BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL College GOLF FOUNDATION
How can you prepare youth for college golf? Playing competitive junior golf is a must for young women and men hoping to play at the collegiate level. Junior golf tournaments provide players with opportunities to develop their games while providing college coaches with opportunities to evaluate players in order to make important decisions on playing opportunities and scholarships.
Here are four ways to prepare for college golf:
1. START EARLY
The sooner youth start playing competitive golf the better. Competitive golf is very different than recreational golf. Playing in tournaments will better prepare them for the pressure and different environments. Ask youth these questions:
- How fast are you developing?
- What level of college golf do you want to play?
2. START SMALL
Advise youth to get started right away looking for local tournaments to begin sharpening their skills. Don’t let them buy into the myth that they need to be a skilled golfer before playing tournaments. States, cities and towns have lots of tournament options for golfers of every skill level. Here are some ideas to get them started:
- Local Chapter of The First Tee
- PGA Junior League Golf
- Local Junior Golf Tours
3. TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
The more tournaments they can play, the more their skills will develop and what improvements need to be made to their game. The following is a list of competitive golf opportunities:
- Middle School/High School Golf Teams
- State Golf Associations
- Regional Golf Tours
4. PLAY WHERE COLLEGE COACHES WILL SEE YOU
Most college golf coaches have certain levels of golf tournaments from which they consistently recruit. To be successful, golfers have to do their homework and find out where the coaches will be. Consider the following options while establish your tournament schedule:
- State Golf Association Championships
- National Junior Golf Tours
- Independent Junior Golf Tournaments
- United States Golf Association (USGA) Championships
- International Events
Interested in learning more about playing college golf? See the The First Tee College Golf Road Map for additional details on each of these items.
Learning Golf at The First Tee
Offered at more than 1,000 locations, The First Tee program was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and is delivered by trained coaches. One of the key roles The First Tee coaches fill is being a reliable resource for participants wanting to pursue competitive golf opportunities beyond high school. In fact, 96% of teens and 90% of alumni credit The First Tee for improving their golf skills.