Guest Blog by Travis Richardson of NCCGA
The statistics on playing varsity golf in college aren’t exactly optimistic. According to the NCAA, only 2% of male high school golfers will play Division 1, and 3% for females. For students that don’t go to Division 1 though, there’s still plenty of options available. Division 2, Division 3, NAIA, NJCAA, as well as several smaller leagues provide a competitive outlet for students.
One option that is often overlooked is non-varsity college golf.
Club golf has grown tremendously in the last couple years in particular, with over 300 colleges now fielding a club golf team on campus. The governing body for club golf is the NCCGA (National Collegiate Club Golf Association). The NCCGA runs more than 100 regional tournaments each school year for non-varsity college student across the country, culminating in a National Championship each semester for the top club teams.
The NCCGA holds two tournaments per semester in each region across the country. The tournaments are 2-day, 36-holes, with scores ranging from 70-100+. Club teams can bring up to eight players, with the top five scores each day comprising the team score. Individuals are also welcome to compete if their school doesn’t have a club team.
Club golf can even be used as a springboard to playing varsity golf. The NCCGA has seen club golfers at Michigan State, West Virginia, and Florida move from club to the varsity roster in the last two years.
Michigan State’s Josh Heinze played on the MSU club golf team for the 2014-2015 academic year, winning the Spring 2015 NCCGA National Championship. Shortly thereafter he was invited to walk-on to the school’s varsity team.
During his season on the varsity team, Heinze was named Big 10 Player of the Week, All-Region, Cleveland/Srixon All-American Scholar, won the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate, and helped the Spartans advance to the NCAA Regionals.
Outside of the competitive tournaments, club golf is also a great way for students to meet other golfers on campus. Most club teams have organized events throughout the school year, such as range sessions or fun trips to play golf.
For students that don’t play varsity golf in college, your golf career doesn’t have to stop there. Club golf is there to keep you in the game.
Which colleges have club golf?
**Travis Richardson is the Director of the NCCGA, and loves growing the game of college golf across the country. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.nextgengolf.org/college-golf/nccga for more information.