Student-athletes will need to build a list of realistic schools, create an online profile and swing video, contact college coaches, compete in the right tournaments and more. To help you navigate this process, NCSA experts have built a comprehensive guide to women’s college golf recruiting.
NCAA Women’s Golf Recruiting Rules and Calendar
After an NCAA study revealed that student-athletes in various sports were talking with college coaches and committing to schools as early as freshman year, the NCAA set out to curb early recruiting by introducing new golf recruiting rules. These new rules state that college coaches can contact student-athletes starting June 15 after their sophomore year. This new timeline gives recruits more time to make their college decision, just like their non-sport peers.
However, when it comes to women’s golf, the study found that recruiting was already happening after sophomore year. According to NCAA research, 47% of women’s golfers receive their first contact from a college coach during junior year and 14% during senior year. With that said, the golf recruiting timeline for most athletes and coaches will remain the same as it was before the rules were updated.
Visit our guide to the NCAA women’s golf recruiting rules and calendar.
Women’s Golf Recruiting Guidelines
How do college coaches analyze golf scores? To start, the typical college course ranges from 6,000 to 6,300 yards, so coaches prefer to review scores from courses that are 6,000+ yards. Next, coaches consider the difficulty of the course. Most coaches look for recruits who compete in national tournaments, which best match the college level of play and closely mirrors the college landscape. Last, college coaches look for a recruit’s “tournament score differential” by sorting through tournament results from each day to see how the athlete competes under pressure and if they can bounce back from an off day. Check out our women’s golf recruiting guidelines to see the average scores coaches look for in a recruit for every division.
The Recruiting Process
Before June 15 of your sophomore year, be proactive and take the following steps to kickstart your college recruiting process.
• Research women’s golf programs: There are 727 NCAA golf programs, 143 NAIA programs and more than 100 junior college options to choose from. Research the programs you are most interested in to identify which best fit your academic, athletic, financial and social needs.
• Build a recruiting profile: College coaches start their recruiting process only by searching for prospective recruits in databases, like NCSA. Create an online recruiting profile where coaches can see your stats and evaluate your skillset in a swing video.
• Create a recruiting video: Coaches can’t attend every golf tournament to see each student-athlete play in person. And even when they do attend tournaments, the length of the course can make it difficult to jump from golfer to golfer. Create a swing video to capture a wide variety of swings and club selections from different parts of the course.
• Attend golf camps: Increase your exposure to college coaches by attending a clinic, camp or showcase, where college coaches will be present and actively evaluating talent.
• Contact college coaches: Start your relationship with a college coaches by sending an introductory email to let them know you are interested in their program and get on their radar.
Fully funded NCAA Division 1 golf programs can award a maximum of six golf scholarships per team, while Division 2 programs have a maximum of eight scholarships to award. Women’s college golf is incredibly competitive and scholarships at most levels are hard to obtain, especially when you factor in international recruiting. Women’s golf is one of the top NCAA sports that rosters international athletes, which 11.7% of NCAA golfers being international students.
While it’s commonly believed that several women’s golf scholarships go unused, this usually only occurs because the school’s size and location/climate didn’t attract many student-athletes.
Top Ranked Women’s Golf Colleges
With the choice of 996 college women’s golf programs, finding the right school for you can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve ranked the top colleges and universities with women’s golf programs, taking into consideration cost, size, location and academics. View a complete list of colleges offering women’s golf.