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October 7, 2016

Tips for Getting Recruited for College Golf

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Author: Philippe Morin

Former Middlebury Golf Athlete gives tips on getting recruited for college golf.

Have a Mentor

Whether it’s your high school coach, swing coach or dad, find someone that you can go to for both golf and mental advice. In terms of swing advice, it might only be a tiny thing that needs to be adjusted in order to get your swing where you want it to be. Having somebody to help you with this instead of frustrating yourself on the range will speed up your learning curve and keep a lot of weight off of your shoulders. For mental advice, this person should be someone you can talk to everything about, whether it’s on or off the course. Golf is a game that is played between your ears, and any built up stress or tension will hinder your abilities on the course. This mentor should help you achieve a clear mind, and maybe even give you some tips for thinking on the course. 

Target Practice

When it comes to practice, you need to spend a lot of hours hitting golf balls, pitch shots and rolling putts, but there should be more to it then just swinging the club. The best way to transfer the skills you practice to the course is to aim at a target for every single practice shot you hit. This will prepare your mind visually, help your alignment, and also know what shots you need to practice more. A useful drill is called the 9-shot drill: pick a target, and then hit all 9 golf shots (low fade, low straight, low draw, medium fade, medium straight, etc.). This drill is great for your alignment, knowing which shots you can hit, the ones you need to practice, and visually seeing how to hit all the different shots. 

Play in Summer Tournaments

There are a lot of summer tournaments to choose from. Whether it’s the AJGA, local state PGA section, U.S.  or the Amateur qualifier, you will need to find the right balance of practice and play. It will not help if you if you play 3 tournaments a week because this can potentially burn you out. On the other extreme, only playing in a couple tournaments a summer will inevitably put more pressure on you during your competition. Once you have decided the right amount of tournaments for you, look through all of your options. Try to pick fields with a good competition, where the coaches know the course and players were of good skill; it doesn’t do you any good to tear up a tournament of 12 people who are 3 years younger than you. All in all, find the right amount of tournaments that will challenge you, this way you can show the coaches that you can score in difficult conditions.

Hit The Library

Coming from a Division lll college, it’s my experience that coaches do not have the power to admit golfers with average test scores into their schools. Golfers, especially at selective schools, are expected to rise to higher standards academically more so than the rest of the student population. This shows that academics are equally important to your golfing ability when applying to colleges. Most importantly, know your athletic and academic skill level, create a list of reach schools and target probable schools that are relative to your skill sets. This will give you the best opportunity to find a school where you will succeed both in and out of the classroom. 


After creating a list of schools that you are interested in, send the coaches an e-mail highlighting, in order: academic scores, tournament scores, golf references (high school coach, club professional, swing coach, etc.), upcoming tournaments, and also be sure to include a swing video. After sending your initial e-mails, be sure to follow up with the coaches. They receive hundreds of e-mails from prospective athletes. By following up with the coach will emphasize your interest in the school. Also, if you’re very interested in a school, send your list of golf references and keep in contact with the coach. This will give the coach a better idea of who you are and how you would fit into the team. Lastly, know your strengths and who you are as a player, showcase your qualities to the coaches as soon as possible. This will give them a clear first impression of who you are and why you deserve to play for their team.

Photo taken from Augusta.com