College golf coaches typically recruit two or
three new players to their teams from each
graduating class. During the year, they are apt
to receive calls, emails, letters, and text
messages from hundreds of prospects while also
communicating with players they have sought out
as potential recruits for their programs. So
how does a player, as one of those hundreds of
prospects, develop a proactive strategy that
helps his name stay on a coach’s short list of
recruits for his graduating class?
The most obvious answer is to shoot very low
scores in tournaments, make excellent grades in
school, and achieve an above-average test score
on the SAT or ACT. Realizing this may not
happen exactly as planned or hoped for,
prospects need to incorporate a proactive
approach that affords them the best opportunity
possible to get recruited.
Here are my suggestions:
COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY – Prospects
should send periodic golf and academic updates
to coaches on their target list of schools and
schedule occasional calls to check in and say
hello. Start by knowing every junior player
needs to prepare a golf and academic resume and
send it early in the process of contacting a
school. A resume also presents a polished image
to a coach more than just an email.
I coaches can now trade text
messages and/or calls at their discretion
provided the prospect has reached September 1 of
his junior year of high school. So keeping
coaches updated on a your progress in school and
on the golf course, as well as staying in tune
with how the college’s current team is playing,
will definitely prove beneficial to the prospect
throughout the recruiting process.
COMPETE IN TOURNAMENTS – Prospects
should participate in top regional and national
tournaments while in season and forward
tournament schedules and results to coaches on
their target list of schools. Coaches use
tournament results as the primary way to
identify recruits for their programs. If a
prospect’s name appears on tournament results
frequently, coaches are more inclined to
remember his name and will be able to monitor
his progress. An occasional bad round (or
tournament) does not negatively affect a
prospect’s recruiting chances, especially if
it’s followed up with an improved performance.
Coaches understand players will have both good
and bad outings during the recruiting process.
ATTEND COLLEGE EVENTS – At least once
during the fall season and once during the
spring season, prospects should attend college
tournaments to see firsthand what the
competition level is like at various tournaments
and how golf programs differ among themselves.
This is a great experience and one that can help
prospects gain visibility among college coaches.
Coaches are not permitted to speak with
prospects at these tournaments (unless it’s
during their senior year); however, prospects
can always talk to the players (and their
parents) to learn more about college golf and
the school they attend. Showing support for a
team he is interested in ultimately playing for
is a great way to let a coach know the prospect
is serious about his golf program.
VISIT CAMPUSES – Visiting college
campuses is the most important aspect of the
recruiting process. It affords prospects and
their families the opportunity to compare and
contrast various schools and golf programs while
also meeting the coach to learn more about his
or her recruiting needs and coaching style.
Coaches appreciate prospects who make the effort
to visit their campus and show genuine interest
in their school. The campus visits definitely
increase visibility among coaches.
ASK REFERENCES TO CONTACT COACHES –
College coaches rely on swing coaches, current
or former golf team members, and friends or
colleagues they know in the golf industry to
recommend potential recruits for their teams.
When prospects know someone who fits one of
these categories, it is an excellent idea to ask
the reference to contact a college coach and
make the introduction. Considering how
competitive recruiting has become, this is a
wonderful way for a prospect to get his name in
front of a coach and potentially increase his
visibility. Current or former golf team members
can greatly influence a coach’s recruiting
I always encourage prospects to continue
working hard in school and always play their
best golf. We have to remember this is a
marathon, and the journey should be enjoyed
along the way!
Red Numbers Golf