College Preparation / High School Golf Timeline
High School Golf Timeline
A junior golfer interested in competing in college should begin their preparation as early as 8th grade. The NYSGA has developed a timeline players should reference at different points in their high school career to maximize their opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
8th Grade and Below
Junior players in 8th grade or below will not be recruited by colleges. During these years, players should focus on developing a love for the game. This is also the time when you will be first introduced to competitive golf. It is not necessary to travel and play in high level national events, because coaches will be unable to recruit you. Play local events and learn how to win. The ability to win a golf tournament is very difficult and highly desirable. If you can learn to win early, it will help your confidence grow as you progress in your junior career.
As you enter high school, you officially become a "prospective Student Athlete". College coaches cannot actively recruit you at this time (D1 and DII only), but you are able to contact any coach you wish. Be proactive, it is never too early to get your name out.
- High school grades will stay with you until you graduate, develop good study habits early
- Developing your golf game: When practicing, practice with a purpose, set individual goals for yourself.
- Attend golf camps and clinics to hone your skills
- Continue playing in tournaments: Tournament experience will only help you down the road.
- Dream of your future: Start to think about where you see yourself in 5-10 years. What are your goals, where do you want to end up, share and discuss this with your parents.
As a 10th grader, you will start to self assess yourself and begin researching colleges that you may be interested in attending.
- Academically: Continue strong study habits, begin taking standardize tests (PSAT)
- Golf: Target #1-#3 slots on the golf team.
- Building a golf resume: At this point in your junior career, you should have enough tournament experience to construct a golf resume. Included in this resume should be
- Academic record
- Golf Record
- Information that sets you apart
- Contact Information
- School selections: Create a list of up to 20 school that you might be interested in attending. Send golf resume and summer tournament schedule out to these schools. Do not expect to hear back from them, but you can make a follow up call to the coach if you wish.
- Complete selected universities golf recruit form (usually found on athletics website)
Once you reach 11th grade, the recruiting process will officially begin. Coaches are most interested in your tournament finishes, GPA, and standardized test scores
- Academically: Maintain high GPA. Take SAT and ACT tests (recommended to take each test more than once).
- Compete in Nationally Ranked Golf tournaments (AJGA, USGA, Junior Golf Scoreboard).
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (D1 and DII only)
- Add/Subtract schools from initial college list
- Update golf resume
- Follow up with coaches at least quarterly
- Plan and make unofficial visits (unlimited)
- Begin exploring financial aid options
- View FASFA Form and Qualifications
- Explore Scholarship Opportunities
After July 1st before your junior year, Division I and II coaches can start calling you once per week to schedule off campus visits.
- September 1st: First day D1 and DII can send you personalized letters and emails.
- If you haven't heard from D1 or DII coaches by that date, begin reaching out to DIII, NAIA, and NJCAA Schools
As a Senior, you should start to have an idea about where you are looking to go, what you are looking to pursue as a career option, and schools that fit your plan.
- Have a short list of potential schools (5 total, 2 locks-3 reach)
- Update golf resume and follow up with coaches quarterly (Invite coaches to attend your events)
- Take official visits (Max 5 for D1 and DII prospects)
- Continue taking unofficial visits (unlimited)
- Apply to schools (Late Fall, Early Winter)
- Apply for scholarships and complete FASFA form (Jan 1st)
- Sign and Commit to a school and program (Signing starts in April, last day is August 1st)
Like any job interview, a golf resume sells yourself and your golf game to a coach before they get a chance to meet you and watch you play. With a solid golf resume, you will have the opportunity to display your talent and potential to prospective golf coaches. A golf resume is a great first step to begin the recruiting process. To view a sample golf resume, follow the link below.