Every college golfer has their own story. A unique journey that brought them to their campus, to pick their major, and to continue playing the sport they love. Truth be told, only a small percentage of high school golfers will play varsity golf in college. A survey conducted by the NCAA to determine the estimated probability of competing in college athletics found that only 6.2% of men and women who golf in high school continue competing at the collegiate level. So where does that leave the other 93.8% of high school golfers?
Over 350 college campuses provide club golf opportunities for any full-time college student. The National Collegiate Club Golf Association, NCCGA, helps colleges start, maintain, and facilitate regional and national events with other schools. At the NCCGA all swings are welcome and no golfer is left behind. Incoming sophomore at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Reid Taylor, tells us his story of how club golf has elevated his college experience.
Reid had a difficult decision to make after graduating high school. Varsity or Club Golf? Though golf has been a passion since he was 4 years old, his greater goal is to be a doctor. Reid didn’t envision a path where he could focus heavily on his pre-med studies and commit to play at the varsity level in college. Reid explains,
“I chose club golf over varsity because I am trying to get into medical school and I felt that club golf would allow me to have enough time to focus on school while still being able to get out and have fun golfing.”
During Reid’s freshman year at UIUC, he played with his team in two regional tournaments and the Spring 2021 NCCGA National Championship at Seaview Golf Resort. “The National Championship was an amazing experience. Seaview did a great job of hosting and the NCCGA had a great set up.” Reid was one of many college students who had to their college experience compromised during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the upcoming semester getting back to normal, Taylor explained,
“I am looking forward to getting to know my teammates more next year and traveling to tournaments as a team. Playing club golf at UIUC has made me feel like I’m more connected with my school. Although club golf isn’t varsity, it still takes time and commitment. I feel like I’m representing my school when I go out and play. I am proud to be on the Illinois club team.”
The NCCGA helps provide each college student with the opportunity to continue, or start, their golf career. Visit NCCGA.org to learn more about how you can start or join a team on your campus.