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Tips for Juniors Who Want to Play College Golf

Scoring Requirements, Preparing a Resumé and Marketing Yourself to Coaches


PEBBLE BEACH, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: Junior First Tee player Ian Buchanan hits out of a bunker on the first hole durng the first round of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach at Pebble Beach Golf Links on September 27, 2013 in Pebble Beach, California.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Playing college golf can be a wonderful experience and is the goal of many junior golfers. The biggest challenge for the average junior golfer is deciding where he or she fits into the college golf picture.

One thing that is consistent for any high school player is the importance of a good golf resumé. Your resumé will give a college coach an accurate account of your golfing and academic record. The following are a few tips on how to put together a strong resumé and how to get that resumé into the hands of college golf coaches. On Page 2, we'll go over the college golf recruiting process.

Preparing Your Resumé
Your resume begins with the basics. The vital information should include:

• Name
• Address
• Telephone
• Birth date
• Social Security Number
• Height
• Weight
• Name of High School
• Month and Year of Graduation
• Grade Point Average/Class Rank
• SAT or ACT Scores
• USGA or State Handicap Index
• High School Stroke Average
• List Other Sports and Extracurricular activities

Next is the most important part. You need to list your tournament results and highlights. These scores are much more important than a handicap from your home club. Remember to list:

• Event name and location
• Number of players in the field
• Your finish
• Course rating and distance
• Unusual weather for the event
• Yardage for the course

This part of the resumé is where you show a college coach how well you play tournament golf. You may want to break this down by year, so coaches can see improvement from year to year.

Along with a cover letter, this resumé will be sent to college coaches.

Many high school players also send video to coaches. Get your full swing, a three-quarters swing, a couple of pitch shots and your putting stroke on video, if at all possible, plus a shot from behind and a swing facing the camera.

What College Coaches Look For
Coach Chris Wilson of McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La., says he looks for the following when he's recruiting:

"First, I look at the player's tournament scoring average. High school events are less important, unless they are at the state championship tournament. I mainly look for summer tournaments and see what kind of competition was in the field. Every once in a while I find a diamond in the rough, who hasn't been able to get in a lot of big junior golf events, but has played well in the ones that he/she was in. Next I look at the player's grades. If the player doesn't have the grades to get in to our school, I don't waste my time. I also look for good athletes. If they play other sports on the varsity level, I'm interested. I can't teach athletic ability and if a see a 2- or 3-sport letterman I know they're an athlete."

What about scoring averages? For boys, a midlevel Division I college is looking for a scoring average of 75 or better. The Top 20 schools are looking for scoring averages around 72. For lower tier Division I schools, as well as Division II, coaches are looking for a tournament scoring average between 75-80. Division III schools will be interested in players with scoring averages from 75 to 85, depending on the program.

The story is very different for girls. If a female golfer in high school has a scoring average of 85-90, she will draw interest from many Division I programs. It's just a matter of where she wants to play.

One last tip from Coach Wilson is to use email. Chris says, "I get most of my resumés by email. If it's in my inbox, I open it. Sometimes regular mail piles up and coaches don't get a chance to get to all the resumés. So email your resumé first, then send it by mail."

Coach Wilson also recommends that you begin to email coaches at the schools you're interested in during your junior year. That way your name is already known when you send your information to them in your senior year.

Next Page: The Recruiting Process

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