Club Presidents encounter many challenges during their time starting and maintaining a club golf team. One of those issues is recruiting. How do I find students that want to be in club? We hear from a lot of students, typically during the summer after graduation, that need some help finding students to be in the club.
As the former president of the University of Florida Club Golf team, I wanted to share my tips on how to effectively recruit students and spread awareness of the club throughout campus. These tips should not only help you find plenty of college golf club team members, but can set you on your way to developing a more competitive roster. This is the part of series of tips intended to help NCCGA students run their clubs. Let me know if you want to see me tackle a specific issue.
Where To Recruit
The first and best place to recruit is through social media. If you don’t already have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for the club golf team, definitely go ahead and create one. From there, you and your exec can invite people to like the page to increase awareness about the team. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your university’s social media accounts and ask if they will give you a shout out. Also, try and find Facebook pages where students, especially freshmen, conglomerate. For example, at the University of Florida, each incoming class has a Class of 2018 page which is a great place to advertise.
Local Golf Courses
After social media, the next easiest place to find some quality student golfers is at the golf courses in the area. Introduce yourself to the staff and tell them about your club golf team. These people will surprisingly bring you a lot of recruits. Ask if you can place flyers in the pro shop and give the staff an email address or phone number for students who are interested.
Most schools should have a club fair day in the Fall. This is most definitely a good place to be. You will attract every golfer that’s walks by as long as your table is fun and attracting. The university also enjoys club participation which may help you down the road.
Handing out flyers is quick and easy. If your school has a street of fraternities or sororities, this is extremely efficient. Draft something up and use your schools free printing to make a thousand flyers or so. In about an hour, you could walk down a street of fraternities and sororities and advertise the club to a ton of people.
It never hurts to reach out to your school's varsity coach (men's and women's) to find out if they will be cutting anyone, or turning away walk-ons. Those students are perfect candidates to join the club. Explain to the coach the benefit of keeping those students involved in club golf.
Build a Pipeline
We all have seen it before… if a sports team is stacked with seniors, usually the next year the team is not as great once the seniors have graduated. Diversify your recruiting to ensure a consistent team. If the team is a bunch of juniors and seniors, spend some time recruiting strictly freshmen and sophomores. If the team is comprised of just one fraternity or one friend group, spend more time recruiting outside of Greek Life and recruiting to strangers. Lastly, think about contacting a few high school golf coaches from schools that usually send kids to your college. Shoot them a quick email or phone call and let them know about your club golf team.
Field an A & B Team
One of the biggest rewards of successful recruiting is the better chance that your club golf team will be able to field both an A & B competitive team. This will help stimulate younger/newer players by exposing them to tournament play. The last thing a club wants is a younger student leaving the club due to no opportunities to play. Fielding an A and B team will result in a larger, more stable and competitive club.
In just a few hours, you can reach thousands of people if you use the guideline above. Want to make it to TPC San Antonio this Fall? It all starts with recruitment.
**Brandon Harrold was the 2015 NCCGA President.