Nancy H. from North Carolina asks:
Why aren’t college coaches watching my child play and talking to them?
College coaches may not be watching you play for several reasons:
First, coaches may not know where your child is playing. Sometimes a coach may receive an email from a prospective student-athlete while at practice and file it away for future reference and simply forget to look at it again. They may want to follow, but managing a current roster is a busy task.
One coach told me recently that a top recruit had changed their schedule several times via email and he found it difficult to keep up with this recruit’s schedule. The coach missed watching the recruit play, even though the coach was nearby. Don’t let this happen to you. Will2Golf has made it easy for college coaches and student-athletes to have a shared virtual office for keeping track of profiles and calendaring of events . Make it easy for a coach to see you play by calendaring your events on Will2Golf. In one simple email, let a coach know they can find you on Will2Golf!
Second, are you old enough for coaches to contact you under NCAA rules?
Under NCAA rules, a student-athlete may be contacted by a Division I college coach September 1 of their junior year.
link to division I below:
Third, a coach may not recognize you. Make it easy for college coaches to identify you each day of a tournament by updating your profile photo with a “selfie” of the day.
Cayla S. from Florida asks:
I am not eligible for the event where my “dream school” coach is recruiting.
What can I do?
I must tell you that I am a “can’t make who made it.” Never give up kind of person. However, the harsh reality may be that your dream school coach is recruiting at a level that is out of your reach at the moment. (While college coaches look for potential, many want to see numbers on the board to go with your potential.) The reality is that no one knows if you will ever reach that level or possibly climb higher than that level. My advice is to continue to sharpen and develop your game. Keep improving. You cannot have a sharp enough short game. You have heard it a million times already, but short game, short game, short game!! Get your ball in the hole in fewer strokes. If you want to impress a college coach, hit 9 greens or less and put an under par score on the board. They know that is what you will need to do at the collegiate level. It is hard to handle studies, friends, sport and family in your freshman year. As a backup plan, look for coaches that recruit at events with levels similar to the ones in which you are playing, and find a school with a program that is within your reach. You want to have options. My last bit of advice is to say that if you really, really want a particular program and you are not at their level, but it is all or nothing for you to play at that school, then you need to find something else to “offer” the coach until your game arrives. There are some programs out there that will take a chance on great grades, solid sportsmanship and a dedicated person. Tell them you will be the best in the weight room, you will take care of the SAAC for the team, you will fill the volunteer hours, you will help increase the team GPA and you will be the best teammate ever if they give you a chance. Let me impress that this is no time for cheap talk. You are responsible for everything you say. You will need to live your words and back them up with action. If you are not willing to do that for 4 years, then do not offer it. You, your teammates and the coach want to have a good experience.
Janie H, from Indiana ask:
What rating level should I play?
Great question! The W2G Ratings Guide was developed to track the progression of competitive play from junior (J) to amateur (A), and to open (O) events. Junior players new to competitive golf may begin with parent-junior events (level S). Next, add some 9 hole competitive events (J, level 1). Advance to 18 holes (J, 2) as comfort level increases with playing 18 holes in practice, playing with friends, and carrying one’s own bag.
Levels progress to 36 hole events, invitationals, and then to national junior events. While playing at junior level 3.5 – 4, add more challenge by playing in a local amateur event, (category A, level 3-4).
Confirm minimum age requirement for each amateur event by contacting the event’s association. Some amateur events may include or exclude junior golfers.
Strive to play and win at each level before advancing. However, also play in 1 or 2 events at the next level to stretch yourself. Playing in a few tournaments at a higher level may elicit nervousness and uncomfortable feelings with being out of your element. This response is great! Don’t get discouraged. Play your game. This is learning “on the job”!
Remember – playing at an uncomfortably higher level is a test to see if your confidence and game are ready for the next level. Perhaps after getting your feelings hurt by performing poorly, or feeling completely exhausted from playing well at a stretch event, resuming play at your current level may feel easy. I always found this to be true after playing in a U.S. Open. Playing in the Open stretched every ounce of me and wore me out emotionally, physically and mentally. However, the next few weeks on Tour felt “easy peasy”.
Rob B., from Minnesota asks:
How often should I watch my son or daughter play?
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to that question. If your son or daughter requests your presence at an event, and you enjoy watching, then go for it. Validate your junior’s level of independence by asking what they prefer. A junior golfer may ask for your support (by being in the gallery for one event) and then ask you to stay home for the next event (supportive from afar). Encourage your son or daughter to decide what is best for him or her. Discuss with your junior about their comfort level with playing events in your absence, and decide together when the appropriate time may be to set them free to play. This may occur after a couple of years of tournament play, and also depend on age. They will figure out how to take care of themselves. Print Reminders and Packing List for Tournament Rounds and share with your junior in advance. College coaches like to see independent student-athletes.
Gary, from Illinois asks:
When should we start visiting colleges?
Start anytime. I would recommend driving through a campus or two when your teen is approaching 9th grade. Or, plan to stop for lunch and walk around. Many college cafeterias allow guests to pay and dine. Between 9th and 10th grade, check with college admissions, take a tour, observe a class in session, and explore a dormitory. It is acceptable to ask the coach for 10-20 minutes with advance notice during your sophomore year. Do not be disappointed if the coach is unavailable. You will appreciate the coach’s schedule when your child is on a roster.
Please be respectful of time when you ask. The coach will have paperwork to do if you speak and have an unofficial visit.
It may be helpful to visit a campus with just 2-3k students and compare to larger schools of 15-20k students. Observe classes in both environments.
Consider the practicality of playing golf in different climates. Perhaps limit your school visits to either southern or southwestern schools if you want to play outdoors year-round. If this is not a concern, expand your choices to include Ivy League schools, (strong academics), or northern division III schools which may include more time away from golf during the academic year. However, some northern programs have impressive facilities for indoor putting and practicing during inclement winter weather.
Also think about visiting schools of different division levels. Wonderful programs exist in all divisions. Always ask yourself, “Will I be happy here if something unforeseen happens and I am unable to play golf?”