Thinking about playing college golf?

A large group of IJGA Student-Athletes sit outside for a group photo, smiling with their arms around each other's shoulders

By Laurel Karper
IJGA Director of Education

Thinking about playing college golf?
Start planning now!

Being recruited and offered a scholarship to play collegiate golf requires a tremendous amount of talent, hard work and dedication. Despite the challenge of playing collegiate golf, 96% of IJGA golfers continue on to play at the collegiate level.

Remember, playing golf at the collegiate level is a privilege! While we cannot guarantee you this opportunity, the IJGA College Planning and Placement Team will prepare you for and provide you with the best opportunities to solidify your goals and find a realistic option for college.  Playing golf collegiately requires a high level of skill. Coaches will look for specific sets of skills on the course and not just a handicap or scoring average. They want to see great character and leadership from their prospective student-athletes.

The College Planning and Placement Team works with the Golf Coaching Team to address feedback from college coaches on what skills and characteristics they are looking for to encourage our students to build their toolbox for recruitment.

Here are some tools that coaches value in the recruiting process:

         Passion for golf

         Coachable – ability to continue to develop

         Embracing the team environment

         Desire to earn a college degree

         Certain levels of scoring/ball control

         Level of self-resilience and commitment

As each student develops in their golf game and academics on different levels, each student is assisted and helped in different ways throughout the process.

Each student will need to keep on task with goal building assignments and seminars and will:

  1.       Keep an accurate list of tournaments and results to share with interested coaches.
  2.       Gather Information, make lists of wants and goals to help compare universities and golf teams.
  3.       Target schools that meet your academic ability and golf skills.
  4.       Seek advice on writing letters, communicate with coaches, narrow down options and begin applications for college.
  5.       Build your tournament profile to challenge yourself against better players and continue to play with results according to your coach’s development plan.
  6.       Plan to visit colleges during time down from tournament play.


If you consistently work on these tasks you will find that your college planning will progress and coaches will invite you to visit campus to discuss the opportunity of recruitment to their college and team.

Time management will be your best friend. Keep your schedule and work environment organized. This will reflect how you plan your approach to the game of golf as well as your college search.  If you start early, it will become second nature and you will be grateful you are organized and not procrastinating. During the college process you will receive lots of information and important paperwork. It is just as important to work through the college process as it is course management and reading the greens.  

Stay tuned for our post next month about: Time Management – How to get ahead of the game.

If you have any questions about the college planning process, email me at


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