Been here, done that with my son, so here's a little from what I learned:
Why not consider this, you are a junior in H.S. (fall of Jr. year of H.S.), and have less ~1 year left to get into college golf programs. You need to know where your game is at ASAP, where it can be or needs to be soon in order to entice college golf coaches. Most big Div I college golf teams will have made their choices before you start your senior year in H.S. (for the incoming year you would start college), save for a last minute additions, drop outs for various reasons...change of mind/commitment, etc. I think Div. II & III (Div. III = no athletic scholarship, but many give academic scholarships) go further into your H.S. senior year before filling out their roster for what would be your 1st year in college.
You say you haven't played much competitive golf....you need to play some competitive caliber golf...be it:
- State Golf Association Jr. Tournies,
- Private Junior Tours (in state/surrounding states),
- Larger Private Tours (FCWT) and ultimately
- AJGA (and/or regional/national Jr. Amateur Championships, etc).
One question is...do you have realistic expectations?, or are you like some youngsters that have a 78 scoring average on 6,000 yrd courses and say "they only want to play for the top 10 Div I schools"? If you are realistic and simply want to find a college team that suits your skills (and you can always improve and be that much more of a player), check into the GolfStat Prep Report below that matches up your current scoring average to what college players are currently shooting, at least you can go after a team where your current scoring average is competitive with what they are shooting. Like I said in the bottom blurb, I used a scoring average of 100 and you won't believe there are college teams that sport that for the best player of the team...of course, you can select anything you want.
Take your choice, but if you don't play these tournaments, the coaches don't have much to judge you against other players. The larger the school/division, the more you would need to demonstrate competitiveness at the end of this list. You are in Minn, so your playing season is about to come to an end until what....April/May at the earliest? How well you've done in competitive golf also shows up in national rankings of high school players (http://www.juniorgol...ngs_display.asp
) which you can use in your communications with college coaches....which should start before you even apply to the team, to get them to know you are interested, let them know your schedule, and then communicate your results (but you should have a good idea before that time that you are competitive to their current prospects/players, otherwise you wont get any 'looks').
Below is part of an earlier post I made on a similar thread. I thought the Golfstat Prep Report was pretty cool as it give you an indication of what schools fit your current scoring average....that you can compare your scoring average with their top 1-5 players. It even tells you how many players each college team has at each college year level, so if you see a college team with 4-5 players listed as Seniors then you know they will have a large turnover the following year, if that was to be your incoming year of college (remember, most teams don't take but 1-3 players/year).
Posted 08 February 2009 - 06:23 PM Yes, I just went through all this with my son
. But we should have started the process a lot earlier than we did....remember, most colleges (not all, but probably most) will have completed their rosters for your freshman college year by the time you start you senior year in high school.
OK, so where do you start looking?
There's literally thousands of schools, colleges, universities? One way is to see 'where your scores fit' into the pre-existing scoring by the starting golf team (usually the top 5 players).
I thought the GolfStat Prep Report
was a very good utility for the purpose of identifying where your scores 'fit in'
with the current top-5 players on any given team (they only go up to the top 5 players).
If you plan to play AJGA...and join up (I think it's about $250-300 membership fee), you get a free subscription to both the GolfStat Prep Report & the Ping College Guide, or you can subscribe to the Golfstat Prep Report without joining the AJGA... I think it's like $40.
But I think the Golfstat Prep Report addresses your current need.... what school/golf teams would you fit in with your golf scores?
I made 2 slide shows (you can mouse-over the bottom of the slide show and double click on the indiviual slide to stay on that slide)
The first showing the login page, the selection criteria page, and a result of using the prep report (I used selection criteria of Div I, Texas, and scoring average for 5th player > 75):
For the 2nd one, I took the "75" scoring average and increased it to "78" (presuming you haven't played courses as tough as 7,000 yrd AJGA courses) and selected all Div I, II, III in California, Texas, Florida, New York (the largest states...they have the most schools) and selected that the "5th player on the team has an average score of greater than 78"(what this does is say the 1-4th guys on the team are likely shooting lower scores than 78, but the 5th guy is shooting higher....so a spot on the squad is competitive to anyone in this range...you can make any such configuration you can imagine).
Here's the 71 selections that came up (and I didn't even select Juco or NAIA schools, or other states):
If you look at the results you will see the scoring average, rounds played, year in college for the entire team for the schools that fit the selection criteria (i.e., 5th player has scoring average > 78) and you will also see (on the right) how many players are in a given year....so you can expect if you are a high school junior and a team has 4 college juniors, that they would need to replace several, if not all of those, by the time you would start college....the more that they graduate in a given year, the more positions they'll likely be looking to replace.
Good luck .. hope this helps.
p.s. - for giggles, we did a search for schools where the top player had a scoring average of 100, and you won't believe how many there are. So one way to look at it, is would you rather be a player with a 78-scoring average, never playing a round of competitive college golf because you're among the higher scorers on the team (that is, if you even got on the team), or would you rather find a team where your current average score is competitive to their current starting 5
(not that you couldn't improve in either situation). Another consideration is, are your scores and high school tournament courses of the same caliber that will be played in college....likely not....so you may need to consider that an average high school score of 75 might play more like a 78-80-83 on a Div 1 college track (or use your AJGA scores as a measure...most of the top kids there will be playing college golf).
Edited by bulls9999, 06 November 2012 - 11:47 AM.