As a college golf coach, your main priority is building the best team possible to win golf tournaments and championships. Since the number of roster spots on college golf teams continues to decline and the demands of a college golf coach continue to increase, don’t waste your team speaking with students who cannot immediately benefit your golf program. Leading students to club golf, through the NCCGA (National Collegiate Club Golf Association), can be beneficial to you for a number of reasons:
1) Save time. You do not need to host walk-on tryouts or send lengthy emails to golfers who can’t make the team. Instead of telling a student you are not interested in having them as part of your team, advise them to attend your school and play club golf their freshman year of college. The club golf events could serve as a walk-on tryout and prove their skills at the collegiate level. It is easy to send students directly to the NCCGA website to avoid long conversations and conflicts. Any student can play in the NCCGA even if there is not a club golf team on campus. In recent years, club golfers have walked-on to elite programs such as the Michigan State Men's varsity team and University of Florida Women’s Golf program. Check out one tournament example of club golf scores below or click on the link to see the full leaderboard.
2) Club golfers make great volunteers and team managers. Varsity coaches, especially those that do not have assistants can always use a little help. Coaches can benefit from the help of avid golfers on campus to better their program. Students are always looking for internship experience and enjoy being compensated with playing privileges.
3) Alumni funding for your program. Club golfers are not going to make the PGA Tour, but they may be the future CEO of a Fortune 500 company. As a coach, building relationships with club golfers may not only benefit your program in the short term, but could help with the almighty fundraising ask down the road when a wealthy club golfer remembers how you helped them out in college.
4) Avoid adding a new golf program, club golf is co-ed. If your school only has men’s or women’s golf, you may be asked to help start a new program for the opposite sex. Starting a new golf program is daunting. Instead of starting a new varsity golf program on campus, advise that a new program start as a club first to test the success of the program.
5) It’s the right thing to do. As a golf coach and member of the golf industry, we all need to do our part in growing the game. Even if a kid cannot help your program, please encourage them to stay in the game. NCCGA is here to support any student looking to play golf in college.
This article is primarily meant to help college golf coaches, but if you are a high school golf coach who has spent the last 4 year helping support golfers on your team, let the NCCGA ensure all your hard work does not go to waste. The #3-10 players on the high school golf team are just as important, if not more important, to the golf industry than the #1 or #2 player on your team that will go on to play varsity college golf. If you have questions about The National Collegiate Club Golf Association or club golf in general, please visit the NCCGA website or contact Kris Hart at Kris@nccga.org or 413-237-2271.