The recruiting process for golf is much different than that for other high school sports. Most college golf coaches don't have the budget to travel and recruit the way coaches in other sports often do.
Most college golf coaches rely on players sending in their resumés and tapes. This leaves it up to the high school player to decide which schools to contact.
The first thing to do is to determine where you want to go to college; in other words, if golf wasn't in the equation, where would you want to attend college? In most cases, playing golf is only the second consideration.
The best resource to use for information on all the colleges that have golf programs is the American College Golf Guide published by Ping (www.collegegolf.com). This book provides information on the size of a school, the cost, what division and conference their golf teams play in, the coaches, coach's email, their scores and records, and other contact information.
The guide also helps with NCAA regulations, financial aid, and tips for parents. Using this book will help junior golfers narrow down their lists of colleges and see if their expectations are realistic. It's also helpful to see the cost of each school and determine if financial aid or scholarships are available.
In addition to the efforts that juniors and their parents make, young golfers can also utilize college recruiting services. These services contact the coaches on your behalf and try and get your information to as many schools as possible. These services can't guarantee you a scholarship, but they can help get you noticed.
In the end, there are a few to things to remember. First, you have to have a strong resumé. Coaches look first at tournament experience, so make sure your resumé has all the events in which you've played. Secondly, be realistic about where you send your information. Look honestly at your scores and the scores of the college programs in which you're interested, and see where your game fits. Take your playing ability and academic record into consideration before sending your golf information to a coach. If you can narrow your list of desired schools down to 5-10 realistic choices, you'll save a lot of time and money.
About the Author
Frank Mantua is a Class A PGA Professional and Director of Golf at US Golf Camps. Frank has taught golf to thousands of juniors from more than 25 countries. More than 60 of his students have gone on to play at Division I colleges. Mantua has also published five books and numerous articles on junior golf and junior golf programs. He was one of the founding members of the National Association of Junior Golfers, and is one of the few golf professionals in the country that is also a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Frank also serves as the Junior Golf Specialist on ESPN Radio's "On Par with the Philadelphia PGA".