One of the most important aspects of building a club golf team, and maintaining it, is a solid recruiting plan. Even if you have the best college golf club team in the nation, eventually the players will graduate and you don't want to be standing there with an empty cupboard. Even if you attend a massive school, failing to spread awareness to the student body will prevent your club from growing beyond a few people.
So whether you are looking to build up the talent pipeline, add a B team, or simply getting the club up and running, here's 5 strategies to grow your club for this upcoming season.
1) Fall Fair Day
Almost all schools have one of these, but you might know it by a different name. Fall fair day, club sports day, student organization night, etc., they are very similar. What it means is a dedicated event on campus where you are able to promote your club to the student body. It's one of the best ways to recruit for your club team, and spread awareness to as many students as possible. This is one of the ways the Boston College club golf team recruits.
Tip: Bring your golf clubs and a couple foam golf balls. Practice chipping into buckets next to the table and watch the golfers flock to your sign-up sheet.
2) Varsity Coach
If your school has a varsity golf program, the coach is a great person to talk to and build a relationship. Varsity golf coaches are almost constantly inundated with requests to walk-on to the team, and most of the time are forced to turn the students away (or ignore them completely). Instead of turning them away, ask the coach to send all of those students to the club golf team! It can be a great way to improve the competitiveness of the club, and it can help those students work on their game and potentially earn a varsity spot later in their career.
Tip: Go see the coach in-person. They are busy people, and emails can be missed easily. See them in person and discuss with them who you are, what the club is about, and how they can help. They will enjoy having a place to send students not able to join the varsity team.
3) Social Media
Where can you find most college students? On their phone. So try and reach them on their phone. Start a Facebook group and/or a Twitter account to help spread the word and communicate key information. Facebook groups are perfect for their ability to "Invite Friends", and have those friends invite friends. You can also put a link to the Facebook group on other groups, such as "University of Kansas Class of 2020".
Tip: Don't start the account and not be active. Post daily (if you can), and provide your followers clear information on what the club is about, what they need to do to join, etc. Mix in some humor as well.
4) Local Golf Courses
Golf courses around campus can be the perfect place to find students who golf (who would've thought?!). Scout out the courses nearest the school, and talk to the Pro about the amount of student play they receive. If the course offers a college rate, you've struck the jackpot. See if they will let you hang some flyers. The best Pros might also mention the club if they see any student golfers, and refer them to you.
Tip: Hang flyers that clearly advertise the club, and include proper contact info (Name, Phone, and Email). Make it a flyer that stands out, especially if the course has a packed bulletin board. See if the Pro will keep a couple flyers on the front counter too.
Keep your eyes peeled whenever you are on campus. Is someone wearing a golf hat? Go chat them up! See someone with a bumper sticker that says "I'd rather be driving a (insert golf brand here)"? Leave a flyer on their windshield. Ask your classmates if they golf, or if the business school knows any golfers. Check the class registration book and see if there's any golf classes being offered, then go talk to the teachers. There's golfers everywhere, sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find them.
Tip: Here's an article we wrote on 4 ways to spot a golfer on campus. See if you can spot any of these 4 signs at your school.
There's the 5 strategies! Not to bad, and none are too difficult, but it will help your club immensely. Make sure you are keeping track of everyone that is interested on a sign-up sheet (with their email) so you can schedule an interest meeting on campus.
Have any other ways your club team recruits? Let us know on Twitter @NCCGA!