Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:38 PM
I'm not going to speak to the golf aspect of your question. But I wish I had taken a year off after high school before I started college.
I went to a poor public high school and worked extremely hard in my studies and my extracurriculars in order to get into a good university. I was successful in that, but by the time I got there, I found myself burnt out.
To begin with, I was outclassed by kids who went to prestigious boarding schools. They were simply better read and better at gaming the academic system than I was (going to office hours to show face to the professors, prioritizing the proper topics to focus on when studying, or simply knowing how to learn). So, it was going to take extra effort to catch up in the first place; when you add the burnout factor, it made the process a very uphill battle. College will present you with many opportunities, and even if you simply do well in your studies, you will not be taking full advantage of those opportunities. I think it is a good idea to get your head into a good place in order to maximize the opportunities.
However, if you do take the year off, you should be careful to not let it turn your brain into mush and get into lazy habits. Make sure it is a productive time. And it would be better to secure acceptance to a school to begin with and defer for a year, rather than waiting until later to start applying.