With college campuses ramping up for students to go back to school this fall, a big question on everybody's minds is "will I be in physically on campus?" An even bigger question to varsity athletes is if they will have a fall golf season. Although many conferences have "cancelled" all fall college athletics, golf is an individual sport where players are naturally socially distancing outside and should be considered different than other college sports. Although golf may seem like one of the most responsible sports to operate, the majority of colleges will not be hitting the course this fall.
For golfers that have unfortunately seen their season disappear or postponed, the NCCGA has stepped in to provide playing opportunities to help out varsity athletes. The core mission of the NCCGA is to ensure any college-aged golfer can play golf. Typically this means at the non-varsity level, but given the circumstances in our world, college-aged golfers, no matter their skill level, need more playing opportunities and tournaments this fall. Our Commissioner Matt Weinberger was asked if we could change our rules and eligibility this fall to allow varsity athletes to play due to COVID and he said "Yes, of course. It's the right thing to do."
Brown, Dartmouth, Akron are just 3 of over dozen colleges which have already cut either their men's or women's golf programs or both programs. Budget cuts are significant for many college athletic departments. Through no fault of their own, good players will be shown the door. The heartbreak to no longer compete for your dream school can definitely be felt. “I’m really going to miss the family we created, that’s the biggest thing,” said Nico Ciavaglia a student from St. Edward's University Golf Team after learning his program was cut. Although it's sad and unfair the NCCGA is here to be a soft landing spot and help out any golfer no matter their skill level or what school they attend. For players like Nico, the NCCGA is a family ready to welcome him with open arms. You can see a full list of cuts to sports programs HERE
Staying true to our word that the college student's voice matters, we poised the question to club golfers, "how would you feel playing against varsity athletes?" The response was overwhelming. 78.52% of our NCCGA community welcomed the idea and loved the thought of the added competition and camaraderie that playing against their peers at the varsity level will bring. Some club golfers even said they welcome the competition as they think many club golfers are more skilled than varsity players. The results this fall will speak for themselves.
Now more than ever, college golf needs help. Even though there will not be a Fall 2020 National Championship, the NCCGA has stepped up to the plate by offering 70 tournament opportunities nationwide this fall. One other thing to note is that entries fees for the events range from $50-80 because we know budgets are down, students don't have money and we need to help them get on the course. Helping varsity athletes is not usually where NCCGA thrives, but we feel it is important to provide playing opportunities every college aged golfer whether they are on campus or at home. For questions about the NCCGA, please contact 617-453-8732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org