This Spring the NCCGA will host 57 club golf tournaments all around the country: 56 regional tournaments, and the Spring 2017 National Championship. The tournament dates have been set for the season (and can be found here). We are currently in the process of booking the tournament locations, but I wanted to provide a glimpse into how we decide the dates for each event.
There are four main factors that influence which weekends we hold tournaments.
1) School Schedules
Before setting any schedules we reach out to each region and try to find out each school's Spring Break dates, fraternity events, mid-terms, finals, sporting events, anything that might prevent a club from being able to play. In the South (for instance) football is huge in the Fall. So we try to avoid team's home football games (or at least schedule during non-critical games). Sometimes teams have to miss a game, and we try to limit it to a maximum of 1 missed game if we can.
One schedule conflict that sometimes doesn't show up on the school calendar are holidays. While some schools don't mind playing on a holiday such as Columbus Day, others are almost strictly off-limits. Many schools provide a break from school before or after this weekend (such as Easter), while many other students simply want to spend that weekend with family.
A huge issue in the spring season, we always keep our eye on the weather. Holding a tournament in March in Wisconsin (for example) is not a reality, so the colder regions are usually scheduled as late in the season as possible to try and ensure adequate course conditions. No one wants to play a competitive tournament in snow or temps in the 30's.
4) Nationals Qualifying
The date of the Spring 2017 National Championship (April 28/29) means the latest we would host a Spring tournament is April 8/9 weekend. Any later than that and airfare begins to rise, which can put teams in a financial bind. Finishing by April 9 provides all teams, individuals and wildcards almost three weeks to make travel arrangements.
Why can't we do the National Championship later than April 28/29? Any later and we run the risk of conflicts with finals and graduation.
The NCCGA continues to improve the tournament scheduling and booking process, and always appreciate hearing feedback and ideas. We hope you had a great winter break, and are looking forward to the Spring season of college golf! If you have any feedback or suggestions, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.