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How good do I have to be to play D1 college golf?

d1 college golf junior tournaments washington huskies

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#1 lefty_with a power fade

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

I am currently a 4.6 handicap and am headed into my sophomore year at Fred Couples HS. I was wondering how good I would have to be to go play D1 collegiate golf.


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#2 BrianL99

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:58 PM

 lefty_with a power fade, on 04 August 2012 - 07:05 PM, said:

I am currently a 4.6 handicap and am headed into my sophomore year at Fred Couples HS. I was wondering how good I would have to be to go play D1 collegiate golf.

About 7-8 strokes better.

#3 italianstallion

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:15 PM

It really depends on the college. You can go to a 'smaller' D1 school and get a try-out with a little bit of luck. Believe it or not there's plenty of D1 schools out there who have guys on the bench who have scoring averages between 78-85. Its the 'big name' D1 schools that you'd have to be a solid +2 or +3 with plenty of tournament wins to even get a reply back from a coach.

As a 4.6, your only realistic shot is to look at D2 and D3 schools.
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#4 straightshot7

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 01:38 AM

Well you still have 3 more years to improve. .. you should be a plus handicap by the time you graduate if you want to play D1 and need some good finishes at AJGA type tournaments

#5 OptionlessM

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:51 PM

Stop entering scores into the handicap computer and just worry about shooting low tournament rounds.  I can assure you that no Division 1 coach cares what your handicap is.  I don't say that to be mean, its just the truth.  They want to see how well you can compete against high level juniors.


#6 asblake

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 11:29 PM

Agreeing with everyone else here... Regardless of handicap, d1 coaches want to see how you'll perform in AJGA events. My advice would be to keep practicing and work towards entering AJGA events, but remember to have fun with it... Having worked with AJGA events, many golfers seem like they're taking the fun out of the game, which is what the "game" is all about. Good luck!

#7 Tmiller72

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

The D1 school here where I live is awful.

#8 Br1an02;

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:59 AM

For a D1 program, what tryout scores would be needed to earn a walk-on spot on the team?

#9 super7

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:56 AM

First find out if the school you are intrested in has a walk-on tournament. Walking on a D1 Golf program is very difficult for several reasons. With only 4.5 scholarships being handed out yearly coaches feel obligated to put those players in the line-up. Most of the walk-ons that I hear about were kids who have transferred from other D1 golf programs or top level golfers who were going to attend that school no matter what. They had a prior relationship with the coach and he let them walk-on. Most schools now do not have a walk-on tryout tournament. Contact the schools golf coach of the school you are interested in and develop a relationship with him. Send him a resume with you golf accomplishments and go from there. I know of one kid who was a highly ranked player and could have gone to numerous schools on a D1 scholarship. But the school he was going to attend golf or no golf was full. The coach let him walk-on the golf team but this is fairly rare.

#10 Tmiller72

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:21 PM

The way it was where I went:  As a team we would play all of our home courses.  The coach would average those scores.  Anybody walking on would play the same courses and have to beat the team average.  Some years nobody would make it and some years you might get a Jason Dufner out of it.  Although finding a walk-on with his talent is pretty rare.

If a non-scholarship player is beating scholarship players, he's going to get a chance to play.


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#11 bigkorfuna

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:22 PM

If your asking this question and your a sohphmore.....your not good enough. Sorry Bud

#12 golfingchuck

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:26 PM

If you're a 4.5 and let's say you get close to scratch you better win some tourny's to have a shot at getting D1 schools to give you a look. Your best bet would be to go to a D2 or D3 school and win some college tourny's and then write to the coach about transfer.

You don't have to play at a D1 school to make a career out of golf, just be good
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#13 ND Fan

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 12:58 PM

depends on the D1 school...  looking for a scholarship I assume?  If so enter whatever you can in the way of tournaments.  Get your handicap around an honest 0.  Big  D1 golf programs are not your primary target.  But there are plenty of kids playing for middle of the road schools shooting low to mid 70's every week.  These guys are not world beaters only the top 20 or 30 in the NCAA are.  The rest are just good solid players.  If you get tto the point where you know you'll shoot par or better on a reasonable test of a golf course you may be ready.  Problem is coaches look at results.  Without any good showings in amatuer competition junior or otherwise you may be just chasing rainbows.

#14 Andrew24

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:46 PM

Honestly, there a lot of D1 schools that don't have amazing players. I was just looking through the NCAA rankings for D1 and there are kids on teams around 30-50 shooting mid 70's - low 80's. Not their number one players, but like numbers 3-6. I'd say you definitely have to be scratch and be able to shoot a solid round at a challenging course.

#15 JLTD63

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:10 PM

 Andrew24, on 21 August 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Honestly, there a lot of D1 schools that don't have amazing players. I was just looking through the NCAA rankings for D1 and there are kids on teams around 30-50 shooting mid 70's - low 80's. Not their number one players, but like numbers 3-6. I'd say you definitely have to be scratch and be able to shoot a solid round at a challenging course.


The fact that you don't have to be posting scores in the mid-60's like some would have you believe in order to play D1 golf is absolutely true...BUT...be careful in looking at college scoring and thinking "I could beat those guys every day!"  IMO, there is a large gap between HS/Junior golf and college golf...lots of factors contribute...moving away from home...learning to live on your own...juggling school and golf...learning to travel...playing on new, tougher golf courses...different grasses/styles of courses than home...college golf is played in the fall and spring, which means plenty of poor weather...

Obviously none of this is an excuse for high scoring, but a 75 in a HS event and a 75 in a college event are not the same thing...from my experience that is...so take it for what it's worth!


#16 Br1an02;

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:12 PM

Sorry for the threadjack I've created but I've got three years left of my combined degree program, and I'm definitely going to college for an education, not golf. However, I'd like to give tryouts a shot just to see what happens, because you never know unless you try. I'm about a 2 right now, but I figure I can get that down a little bit in a year or so when tryouts are held (if there are any).

#17 Andrew24

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

 JLTD63, on 21 August 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

 Andrew24, on 21 August 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Honestly, there a lot of D1 schools that don't have amazing players. I was just looking through the NCAA rankings for D1 and there are kids on teams around 30-50 shooting mid 70's - low 80's. Not their number one players, but like numbers 3-6. I'd say you definitely have to be scratch and be able to shoot a solid round at a challenging course.


The fact that you don't have to be posting scores in the mid-60's like some would have you believe in order to play D1 golf is absolutely true...BUT...be careful in looking at college scoring and thinking "I could beat those guys every day!"  IMO, there is a large gap between HS/Junior golf and college golf...lots of factors contribute...moving away from home...learning to live on your own...juggling school and golf...learning to travel...playing on new, tougher golf courses...different grasses/styles of courses than home...college golf is played in the fall and spring, which means plenty of poor weather...

Obviously none of this is an excuse for high scoring, but a 75 in a HS event and a 75 in a college event are not the same thing...from my experience that is...so take it for what it's worth!
No I completely understand what your saying. But if you start averaging under par in high school, as long as you have a solid mental game and just focus and forget about all those distractions, you could have a solid chance at making one of the teams.

#18 metsmc

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:40 PM

Please don't listen to the people saying your not good enough to play div 1 college golf. They don't know what they are talking about. There are plenty of teams in Div 1 that have guys averaging high 70's well into the 80's and that's on courses that are not that difficult. That being said playing Div 1 golf should not be your goal. You should pick the best college for you regardless of what level golf program.

#19 Andrew24

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 05:49 PM

 metsmc, on 21 August 2012 - 05:40 PM, said:

Please don't listen to the people saying your not good enough to play div 1 college golf. They don't know what they are talking about. There are plenty of teams in Div 1 that have guys averaging high 70's well into the 80's and that's on courses that are not that difficult. That being said playing Div 1 golf should not be your goal. You should pick the best college for you regardless of what level golf program.
Best way you could put it.

#20 K31795

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:57 PM

is there really a Fred Couples High School?


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#21 generaljhc

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

To check out scoring of 2012 signees, go to:

http://www.juniorgol...rly_signees.asp


check out the scoring differential of the players. This the average difference of their score compared to the USGA rating of the courses they played in their tournaments. So if they have a -2.0, and USGA rating is 73, they would, on avg, shoot 71. This will give you a pretty good idea of what you have to shoot to play at various levels, though it is not an exhaustive list....If you sort by rank, it will pretty much be in scoring order low to high, although only 85% of the ranking is based on scoring.

Also go to link below for general college recruiting info:


http://www.juniorgol.../ss_4_start.asp

#22 generaljhc

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:27 PM

Typically, college golfers avg 2-3 strokes higher in college than they did in Jr Golf. ..in general courses played are at a longer distance, and you often have to walk 36 holes the first day of a tournament and 18 the next morning, then back on the team bus.

Below par will get you looks from the top D1 programs. They will identify top Sophmores and begin tracking them. They will be locked in on certain players during their junior year and sign them in the fall signing period of the golfers senior year.

72-75 will get you looks from top level D2/NAIA/D3 and D1 say 50-100. This group starts finding juniors who are not on the radar of above schools, or who were on the radar but slipped off. Sometimes these teams steal a kid from above, because the golfer wants a chance to play as a freshman. Try to find a school that meets your needs and allows you a chance to play early.

75-79 still leaves hundreds of small college and D1 programs to play golf for and have a good experience.

Edited by generaljhc, 22 August 2012 - 07:28 PM.


#23 cap217

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:54 PM

Come on....  4.5 and going to be a sophomore in high school!  You will get better for sure.  If you can shoot low 70s in competition then you will start to get noticed.  I would even say mid 70s will get you some looks.

#24 generaljhc

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:06 PM

College coaches really aren't interested in handicap scores. They want to know how you score in tournaments of at least 36 holes against other juniors. Perhaps this young man will play D1, but his handicap is immaterial.

#25 lilmike24

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

 lefty_with a power fade, on 04 August 2012 - 07:05 PM, said:

I am currently a 4.6 handicap and am headed into my sophomore year at Fred Couples HS. I was wondering how good I would have to be to go play D1 collegiate golf.
Whatever you do, dont let anyone discourage you. Because people ( especially failures ) love to try to bring others down to their level. Keep on working hard, and playing well. Hope to play against you one day,

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#26 OptionlessM

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:47 AM

forget the word "handicap" and learn the words "tournament results"

#27 Deerslayer

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:18 AM

I think generaljhc gave the best info for you to take in.  You have time, but not as much as many think in being a sophomore.  If D1 is your dream, work your tail off this fall.  You will need to play in as many 36 hole and greater tournaments as you can so that you may develop a resume that will get you noticed by coaches.  The list of signees will tell you where you need to have your game.  Good luck, work hard and don't let anyone or anything get in the way of your dream!

#28 wfrogg

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:21 AM

I tried to do exactly what you are doing and failed, but maybe you can learn from my mistake.

I never played tournament golf in high school as my school did not have a team.  However, I was my clubs junior champion going into my senior year of high school. While my handicap was around a 6 at the time, my competitive scores were much better.   I always played better under pressure.

Once I chose the school I wanted to go to (D1), I contacted the golf coach.  He walked me through the process to walk onto the team.  I was excited but unfortunately the tryouts were not until October.  (2 months after the start of school)

So being a freshmen at an urban school with nowhere to practice, my game was rusty for the tryout.  I believe I shot an 82 on a very difficult course and was told i was 2 strokes shy from making the team.  I was disappointed because i didn't play well and still almost made the team.  If I was able to practice leading up to the tryout, I most likely would have made the team.  So the keys I would recommend to you are:

1) Don't worry about your handicap as it really is meaningless to a college coach.  However try to consistently shoot low scores (mid 70's) on unfamiliar courses.
2) Play as much competitive golf as you can to try and get noticed by a scout so you don't have to walk on, however this will limit your choice of schools.
3) Choose the school you want to go to first and contact the golf coach to find out if they allow walk on’s.
4) Find a place to practice once you get to school so that your game is in prime condition to compete if there is a tryout.

Good luck.  I would have loved to play college golf and it is great that you are getting an early start to find out the best way to get there.

Edited by wfrogg, 23 August 2012 - 08:22 AM.

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#29 super7

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:31 AM

Getting noticed by college coaches takes a lot of work on your part. Recruiting for golf is very different than football or baseball. A college football coach will go to a high school game and have 40 kids playing in front of him. He may be there to look a a certain recruit when another player catches his eye. Golf recruiting is much different, coaches have to go to a tournament and plan their day around watching recruits they are interested in. So they may only see five other random kids. I have asked really good kids where they were looking at going to college, only to hear them say no coaches had contacted them yet. What!!!  You must put yourself on their radar, as a player you have to market yourself. Send resumes, swing film and contact assistants and head coaches. Potential is something that has not happened yet! And coaches look for potential. But be realistic about your game and don't just look at the high scores in college tournaments to compare your game with. Some of the kids shooting those scores were world beaters in their junior careers. Handicap means nothing... it can be easily enhanced. There is a lot of things coaches look at when evaluating talent. I was walking with one of the best coaches in college golf, and in the group was a kid who was highly ranked in junior golf. I asked the coach what he thought after 9 holes and he surprised me. He didn't think the kids ball speed was good enough for college golf and really did not like his attitude. However the kid he was playing with had good fundamentals and hit it a mile. Although he was well over par the coach liked what he saw. Scores are not everything

#30 JLTD63

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:21 PM

 Andrew24, on 21 August 2012 - 04:18 PM, said:

 JLTD63, on 21 August 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

 Andrew24, on 21 August 2012 - 03:46 PM, said:

Honestly, there a lot of D1 schools that don't have amazing players. I was just looking through the NCAA rankings for D1 and there are kids on teams around 30-50 shooting mid 70's - low 80's. Not their number one players, but like numbers 3-6. I'd say you definitely have to be scratch and be able to shoot a solid round at a challenging course.


The fact that you don't have to be posting scores in the mid-60's like some would have you believe in order to play D1 golf is absolutely true...BUT...be careful in looking at college scoring and thinking "I could beat those guys every day!"  IMO, there is a large gap between HS/Junior golf and college golf...lots of factors contribute...moving away from home...learning to live on your own...juggling school and golf...learning to travel...playing on new, tougher golf courses...different grasses/styles of courses than home...college golf is played in the fall and spring, which means plenty of poor weather...

Obviously none of this is an excuse for high scoring, but a 75 in a HS event and a 75 in a college event are not the same thing...from my experience that is...so take it for what it's worth!
No I completely understand what your saying. But if you start averaging under par in high school, as long as you have a solid mental game and just focus and forget about all those distractions, you could have a solid chance at making one of the teams.


Absolutely!  If you average under par in HS / Juniors you are likely a top or near top-level player in your state and should have opportunity to play at a good school.  My point was just to use some caution in comparing your scores to college scoring and thinking the college guys aren't that good...it's just a different level and it can be eye opening to many once they do start playing college golf.

I made the mistake...in HS I looked at college kids shooting 75-78 and thought to myself "there is no way those guys are any good."  My tournament scoring average in HS / Juniors was under 75 and I was far from being one of the best players in my area.  Even still, I walked on at a local D1 school here in Utah, earned a scholarship for my sophomore year and beyond, and played for four years.  Had a blast!  I was not a great player by any streatch of the imagination...average at best.  I played well enough to travel and compete in every tournament my final two years, shot rounds in the 60's and even snuck a few top-10 finishes in here and there.  But I was nowhere near the top of the class, and my scoring average was never under 75 (like it was in HS) in four years of college golf...and I didn't get worse after my HS / Junior days, I most definitley got better as a player!  My handicap during those years based purely on local amateur competion ranged from 0 to +2, but my college scoring average was hovered around 75.

College golf can be a tough grind, but it's SO MUCH FUN.  A total blast.  I played from 2001-2005 which seems like decades ago, but I still think back to those times often and it always brings a smile to my face.  Nothing but four years of fun and competition!

I'd encourage EVERY junior golfer with college golf aspirations to give it a full go.  You absolutely do not have to be a plus-capper who blows away the competition in every tournament to earn a spot on a team.  Stay positive, practice hard, and go get it!  College golf will be the time of your life.


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