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College Golf Chances?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am 14 years old with about a 5 handicap. I took on the game this past summer. I have been working hard and golf tryouts for high school my first year are coming up next month. To give you some basic statistics, I drive the ball a consistant 250-260 yards total on average. I usually hit around 8-12 greens, and have about 30-34 putts. On nine I usually shoot around the high thirties. My best is 33. On 18, usually mid to high 70s, sometimes an off day low 80s. I am usually playing on a course that is 6686 from the blues and 138 slope. My best on 18 is 68 on that course. I have never really played competively, but in golf season, hopefully it will give me the experience. I try to maintain a good attitude on the course. I am a Christian golfer, look up to Webb Simpson, a good Christian, that shows his faith. Now you all that hate this post now that I said that leave I guess. Being a Christian helps me during golf to know its just a game and really I need to be serving God. Cant forget the main purpose. I wont let golf get in my way without putting God first. I do missionary work at my church and get involved in that kind of stuff.

        

       My main point is college golf. I want to get an idea how you need to be playing to play on a college golf team. The colleges around me are NC State, Duke, North Carolina, etc. My brother plays for NC State. I know I still have 4 more years until then, but I just want to get an idea. Thanks,

                                                                 Wesley

post #2 of 11

Well Wes, do you have a road ahead of you!  High school golf is soon approaching, and you need to ENJOY it!  I remember by the time I was a senior, I almost hated golf.  I was so motivated to play college golf, that playing, and getting better became more of a chore, and hassle than it was fun.  That being said, you're brother plays at NC State.  He's got all the information you need on what you have to do.  E-mail coaches a resume, including your all of your stats from summer tournaments, as well as your grades.  I also included why I was interested in the school.  It shows the coach that he doesn't have to actually "recruit" you, because you are already interested.  

 

It's never to late to start the process.  Enjoy doing it!

post #3 of 11
You could just ask your brother how he got there.
post #4 of 11

Play with your brother. If you can beat him, you're probably good enough to get onto some teams. In fact, he probably knows a coach or two you could speak with to give you an idea of what they expect. As far as I know, a small school would probably let you walk on with a low single digit handicap, but they might be very competitive at some of the other schools listed. If your brother kicks your ass, which he really should if he has any pride at all, be humble and get to work on your game.

 

Right now however, you need to focus on HS golf and forget about college, PGA tour, HOF, etc. Being 15, they won't put you on college teams. What you should do is compete in the HS level and try to be a team captain or leader of the team in terms of work ethic. Don't worry about your credentials until your senior year, that's when it's good to win a few things. You could manage a scholarship if you're really on track, but they have a limited amount for schools like those. Try to be scratch or better by your senior year, keep your grades up and compete in a few amateur tournaments if possible with strong fields, since that makes for a good resume. And try to play on different courses because that 4 index might not travel if you always play an easy muni course but you shoot 83 on a 7100 yard championship course.

 

In terms of skill set, college is sort of like the pros. It's good to be able to break par consistently, but being able to shoot a 65 shows more potential. Being able to hit fairways is good, but if you're still driving 260 in college they won't hesitate to try and develop the guy that hits it 310 rather than you because it's really hard to gain strokes from that position. You'll be fine for HS purposes with 260 but virtually everyone in college will hit it about the same as the guys on tour. You'll be expected to play well in both stroke and match play formats as well as teams, be good under pressure, and you flat out need to be a really good ballstriker to post winning scores at that level. Your chipping and putting need to be very solid and not show any major flaws, and you just cannot go out and shoot 80 in the tryout. Any golfer who shoots rounds like that when they need a good one are unlikely to be worth having on a team. You might not shoot your lowest rounds but you need to be able to control your game enough to shoot a decent round in situations like that. You also need to stay out of trouble for the next 8 years.

 

I wish I'd taken up golf about 5 years sooner to take advantage of all the practice and coaching you can get from HS golf, as well as competition experience. I took up the game about age 20, so everything was more expensive and I have no real shot at getting above club champion level, even if I focused entirely on golf. And even if I did get to a competitive level, my university is stupid and has no golf team at all despite being a big school. Plus we have a fourth season called "winter" north of the Mason-Dixon line, which prevents us from playing consistently during the months of November-March, so take advantage of your southerly location. 

post #5 of 11
There are other good golf programs in NC besides the big D-1 programs you mentioned. There is Campbell, which has a Pro Golf Management program. There is D-3 power Methodist which also has a PGM program. Guilford is another good D-3 program, and there are other choices of smaller D-1 and D-2 programs around the state. If you really want to play college golf, there a lot of options. Have fun, keep improving, and keep your options open.
post #6 of 11

I teach in a University business school, and have had golfers as students in my classes at different places I have taught.

 

Time management pops up as a major challenge to college golfers. First of all, the sport is very time consuming. If you're a wrestler, you just walk down to the gym and practice for two hours. If you're a golfer, you will probably have to drive to the golf course, and then spend a couple of hours practicing. If you play 18 also, that ties up five or six hours.

 

You will have a few matches in the fall, but spring is when things really get busy. If you go to out-of-town tournaments, you will miss several classes all in the same week. You have to work with the professors to keep up with your studies. Plus, you need the discipline to put on your headphones and study while riding on the team bus, rather than wasting time watching movies with your teammates.

 

In your smaller golf programs at NAIA and Div. III schools, you often find players with Div. I experience. These players may have been good golfers, but they crashed academically and got bounced out of school. Poor time management has severe penalties.

 

So, work on being the best student you can be in high school, because you need good study habits to succeed in college golf.

post #7 of 11

Well Wes, do you have a road ahead of you!  High school golf is soon approaching, and you need to ENJOY it!  I remember by the time I was a senior, I almost hated golf.  I was so motivated to play college golf, that playing, and getting better became more of a chore, and hassle than it was fun.  That being said, you're brother plays at NC State.  He's got all the information you need on what you have to do.  E-mail coaches a resume, including your all of your stats from summer tournaments, as well as your grades.  I also included why I was interested in the school.  It shows the coach that he doesn't have to actually "recruit" you, because you are already interested.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freestyle Motocross Gloves

 

post #8 of 11
Quote:

Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

 

And try to play on different courses because that 4 index might not travel if you always play an easy muni course but you shoot 83 on a 7100 yard championship course.

 

Wesley,  You are right where you need to be at 14.  Shooting in the mid high 70's, you know golf and have decent course management skills.  Your all around game has the potential.  You're probably not overly weak in any one area, yet you don't master any 1 area either.  260 is fine right now, distance will come as you grow over the next few years.  Don't get caught up trying to hit it 310.  Short game needs to be a strength for college golf.  If your missing 8-10 greens a round, you would like to see your putting number improve below 30 consistently.  (P.S. 8-12 GIRs is good for now.  If you hit 12 greens, with two birdies, and get up & down 4 of 6 times, your still even).

 

Here's what I wished I would have known before playing college golf:

-It takes a ton a work! -BUT have fun in the process.  Your right, it's just a game, but learn to enjoy the practice.  Play short game drills with friends... play 18 hole short game matches with your friends getting up and down etc.  Loser has to clean the rest of the teams clubs :)     (that was pressure for me, I was embarrassed to wash the clubs because that meant I lost! - but it made me better lol)

-You have to get used to playing different courses- This was the biggest slap in the face for me!  I was used to playing flat courses without a lot of elevation changes.

-Learn to play in wind/rain  - make this a strength!  -This can be your opportunity to steal a tournament - others WILL complain, use it to your advantage!

-Learn how to get the most out of practice rounds.  You have to know tiers of the greens, bail outs & where you can miss.  Look at approach angles and ideal yardages on holes.  Pick your spots to be aggressive.  Play smart and eliminate large hazards including Out of Bounds and corners that may block out your approach.  Who wants to play 3 off the tee???  not me.

-Know your yardages... not just how far you hit the ball, but how far do you carry each club? -important when reading green sheets and picking which pins you are going to go at.

-Short Game is huge!!!!!  If you can get up and down, you can save a round quickly and still card a decent number.  You can also go really low when you have things working but you have to make a decent amount of putts 10 ft and in.  If you stick an approach, you want to make the putt, it can shift momentum in your group.

-Long and Mid irons- many of your approaches will be from 150-200.  You will play the tips everywhere you play (6700-7200 yds).

-You have to get some tournament rounds under your belt.  Play in some jr. tournaments for the experience.  Don't worry about score yet, just get experience.  You will get nervous.  Take note where you miss the ball in pressure situations! -This will help you avoid big numbers when the pressure is on!

-Have fun, realize that if your shooting in the 70's now, you have a gift.  Enjoy it.  I took it so seriously, that I stopped having fun with the game (I enjoyed the team, but not the game).  I didn't make the most of my college golf experience and had to learn how to enjoy the game all over again.

 

-The difference between an okay college golfer and a great college golfer is razor thin.  You get out what you put in.  How good do you want to be?  Put in the practice (especially short game!).

 

P.S. @nickolasjt and @caniac6 both have some great advice as well.   Good Luck Wesley!  Fairways and Greens my friend!

post #9 of 11

http://www.protourgolfcollege.com/1/post/2012/06/how-to-break-70-the-70-percent-golfer-model-will-show-you-how-to-break-par-in-golf-tournaments.html

 

Check out the link above.  It focuses on 4 main areas of game improvement

-Fairways and Greens Hit in Regulation

-Putts made inside 12 feet

-Up and Downs from <30 yards

-Wedge Approach shots from <100 yards

 

If you know where you stand in these areas, you can tailor your practice time to focus on improvement in those aspects.  It's really knowing your game!  Personally, I like the model and the description from what I've read, it set's goals for improvement for you which makes it a fun game in itself...  Remember, you have to make practice fun and focused

 

-Again, your already in good shape- but you have to evaluate your own game and focus on productive purposeful practice to continue to improve at the point your at.  This is a great tool to help do that.  Take a notebook to the course with you when you practice!

 

Hope you kill it this year, keep us posted on your hs tournament rounds!

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, thanks for all the tips and support. @JP Golf thankyou for everything too. This week was our first matches, we played 2. The first was a 9 hole match at our home course, and I shot 40, which is 4 over par. I'm not hitting the ball the best right now. Yesterday we had a 6 hole match away at a course I have never played and I shot 2 over for 6 holes because of time and weather issues, it was sleeting and freezing cold while we were playing. But I believe there is 4 seniors, 5 juniors, and some other freshman, I am right now in the 4 seed. Lots of the juniors and seniors are close to me because 2 of the seniors shoot mid 30s, a couple shoot high thirties, and it is those who I'm tied with. Thanks !
post #11 of 11

Game of 3's...  I suggest setting a target score for your day and play the course in sets of 3 holes (don't concern yourself with others scores yet, you shouldn't be worried about it on the course) I would make the course into 6 sets of 3 hole challenges for your 18 holes, it just helped me put holes behind me and kept me focused on each set of 3.  Here's an example of how I approached 9 holes...  (again this just worked for me in tournament golf and I wasn't that great a college player so feel free to pay absolutely no attention to it)

 

1-  par 4, 420 -just fairway and green here- nothing aggressive out the gate, with water on the right off the tee and wind working towards the water, just play smart and keep it simple - get a GIR and two putt. 

2-  par 4, 415

3-  par 3, 215  -Just hit the green and 2 putt- no need to go for the pin -the miss here is left to avoid a bunker on the right and no green to work with from that side.  Par is great!

 

First 3 hole challenge:  Tough start, I'm allowing myself a bogey on the first three holes,  my goal here is to play conservative and play these holes at +1, avoid big numbers and hazards at the start.  Get comfortable on the course and relax.  No need to panic if I start +2 on the first 3 holes...

 

4- par 5, 500 (downhill, wind helping- accessible pin)

5- par 4, 360 (can easily cut a couple yards off the corner, large fairway to leave a good approach from 115-120)

6- par 4, 405

 

This is a scoring opportunity with a reachable par 5 and an accessible pin, followed by a short 360 par 4 that I can cut the corner and give myself 115-120 approach...  I'm playing aggressive here with a couple of possible scoring holes.  I'm trying to play this set of holes at -1.

 

7- par 3, 185

8- par 5, 540  Well guarded green with water in front and OB behind the green... lay up to my comfortable yardage - Play for par, hope approach is close for birdie opportunity.

9- par 4, 375  Easy pin, no hazards, can be aggressive to flag. Big fairway- play to my target yardage off the tee.

 

Easy pin placement on 9 - keep it left of the pin on approach for uphill putt and good chance at birdie...  Goal here is to play these holes at E and with an aggressive approach on 9 to give myself a good birdie opportunity. 

 

Overall goal on 9 - Even 36...

 

That's all I got man lol... Key to all of it- have fun- it's a game- relax- enjoy!

 

P.S.  my coach hated my game of 3's!  He would ask me how I was doing, and I would say "great coach -2" (...on 13,14,15)- didn't tell him I was +7 on the previous 12 holes because I wasn't thinking about it

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