College Recruiting 101

Everything Matters!



As a former college coach, a father and uncle to two college coaches, and from a family that has produced nine scholarship athletes, I can assure you, everything matters.  The four most important areas each athlete must pass, to be recruited by a golf coach are: to be visible to the coach, to meet the university’s academic standards, a proven match play level of golf, and to blend well with the teams culture in personality and character.

College baseball coach Pat Dolan said, “You are not a recruit until a coach knows about you.”  As simple as that sounds, each student/athlete has to be able to honestly ask themselves the question, “Do coaches know who I am?”  This is why at BGGA we supply our golfers with check lists for each grade, a college recruiting notebook, seminars that are held on various topics (resumes, cover letters, etc.) and weekly personal meetings with the seniors and post grads, although private meetings are available for everyone.  These sessions provide realistic evaluations and supply our golfers with direction to what schools they should apply based on the quantifiable scores of their academics and golf rankings.

The coach will first consider does the student meet the academic requirements of the university and will he/she be accepted.  The acceptance standards will differ from school to school and there is little flexibility to these policies.  To be accepted, the school will look at eh Core GPA (16 NCAA classes: 4 English classes, 4 Math classes, 4 Science classes, and 4 social science classes.  Elective classes will not be factored into the student NCAA Core GPA.  The TOEFL exam is a required test for any international student who comes from a non-English first language speaking country.  Each student is also required to take either the SAT or ACT.

After the coach sees that the student can meet the academic requirements of their university he will focus on the golf ability of the player.  The coach will be interested in the golfers rank on the Junior Golf Scoreboard, the past year’s tournament results and in watching a swing video.  The coach will be looking to add to his line-up by recruiting players that can move into the mid to upper levels of his current teams.

There are many subjective elements that are considered by coaches such as personality and character.  Players must be able to fit in with the culture the coach has created by his values and expectations.  The golfer must also be able to connect with the existing players so to unify and become a team.

The college recruiting process is many things:  fun, tedious, exciting, exhausting, optimistic and realistic and so much more.  This is a process and a journey.  It takes time and perseverance.  And remember:  Everything Matters!


Tom Simpson

Director of Student Development and College Placement

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