Going to College is devoted to helping junior golfers and their parents better understand the college recruitment process and to providing insight on what qualities are necessary for young players to compete successfully at the collegiate level. Each month, a popular topic will be discussed to offer advice and counsel to interested juniors and their parents.

Going to College Authors

John Brooks

As a former college golf coach and someone who has worked with talented junior and collegiate players for over 25 years, John is well qualified to help families navigate junior golf and manage college placement. For this purpose, he founded Red Numbers Golf® in 2003. [click for picture and bio]

Ted Gleason

Ted Gleason founded Road To College Golf in 2006 to assist junior golfers and their families with the College placement process. Formerly the Head Golf Coach at both the University of Southern California and Southern Methodist University.  [click for picture and bio]

Nicky Goetze

As an independent consultant, Nicky Goetze specializes in providing expert guidance to families as they pursue college Golf. He helps young players and their parents maximize opportunities at the junior golf level and more effectively handle the college placement process.  [click for picture and bio]

Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?

Coaches look at more than just scores. Don’t delay your communication process!

During a recent phone call with one of my junior golf clients, we were discussing the optimal time to begin sending introductory emails to coaches on his “best-fit” list of schools. (See Going to College article, “Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?” for details about how to target best-fit schools.) I mentioned that emailing or writing coaches in May or June at the conclusion of his sophomore year in high school would be an appropriate time in his case.

Interestingly, my client was hesitant about this timing. He was concerned that coaches wouldn’t be interested in him as a recruit because he had not yet had a top finish in a high-level regional or national tournament. His perspective was, “Shouldn’t I wait to contact coaches until I become a stronger player with at least one impressive showing?”

From my experience as a former Division I head coach, high school prospects need to keep in mind that coaches have a broader approach as they make their recruiting decisions. They look at more than just scores! Because of this fact, young players should remain encouraged about initiating a line of communication with coaches on their best-fit list of schools even if they haven’t yet put together that perfect resume.

Consider sharing the following information with coaches to help you make a positive impression as you begin (or continue) sending outreach communication:

  • Use a simple collection of full-swing and short-game videos to demonstrate athleticism and technical polish. Pairing the video with details about your instructors (swing teacher, mental coach, or fitness trainer) and the practice strategies you’re focused on will help give coaches an indication of the upside you possess as a player.

  • Include academic credentials and be sure to provide updates regarding improvement in GPA as well as SAT or ACT scores. College golf coaches prefer to recruit accomplished students. They believe high school prospects with strong grades and test scores will better handle the rigors of balancing academic and golf responsibilities in the college environment.

  • Explain what you’ve learned from your poor rounds in tournaments, and detail the strategies you’re using to get better. Expressing your mission for improvement is a valuable topic to communicate to coaches, perhaps even more important than sharing tournament successes. Coaches understand that no junior player (or college player for that matter) is perfect. All players have peaks and valleys during their golf careers and telling coaches how you handle the tough times can be very meaningful.

  • Recognize the power of showing coaches a trend of improvement over time. For example, providing objective details about lower scores (or a lower scoring average) that you’ve produced in a recent series of tournaments is useful data that allows coaches to more effectively evaluate your progress.

If you are contemplating the right time to begin (or continue) communication with coaches, don’t feel you have to wait for perfect golf results before you can send an email, make a phone call, or arrange a campus meeting. Remember, recruiting is about more than just golf scores. Coaches are attracted to prospects who possess qualities such as solid swing technique, athleticism, wedge/putting savvy, mental resilience, and quality academic performance. Effectively presenting your ability in these areas and sharing the details of your plan to become a better student-athlete should always be key components of your communication during the recruiting process. Following this strategy will keep your recruiting efforts moving in a positive direction no matter when your next good round comes along!

Coach Goetze

P.S. The Junior Golf Scoreboard "Golf & Academic Resume" can be a great way to showcase your skills, credentials and improvement trend. Keep this sophisticated resume format in mind as you pursue your communication with college coaches.


Recruiting & Scholarships
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    Can Facebook or a Social Network Site Affect How I am Recruited?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process?
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI?
    What is a Full Scholarship?

Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics?
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”?
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges?
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary?
    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf?
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to "redshirt"?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve His Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
    Will Playing AJGA Events Increase My Chances of Earning a College Scholarship?
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

Road To College Golf
Chris Smeal Golf Schools