Maybe you’re a top golfer who already has a national ranking. Or maybe you’ve just begun your recruiting journey and are unsure of where to start. When it comes to women’s college golf, there are several competitive opportunities across the divisions, from NCAA Division 1 to junior college, where student-athletes can find their college match.
But getting there isn’t easy. Recruits need to build a list of realistic schools, create an online profile and swing video, contact college coaches and compete in the right tournaments if they want to be successful. More importantly, they need to know what scores and tournament experience coaches look for, as well understand the NCAA golf recruiting rules, to establish relationships with coaches.
Beyond athletics, there are several important factors that go into making the college decision, such as academics, cost, school size and campus life. Remember that recruiting is a two-way street. Your interest in the program and academic preferences matter just as much as getting a verbal offer. This college golf recruiting guide is designed to provide clarity on the complicated aspects of the process, helping you at every step of your recruiting journey.
One of the most challenging parts of the recruiting process is knowing when college coaches are actively recruiting student-athletes. The NCAA issues a recruiting calendar each academic year that regulates when and how coaches can talk to recruits. For college golf recruiting, contact starts June 15 after sophomore year. However, depending on the division level, many coaches will evaluate athletes before this point, while others continue to reach out well into senior year. This section breaks down the recruiting rules and calendar, so you can have a better understanding of how coaches at the different division levels approach it.
Every coach has a specific set of criteria they look for when recruiting student-athletes. Scores and national tournament results are the most important factors they consider. Knowing where you fit in athletically and how you can make an impact will help you build a realistic list of target schools. This section provides an in-depth look at what qualifications are needed at each level and highlights the steps you can take to get on a coach’s radar.
Women’s golf is considered an equivalency sport, meaning coaches receive a pool of scholarship money to distribute to athletes on their team. To make the most of their funds, coaches will award several athletes with partial scholarships, which means full rides are relatively rare. Student-athletes who want to secure a golf scholarship first need to understand what financial aid opportunities are available at each division level.
Despite what you may think, college coaches don’t simply “discover” student-athletes. High school golfers who are successful in their recruiting journey put in the work. They know what scores are needed to play at each level, where coaches recruit, when to reach out and how to build an online profile and swing video. This section breaks down the most important steps in the recruiting process, so families know exactly what to do—and when.
To find the best junior golfers in the country, college coaches first turn their attention to national tournaments. There are thousands of events each year—from national tours to state golf associations—that can help you garner coach interest, improve your national ranking and help you qualify for elite events. This section breaks down the different kinds of camps and tournaments you should have on your radar throughout your recruiting journey—and how to pick the right one.
Each student-athlete takes their own journey as they prepare for success at the next level, but each individual will always have one, common denominator: a solid support system.
Creating that support system takes a lot of work as it not only includes one’s family, but it also consists of college advisors, golf coaches, teachers, off-course coaches and trainers, and other mentors. Our partner, IMG Academy, has all of these staff members on campus and available to student-athletes to ensure they’re prepared and equipped for the next level. The experience at IMG mirrors that of a collegiate environment, so IMG golf student-athletes are already familiar with their schedule from the moment they step foot on a college campus.
Within IMG’s college-preparatory environment for 6-12th graders, as well as gap year student-athletes, athletes will:
We’ve seen that supplementing a student-athlete’s recruiting efforts with IMG Academy’s boarding school program is incredibly effective and can aid an individual in getting recruiting for collegiate golf.
From NCAA Division 1 to junior college, each division has something to offer. But when it comes to finding the best college match, there are several factors families need to think about, such as academics, campus life and college costs. For example, many of the top golf programs are situated in popular golf states, including Florida, Arizona, Texas, California and South Carolina. Even more, some divisions offer more balance and free time than others.
While NCSA provides student-athletes with in-depth recruiting education, there are several golf resources that families can also use to learn more about college golf. Websites like Junior Golf Scoreboard and the United States Golf Association (USGA) can keep you informed about news and major events in the women’s golf community. For women’s college golf rankings, student-athletes can view the NCSA’s Power Rankings, or Golf Stat.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.