North Coast Junior Tour

More Information about College Recruiting

So, you are a junior golfer and you work hard on your game.  Over time you are seeing your game progress and you start to wonder if you have what it takes to play college golf.  The answer depends on many factors, however if you are playing in high-end competition (like NCJT) and your able to crack the top 10 pretty regularly, then there is a decent chance you can work your way into a college golf program.  College golf is a big arena and where you may fit can be a huge sorting process, depending on your golf accomplishments and number of school that fit your game.  Obviously there are college programs that only recruit the best of the best in the world.  If you are in that league, you don't have much to worry about, the top teams will be trying to sway you in their direction.  We have seen quite a few players in that category graduate from NCJT and it's interesting to see them transition to college golf.  As with anything, some do much better than others once they accomplish their goal of reaching college golf.  Some flourish and others don't!  Many factors determine whether they will excel or struggle with the transition.  Usually it comes down to adjusting to a new social network, the school's location, the team regiment, and a new level of academics.  It's also a time when you begin to look beyond college, which is whole other factor that most young folks don't contemplate until they reach college.  When you add it all up, it can be overwhelming and truly effect your college golf experience.

When you look at college golf as a whole most players that ended up playing college golf were not elite players or highly recruited players.  Most were very good players that did the right things to attract college coaches to them.  Those players need to work a lot harder on achieving the college golf goal, but it is surely doable.

Here are some things to know about college golf recruiting that all junior golfer families should know about:

  1. Skills Development - It is vital to develop good technique during the junior golf years (15 and under is optimal).  This can be achieved with PGA Golf Instruction and should be done on a regular basis throughout the season, even during competitive periods.  Once a junior begins to focus solely on scoring rather than learning and developing, they will limit their ability to expand their skill development.  This is okay if the player has well refined skills and they are consistently scoring at the top of the field.  If not, honing technique is the best way to achieve more success in the future.  Getting juniors into skill development can be tricky, especially at a very young age, so don't force it.  Make the game fun and provide consistent access.  Once a junior gets the competitive bug (even in little matches with parents and friends) that is when instruction will matter more to the junior.  It may not come easy and they should be prepared to struggle some during the development period.  Encourage them and remind them to stay focused on the long-term goals.
  2. Tournament Golf - junior usually get a taste of competition at local clubs and course, through organized junior programs.  Once they achieve some success juniors and parents start to look for more advanced exposure.  NCJT is one of the premiere places to play in Northeast Ohio and draws players from all over the region.  It is also the prime tour for getting college exposure.  NCJT's Osborne Junior Series is the only steady series of events in Ohio to improve your Junior Golf Scoreboard ("JGS") ranking status.  The Junior Golf Scoreboard ranks juniors by age worldwide and is an important tool used by college recruiters.   Juniors who play in a minimum of 4 JGS ranked events annually get a ranking status.  The Osborne Junior Series offers around 10 events annually to achieve and improve that JGS status.  If a junior becomes a regular medalist at regional tournaments like NCJT events, then that junior should consider expanding into more multi-state and national competitions.  Many of these events are qualifier events; like US Junior Am, PGA National Jr. Championship, Ohio Jr. Am, Ohio Am, etc.  There are also many national tours that have begun to host events within our region, however they basically draw regional players similar to the ones that play on the regional tours like NCJT.   You also will pay significantly more for a similar caliber of competition.  So, please don't overestimate the benefit of these tournaments.  They provide good experience and exposure, but not true national level fields.
  3. Misconception - Juniors need to play a full diet of multi-state and national level competition to achieve a college golf attention.  This is only true for very elite players.  We have had many players become highly recruited who played mostly  NCJT events, who qualified for some national events and some multi-state events (and some did it with as little as 5 outside events in all).  And we have also had players won almost everything from age 12 to 15 and then played exclusively in multi-state and national level events.  Some of those were highly recruited due to lots of success at that level and others struggled at those levels, and failed to get college attention.  It's a fine balance to determine how much you should test your skills at higher levels, but most players and parents have a hard time being realistic about what level they should focus their playing time on.  It really shouldn't be that hard to compute, are you winning almost everything you play in locally?  If not, you will probably struggle in multi-state and true national level events, and should focus more are improving your finishes locally first.  If you need help in determining where to focus your playing time, please seek direction from your PGA Professional or Mr. Milam at NCJT.


Steps You Should Be Taking


Freshman Year:

  • Actively be researching schools you are interested in and even some your not.
  • Create list of up to 50 prospective schools, making sure your taking into account academics and athletic skill.
  • Be proactive! Make phone calls to coaches, send letters and emails.
  • Play as much golf as possible! Join tours, attend camps and swing workshops, always be looking to improve your skills.

Sophomore Year:

  • Continue researching schools and making unofficial visits.
  • Start to narrow your search
  • Build relationships with coaches by continuing to make calls and send emails.
  • Send tournament schedules to coaches
  • Fill out questionnaires

Junior Year:

  • Ask coaches where you stand on their recruit lists.
  • Follow up with coaches, continuing to voice interest and send your tournament schedules and results
  • MAKE A SWING VIDEO (we offer this service if needed)
  • Continue narrowing down your list of schools you are interested in, be realistic!
  • *Reminder: This is the year coaches will start contacting you. Division 1 coaches can begin calling you July 1st before your junior year. September 1st is the first day Division 1 and 2 coaches can send you emails and letters.

Senior Year:

  • You are allowed to make 5 OFFICIAL SCHOOL VISITS! Choose wisely .(Make sure the coach calls it an “official visit” expense reimbursement may apply) 
  • Apply to schools
  • Apply for Financial Aid -
  • Sign and commit to a school
  • Know your summer workout and golf schedule! Get ready to begin your college golf career!