams are comprised of 8 players, with the top 5 scores from each team counting to form a team score.

Of the fall 2017 tournaments, 44 percent of them had an individual winner with a score under par. The lowest winning 36-hole score of the fall was by Ben Harden with a two-round total of 134 (10-under par). The average winning score in the fall of 2017 was 748 for 36 holes, counting 5 players per round. This means that the average score of a player on a winning team was 74.8. The average 5th place team score was 820 (averaging 82 for counting scores).  

For junior golfers and their families, Nextgengolf provides an amazing opportunity to combine academics with competitive golf without having to worry about the recruitment process! Mason Wicks from Illinois State said “Club Golf is the perfect opportunity to play competitive golf in college without having the same time commitment as varsity golf. Through club golf you will meet lifelong friends and enjoy competing against many cool people all across the country.”

Club Golf has really carved out a segment quite complimentary to NCAA varsity golf. Varsity golf will always be the top destination for the top-ranked golfers, but many high school students are beginning to see the benefits of choosing a university for academics, on-campus experience, and club golf as opposed to subjecting themselves to varsity scholarship opportunities at schools they may not otherwise choose to attend.

“We have seen many varsity golfers transfer to bigger schools,” said Matt Weinberger, COO of Nextgengolf. “Ben Harden, the fall 2017 top ranked player, transferred from New Mexico State to Arizona State since he wanted to experience a larger school and was tired of each day being varsity practices and workouts, made a conscious choice that club golf was better suited for him.”

Each year, Club Golf continues to grow and the scores are dropping lower and lower. It wouldn’t be a surprise if we eventually see an elite player who used Club Golf as a path in their long-term development. College coaches are also starting to notice the strength of the players on club teams. Casey Luban of Michigan state said, “”I truly believe that club golf is a wonderful opportunity for players to continue to share their passion for the game and competitive golf outside of the Intercollegiate Athletics environment. I have always believed that in order for the game to continue to grow moving forward, we need to keep as many opportunities as possible out there for those who want to compete. Additionally, our game fosters and promotes relationships that can last a lifetime. I am a huge believer in club golf and I have been impressed by the accomplishments of these fine players.”

When deciding on where to go to college, club golf should be at the forefront versus an afterthought. The NCCGA provides a valuable service allowing anyone at any school to play college golf.

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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. Billable Hours

    Feb 15, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Unless you’re winning AJGA or other high level junior events, consider not playing college golf or using golf to get you into school with better academics regardless of whether it’s D1, D2, or D3. Top-tier college golf is a major commitment, and unless you have family money you should focus on academics as opposed to your scoring average.

    It’s difficult to tell this to a kid, but they are most likely not good enough to be on tour and should focus on their careers after golf.

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Podcasts

The 19th Hole (Ep 59): Exclusive with new President of the PGA Suzy Whaley and Matt Ginella

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Suzy Whaley, the first woman elected President of the PGA of the America, gives an exclusive one-on-one interview on this week’s episode on The 19th Hole with Michael Williams. Also featured: Travel Insider Matt Ginella of the Golf Channel and Golf Advisor.

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

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: Quail Hollow Golf Course in Boise, Idaho

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was posted by GolfWRX member PixlPutterman, who submitted Quail Hollow Golf Course in Boise, Idaho as his hidden gem of a golf course. PixlPutterman calls Quail Hollow a “target golfers dream,” and judging by his description of the 18 hole course, it’s easy to see why.

“Nestled in the foothills at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. The course is kept in country club level condition and is very challenging. Its a target golfers dream, you can play it with about six clubs and you rarely “need” a driver. Greens are in great shape, and there are some great elevation holes. Pic (below) was taken from the Champion Tee on the 18th Hole. You basically tee off over two other holes, and the view is AWESOME.”

According to Quail Hollow Golf Course’s website, a weekend round with a cart at the course nestled in the Boise foothills will cost you $48, while playing during the week is just $44. Both senior and twilight rates come in at around $39.

@Ron_White

@fnf2017

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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Opinion & Analysis

Redkacheek’s DFS Rundown: 2018 RSM Classic

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We did it again (times two)! Matt Kuchar came through for us last week allowing us to cash our 66-1 outright tickets for our fourth outright winner in only six weeks. We also added Spaun (12-1) and Werenski (28-1) top fives for a total of 100x at Mayakoba! This was one of our most exciting tournaments to watch as several members were sweating their DFS lineups throughout the weekend. Huge shout out to everyone who had a big week at Mayakoba!

This week, the FGB podcast covers some of our betting strategies and then further breaks down the field for the RSM Classic. Definitely give that a listen if you prefer to digest material in an audio format. Of course, you can always find me on Twitter (@Redkacheek), and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Let’s go ahead and take a look at the course. Here are the details of the course for The RSM Classic.

Course Snapshot

Course: Sea Island Resort (Seaside)
City: St. Simons Island, Georgia
Par: 70
Length: 7,005
Course Difficulty: 69.24 (35th)
Birdie Average: 3.43 (16th)
Birdie or Better Percentage: 19.47% (16th)

Course Rankings (OFF THE TEE)

SG: Tee-to-Green: N/A
SG: Off-the-Tee: N/A
Driving Distance: 288.8 (11th)
Driving Accuracy: 72.05% (48th)

Course Rankings (APPROACH TO THE GREEN)

SG: Approach-the-Green: N/A
GIR Percentage: 73.62 (46th)
Proximity to Hole: 35’ 8” (19th)
Rough Proximity: 45’ 5” (17th)
Fairway Proximity: 32’ 5” (16th)

Course Rankings (AROUND THE GREEN)

SG: Around-the-Green: N/A
Sand Save Percentage: 49.35% (24th)
Scrambling Percentage: 55.77% (16th)

Course Rankings (PUTTING)

SG: Putting: N/A
Putting Average: 1.797 (12th)
One-Putt Percentage: 33.11% (5th)
3-Putt Avoidance: 2.79 (32nd)
Putting – Inside 10’: 89.02% (36th)
Putting from – > 25’: 6.59% (35th)

This course has also played very consistent over the years, and that is great for us as we dig into the key stats. The main takeaways are driving accuracy and GIR percentage are both high. DA percentage was at 72 percent last year and GIR percentage was 74 percentage. The real trick is the difficulty with proximity from 125 to 200 yards being ranked inside the top 10 of most difficult in 2018. For that reason, I am really focusing on guys with strong proximity numbers with their irons.

As far as the rest of the course, there is not a ton that stands out. Scrambling is certainly difficult, but like I mentioned before these greens are hard to MISS so I am not weighing any scrambling stats. The only other key stat that this course highlights for me is par 4 scoring on 400-to-450 yard holes. Of course, I always include course history, so definitely take a look at recent years’ results to see who tends to show up here time and time again.

I will note that this tournament is played on two courses: Seaside and Plantation. Plantation will only be seen once by the players (either Thursday or Friday), but if you are looking to play Single Round Showdown contests or even just FRL bets, I would highly encourage you to keep your focus on the Plantation course as it played as one of the easiest courses in 2018.

As you can see, iron play, specifically proximity, is going to be critical this week, so here are my key stats for the week

  • SG: T2G
  • SG: APP
  • Par 4 Scoring (400-450)
  • Proximity (150 – 175)
  • Proximity (125 – 150)
  • Proximity (175 – 200)
  • *Recent Form
  • **Course History

The last two are not so much stat driven but should certainly be considered when building out your player pool. I use course history as a gauge but not a be-all and end-all, and same goes for recent form where I like to SEE which guys have some momentum (good or bad) coming into this week.

I am going to list out the top cash and GPP plays in each price range to help you get a better picture of how to build your lineups…

Expensive

Webb Simpson ($11,800) (GPP)
J.J. Spaun ($10,400) (GPP)
Lucas Glover ($9,900) (Cash/GPP)
C.T. Pan ($9,000) (Cash/GPP)
Russell Henley ($9,500) (GPP)

Mid-tier

Joaquin Niemann ($8,900) (Cash/GPP)
Sam Ryder ($8,600) (Cash/GPP)
Chris Kirk ($8,500) (Cash/GPP)
Jim Furyk ($8,200) (GPP)
Sungjae Im ($8,000) (GPP)

Value

Bud Cauley ($7,900) (GPP)
Richy Werenski ($7,800) (GPP)
Stewart Cink ($7,700) (Cash/GPP)
Bronson Burgoon ($7,700) (GPP)
Michael Thompson ($7,600) (GPP)
Brian Gay ($7,500) (Cash/GPP)
Ryan Armour ($7,500) (GPP)
Kramer Hickok ($7,400) (GPP)
Anders Albertson ($7,300) (GPP)

Super VALUE

Stephan Jaeger ($6,800) (GPP)
Joel Dahmen ($6,900) (Cash/GPP)
Carlos Ortiz ($6,800) (GPP)
Tom Lovelady ($6,500) (GPP)

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19th Hole

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