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walking on to a college golf team? - Page 4

post #55 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daSeth View Post

I am going to speak from the heart here a bit...

 

It was my dream to play a D1 volleyball, ever since I was 14.  It consumed me.  In my freshman year in college, I failed walking on at a really good D1 school.  I really wasn't close both the physical sense and in terms of skills.  I worked really hard the remainder of my freshmen year.  The coach was pretty cool and let me spend as much time as I could playing with the red-shirts he was ignoring.  Sometimes the alumni would come out and play with the red shirts.  I ran across some pretty good players.  I also found other games wherever I could.  My sophomore year, I transferred to a JC and had really a pretty good year.  I got a lot better.  So much better that I got invited to walk on to a D1 team.  The program at the second school was not considered very good at the time.  My chances were decent not only at making the team but getting some playing time.  Unfortunately, I ran into some physical problems (I only really understood them 15 years later...).  I wasn't getting it done, and they cut me after four months in the program, the final round of cuts.  I was absolutely gutted.  I pretty much checked out of life.  It took me almost a year to get going again.  It was as if who I was, was suddenly gone, an identity crisis of personal proportions.  Toughest time of my life.  Without the support of family and friends, I can't tell you where I would be today.

 

I don't know anyone who wanted it more.  I worked harder than 98% of the guys in D1 programs.  Maybe, I could have worked smarter.  But honestly, I just did not have the combination of physical ability and skill to make it.  But (and huge but) I have the satisfaction of knowing that I did everything that I could and that I gave it my all.  I don't have any Uncle Rico moments... ha, ha!

 

Based on my experience, I'd advise you to stay in the D1 program you are already in.  I gave a lot to be where you are right now only to fail.  There is a notion that the grass is greener on the other side.  I'd advise you to be content where you are, get a great education, and set a foundation where you can afford to play golf for the rest of your working life.

 

If you do decide to go for it...

 

Worst case scenario, you'll get a lot better at a game you can enjoy for a really long time.  It certainly sounds like you have the physical ability.  It just seems to me though that you need more time.  Golf is a game of moderate physical ability and a ridiculous, ridiculous, amount of skill.  Frankly, it takes a lot of time to develop those skills, more time, I think, than you have to jump into the D1 level next year.  If it is your dream and it's what you really want, I'd advise to take a year off of school, consider it a red-shirt.  Put in eight to ten hours a day, every day.  Get a good swing coach and a membership at a club.  Work on your swing until you are hitting fairways and greens, consistently, round after round after round.  Work on the short game so you can recover when you don't hit greens.  Play in as many tournaments as you can to get playing experience.  Get into a JC program the following year, see what you can get going.  Take it from there.

 

I will relate one example (hopefully this will give you some hope).  When I was at the JC, there was a dude (great guy, BTW), basketball player, that had played only two years of volleyball at a  high school not known for volleyball.  At tryouts, he was pretty bad.  It was obvious that he hadn't played much.  I didn't think the coaches would keep him.  Here is the kicker, physically, he was a monster, 6-6/6-7, jumped out of the gym, could dunk a basketball pretty much however he wanted, etc...  I am guessing he could touch north of 11'8", probably more like 12' later on.  The coaches kept him on the team as a red shirt and paid very little attention to him.  That got to him.  He spent the summer and fall doing nothing but playing, playing, playing, training, training, training.  By the spring of his sophomore (red-shirt freshmen) year he dominated California JC volleyball.  Hands down, the best player.  He followed up the next year with much more of the same, went on the play D1 and earned all-American honors.  He even had a stint playing professionally in Europe.

 

Granted, golf is a different game.  The physical advantage that my buddy had in volleyball doesn't apply hardly at all in golf.  But, you will never know unless you try.  The great thing about life is that you write the script.  If it is truly your dream, go for it.  Just have the sense to come up with a realistic strategy to get there and be honest with yourself and where you are right now, and how quickly you can get to where you want to be.  Use your eligibility wisely.  Get as much support from family as you can.  If you have the talent and you are willing to work, you never know.  Work hard, but first and foremost work smart.  Time is your biggest enemy, you don't have any to waste.

 

Your story about volleyball hits home since it is quite similar to mine in lacrosse, I worked extremely hard, harder than most if not all of my colleagues, but simply didn't see the fruits of my labor. It took a big toll considering I have been playing and working hard since I was 14 as well. I know the feeling you're talking of and it made me realize that sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on. 

 

Reading all the comments on here made me realize I don't have the means to pursue this with a high rate of success, mostly from a financial standpoint. There's also no way my parents would ever support me dropping school to do this. My priority number 1 is still school but my time outside will be spent on the course.

 

Regardless, my new fascination in golf has helped me take my mind off of things. I've already seen progress from the practice I've been doing lately (just the other day I shot in the 80s again, without using a driver or fairway wood b2_tongue.gif) and am going to do my best to get a job at a golf course whether it be a public one or a private club to continue practicing smart. At least I will be spending my time doing something I really enjoy and maybe working somewhere I enjoy. I also know I won't be let down if it doesn't work out because unlike lacrosse, progress can be tracked much more precisely. 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfincollege View Post

Walking on a college team is really tough unless you are playing pretty good. I would have to agree with all of the other comments saying that if you are a 20 handicap, there is probably no chance of walking on to the team, especially D1. As some of the other folks had mentioned, there are more recreational club teams at colleges these days.

 

Being a varsity player for 2 years of school and not playing on the varsity for 2 year, I can say college is a lot more fun if you are not playing a collegiate sport. The time and effort of a varsity team is huge. Stick to the club team and get out there to play more and have more fun.

I wish there was a club or intramural team but there isn't any I know of. If the 'fun' you speak of is partying, well I've been there and done that. At this point I'd much rather wake up early on Saturday morning to hit the links than nurse a hangover. 

 

 

 

Thanks again for the comments everyone

post #56 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by golflax65 View Post


 
I wish there was a club or intramural team but there isn't any I know of. If the 'fun' you speak of is partying, well I've been there and done that. At this point I'd much rather wake up early on Saturday morning to hit the links than nurse a hangover

Don't forget that there are still many amateur competitions outside of school, too. If you include a driving area within 2-3 hours, I'm sure you could fill up a season with tournament play.

That's just another one of the great things about golf. Even after 50, I can still compete in tournaments if I wanted to. Shoot, if I put my mind to it, I could still compete In a national event like the mid-am. Very few sports give older competitors the chance to continue participating in serious events the way golf does.

Best of luck.
post #57 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinItAll View Post

Don't forget that there are still many amateur competitions outside of school, too. If you include a driving area within 2-3 hours, I'm sure you could fill up a season with tournament play.
That's just another one of the great things about golf. Even after 50, I can still compete in tournaments if I wanted to. Shoot, if I put my mind to it, I could still compete In a national event like the mid-am. Very few sports give older competitors the chance to continue participating in serious events the way golf does.
Best of luck.

Yep!

Senior am is only 2 years away for me. I absolutely intend to get my butt kicked trying to qualify for that!

Fun stuff.
post #58 of 66
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unforgiven93 View Post

 

In all honesty I'm probably just completely wrong about how many shots the courses they play would add to my average.  I have to at least be close though.  I can't see averaging over 80 on the hardest courses I've ever played, and their worst player averages ~77.

 

I'm guessing that's their scoring average since joining the team.  I was in a similar position as you at 18, in that I was a top player on a local junior circuit that had between 100 and 150 players.  There were probably only 10-20 players in each age bracket that could average in the 70s, and only a few capable of shooting par.  And we were playing local tracks:  munis, small CCs, etc.

 

Then I went to college.  I was recruited to play at a D1 school--a small school, not known for golf, and having an off recruiting year.  Basically, they had sent out several invitations which were not accepted, and the coach was going to burn a recruiting spot that year until he heard from me.  I played a round with him, and I guess he thought "what the hell?"

 

Two things happened.  1:  I started playing really hard golf courses.  2.  I started playing in pressure situations against really, really good players.  My scoring average went from around 74 to over 80.  I shot over 90 in a few competitive (exhibition) and qualifying rounds.  I was, to put it bluntly, awful at the college level.

 

I'll add that there is a huge difference in pressure between knowing that you can hit a few bad shots and still have a chance to beat everyone in the field, and knowing that you have to play well just to beat the worst guy on the team. 

 

I'd guess that my experience is typical, and I'd further guess that the coach has seen this a time or two.  He'd probably take a guy with a 77 average in big AJGA and state Am events over a guy with a 73 average in highschool and local junior circuit tourneys without thinking twice.  The thing is, if you've got the game to average 73-74 in competitive HS rounds, then you can get to the same level in college events (on bigger, tougher courses) once you get the experience and settle down.  But no coach wants to waste 10 events starting a guy to get him "experience" when he can simply recruit folks who have already played in those top-level events on their own.

post #59 of 66
Quote:

Originally Posted by golflax65 View Post

 

Your story about volleyball hits home since it is quite similar to mine in lacrosse, I worked extremely hard, harder than most if not all of my colleagues, but simply didn't see the fruits of my labor. It took a big toll considering I have been playing and working hard since I was 14 as well. I know the feeling you're talking of and it made me realize that sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on. 

Heh, you know... I used to believe the notion that if you worked hard enough you could do anything.  My dad used to say it.  A lot of people say it.  What a crock!  At best it might bridge a gap (a slight one), but it won't overcome the raw specimen type of talent that elite athletes are simply born with.  Don't get upset about it.  It is just reality.  There is so much more to life that you have to look forward to, career, wife, kids, golf.  Heh, now that I think of it... golf probably helped me get out of my life funk as much as anything...  I took the game up in earnest after failing at volleyball.

 

And the good news for you is that golf is a game that dramatically equalizes the athletic advantage.  It is mostly a skills game.  There are a lot of really good golfers out there who wouldn't be the waterboy on the football team...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by golflax65 View Post

 

Reading all the comments on here made me realize I don't have the means to pursue this with a high rate of success, mostly from a financial standpoint. There's also no way my parents would ever support me dropping school to do this. My priority number 1 is still school but my time outside will be spent on the course.

 

Regardless, my new fascination in golf has helped me take my mind off of things. I've already seen progress from the practice I've been doing lately (just the other day I shot in the 80s again, without using a driver or fairway wood b2_tongue.gif) and am going to do my best to get a job at a golf course whether it be a public one or a private club to continue practicing smart. At least I will be spending my time doing something I really enjoy and maybe working somewhere I enjoy. I also know I won't be let down if it doesn't work out because unlike lacrosse, progress can be tracked much more precisely.

All good stuff.  Pretty wise, IMO.

 

My best advice would be this: "Don't waste time with what is not working.  If it's not working, get rid of it."  I'll use my lame arse as an example.  I took the game back up last summer after 10 years off, what can I say, life got in the way...  I struggled for 9 months with a handicap of anywhere between 20 and 15.  I was really sucking.  I was turning in 105s and 106s mixed in with 97s and 98s.  It was not fun at all.  I messed around with my swing a lot but nothing seemed to help.  I didn't really know what I was doing wrong or how to fix it.  Funny that I talk big about working smart but I don't follow my own advice... 

 

A couple of months ago, I bought "Confessions of a Former Flipper" for like $10 from Brian Manzella.  Instant improvement.  I learned more about the golf swing in 30 minutes than I could have ever figured out on my own.  In the space of a month, the handicap dropped to 10.2.  I showed up as #4 on the club most-improved list.  I think I can get it even lower this summer.  I just broke 80 for the first time since playing in college after volleyball. I fired a 42-36 for 78 on a track that is 72.5/137 for a differential of 4.5.  It is absolutely amazing what doing the right thing does for your game.

 

If you are willing to be a student of the game, you can get better on the cheap.  Get a video camera, or borrow one.  If you haven't already, post a "my swing" thread.  Implement the advice you get from the low handicappers.  Another thing that helps a lot is a full length mirror.  Use it to get going back correctly and into a really good position at the top.  Use the Internet to your advantage. You have the athletic ability to play really, really well, it's just a matter of learning the skill.  Develop your mechanics until it becomes easy from tee to green.

 

Lastly, learn to manage the course and play to avoid the big number.  You played with a lot of agression in lacrosse.  It helped you a lot.  It fueled you.  But unfortunately, it is now your enemy!  I haven't done any sort of analysis... but my course has a short par 5 (502 from the blue tees).  I used to hit driver, 3-wood (and sometimes 3-iron or 4 iron).  Then I changed to 3-wood, 3-wood (and sometimes 3-iron, 4-iron).  Now I hit 4-iron, 7-iron, SW like clockwork.  I guarantee you that my scoring average for that hole is way better now.

post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Yep!
Senior am is only 2 years away for me. I absolutely intend to get my butt kicked trying to qualify for that!
Fun stuff.

I just looked up the indices of all of the 2009 semi finalists I could find. Right now, the 2009 winner is a +.5. The others I could find were ~+2.5's or so. I've got 3.5 years before I'm eligible, and not enough years left to be competitive. b3_huh.gif

Like you, I'll sure give it a go, though.
post #61 of 66

Even if you know that you wont make it on the team...TRY OUT!

 

Here is my story from highschool; I had picked up playing golf at the request of my grandma junior year.  Had one lesson, practiced for six months.  I had hand-me-down golf clubs: 9 iron, 7 iron, 6 iron, 5 iron, 4 iron, 2 iron, a putter, and no wedges or woods.  

 

Nervous as all hell, a friend (who had been playing for years) and I tried out.  The first day's tryout was held on the range, I did pretty well, better than my friend, and the coaches said that I impressed them considering the amount of time I had been playing and my equipment.  I putted and chipped better than most there, using my 9 iron for my lobs and pitches.  

 

Finally at the end of everyone's tryout, the coach told me (upon discovering my antique left handed 2 iron), that if I could use that and hit it to a flag that he pointed out that I would make the team right there.  He knew I wouldn't be able to.  I thought I could.  In front of everyone I stepped up, swung as hard as I could, topped it and it bounced about 100 yards.  I was embarrased and disapointed.  Only three guys got called back for day two.

 

I had no chance of making the team, but I tried out anyway.  This story remains with me as one of the proudest moments of my life.  Sure it would have been a better story if I had suceeded, but it takes on a whole new meaning and significance because I failed.  Go for it, be brave.  You will regret it if you don't try.

post #62 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subaroo View Post

Even if you know that you wont make it on the team...TRY OUT!

 

Here is my story from highschool; I had picked up playing golf at the request of my grandma junior year.  Had one lesson, practiced for six months.  I had hand-me-down golf clubs: 9 iron, 7 iron, 6 iron, 5 iron, 4 iron, 2 iron, a putter, and no wedges or woods.  

 

Nervous as all hell, a friend (who had been playing for years) and I tried out.  The first day's tryout was held on the range, I did pretty well, better than my friend, and the coaches said that I impressed them considering the amount of time I had been playing and my equipment.  I putted and chipped better than most there, using my 9 iron for my lobs and pitches.  

 

Finally at the end of everyone's tryout, the coach told me (upon discovering my antique left handed 2 iron), that if I could use that and hit it to a flag that he pointed out that I would make the team right there.  He knew I wouldn't be able to.  I thought I could.  In front of everyone I stepped up, swung as hard as I could, topped it and it bounced about 100 yards.  I was embarrased and disapointed.  Only three guys got called back for day two.

 

I had no chance of making the team, but I tried out anyway.  This story remains with me as one of the proudest moments of my life.  Sure it would have been a better story if I had suceeded, but it takes on a whole new meaning and significance because I failed.  Go for it, be brave.  You will regret it if you don't try.

Thats a good story but high school golf and college golf are completely different beasts. For example my high school was asking people in gym class to join the golf team. College golf requires alot of stuff that has been previously explained in this thread. Theres nothing wrong with giving it a try, but you also have to be realistic.

post #63 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinItAll View Post

I just looked up the indices of all of the 2009 semi finalists I could find. Right now, the 2009 winner is a +.5. The others I could find were ~+2.5's or so. I've got 3.5 years before I'm eligible, and not enough years left to be competitive. b3_huh.gif
Like you, I'll sure give it a go, though.

Buddy has already committed to caddie for me in the qualifier. When I told him there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell of making it past local, let alone regional qualifying, his response was, "that's ok, at least they'll know we were there"!

a1_smile.gif
post #64 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Buddy has already committed to caddie for me in the qualifier. When I told him there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell of making it past local, let alone regional qualifying, his response was, "that's ok, at least they'll know we were there"!
a1_smile.gif

I don't know what kind of players they were back in '09, but the +.5 guy won, so on any given Sunday (or whatever day!)......
post #65 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp1404 View Post

Thats a good story but high school golf and college golf are completely different beasts. For example my high school was asking people in gym class to join the golf team. College golf requires alot of stuff that has been previously explained in this thread. Theres nothing wrong with giving it a try, but you also have to be realistic.

I didn't say that he should expect to make it.  I just said try.  Do your best and be proud of yourself.

 

The point of my story wasn't that I came close to succeeding, the point is that I failed miserably but still went for it.

post #66 of 66

That is so right.. this dude needs to give it a shot. No matter what anyone else says. You will always think what if, if you do not give it a shot in the dark. SO many of us use this board as if we are experts in the game or we doubt the distances of his without reading his complete scenario. One person in here even wondered where he was having trouble n his game when he explained that it was his putter in the latter parts of his story. 

 

Either way, go for it. Dont listen to the nay sayers that want to poo poo on your dreams because either they where not good enough or they can not seem to get out of the quick sand that they call life. Do your best and if you make it fine, if not then you know what to shoot for and try again if the opportunity arises, either way, you gave it a shot and that is nothing to sneeze at. 

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