Want to play college golf in the United States?
Some of the greatest experiences I've had in my golfing life happened while playing college golf in the 90's. If you are a good golfer and can hold your own in the classroom, you might want to consider college golf. It truly is the greatest platform to develop both your academic and athletic skills, while competing against the world's best amateur players.
What do you need to do to get a scholarship?
Like a college coach told me recently, "There are two scores that matter, your golf scores and your academic scores."
1. Scores in the classroom
Your academic performance is the first thing that any coach looks for in a prospective college player. When you compete on the collegiate level, you are called a student-athlete and not an athlete-student. It is very important for a coach to know that he will not have to worry about a player's academics. There are numerous rules governing college sports and if you do not adhere to the minimum academic standards, you become ineligible and thus useless to the coach.
2. Golf scores
Golf is ultimately what is important to the coach, so you will have to hold your own and be able to compete with some of the best amateurs in the world. The more tournaments you can play in, the better. If you have the chance to compete internationally, great, it carries a lot of weight with the college coaches. There is a great resource available online where you can enter your current tournament scores and it will give you an indication where you might fit in, in the world of college golf teams. You can view it at http://www.collegegolf.com/collegegolf/public/isc_examples.cfm There are more than 800 men's college teams, so even if you are not one of the top ranked players in South Africa, there is a place for you.
3. Play tournaments
Your tournament performances are ultimately what will get the attention of the college coaches. The more tournaments you play in, the better. Challenge yourself against the strongest competition you can find. Coaches also look out for low scores, so if you can post a few scores in the 60's it will help your cause.
4. Educate yourself and pursue a college
If you look under college golf links on this site, you will see many resources. Educate yourself, make a decision which colleges you might be interested in and then pursue them. Most scholarships get awarded about 12 - 18 months before students start, so get busy early.
5. Good guidance
It's very important that you have the correct people guide your golf career. A good coach with the right contacts is a very valuable asset. Congratulations, you're at the right place!