Players trying out for a professional golf tour, or a single pro tournament, don’t have to worry about being noticed. Score well enough at the PGA Tour’s Q-School, for example, and you’ll receive your tour card. Win an LPGA event’s qualifying tournament, and you’ll compete in the event. The golfers who may have to go the extra mile to get noticed, however, are those seeking college scholarships. There are several ways a young golfer can gain the attention of college coaches.
Success in elite junior golf tournaments will help capture the attention of college coaches. Many high schools have golf teams, through which a player may compete with the top young golfers in his state. Winning your state’s high school tournament is a good way to catch the eyes of local college coaches. Outside of school, junior tournaments are available via your state golf association, your PGA section, and the American Junior Golf Association.
Make a Video
Have someone make a video of your swing. Make sure you’re taped from different angles, and that your video contains a variety of shots. Tape yourself off the tee, from the fairway, playing from hazards and around the green. Show some long putts dropping into the cup. Insert some text at the beginning of your video with your name, age, high school and a list of your top golf accomplishments. Put your finished product on DVDs and send them to the schools in which you’re interested, or arrange an unofficial visit and hand the coach your DVD in person.
Lower Your Handicap
A verified U.S. Golf Association handicap can gain a coach’s attention. Train with an experienced PGA pro who can help you lower your handicap, then contact the schools in which you’re interested and inform the coaches about your handicap and your improvement. To gain a Division I college scholarship, men typically need a handicap no greater than 1, while women need a handicap of 8 or less, according to the NCSA college recruiting website.
Some colleges put more emphasis on academics than other schools. If you’re interested in a school with challenging academics, do everything you can to do well in school. Like your handicap number, your grade point average is a verifiable achievement that you can show to coaches. Some colleges -- and some coaches -- will also be impressed with extra curricular activities, such as leadership in school organizations or community service work.