Choosing a College Golf Program
Many junior golfers play junior golf tournaments, not simply for the love of the game, but for the opportunity to showcase their talent and earn a college golf scholarship. Unfortunately, for some junior golfers, there seems to be a status symbol associated with the division in which a golfer plays. The most important question for parents and junior golfers to consider is not in which division will the junior golfer participate, but will he or she really have the opportunity to play? This should be the primary consideration when selecting a junior college or 4-year program.
Many parents and players get swept away in the current of finding a Division I school to pursue their college golf dream. The danger in this is that playing time and learning to become a better golfer may be sacrificed if this is the only criteria which they consider. Seeing a program in a golf magazine or other periodical does not mean it will be a good fit for all junior golfers. It is especially difficult for players who have experienced a high level of success on the junior golf tournament circuit to sit and watch others play. It is often better to find a program where the junior golfer can play every day and possibly even be an impact player.
There are great programs at the Division I, Division II, and Division III levels. There are also excellent opportunities at smaller, private colleges. These programs may not often be publicized in the main stream media, but they are out there.
Parents, do you know the answer to these questions:
1. How many scholarships are offered at the D1 level? D2 level? D3 level?
2. How many scholarships are offered at the NAIA level? the JUCO (Junior College) level?
3. What does the scholarship include? How long does it last?
4. Are there roster limitations at the schools that your family is considering? If so, how does your junior golfer fit into that plan?
Junior Golfers who attend their “dream” school may end up not playing and then become frustrated, sometimes dropping out of school altogether. The key to taking your golf game to the next level is not attending a particular school, but having the opportunity to play on a consistent basis.