BGGA Student-Athlete Xavier Marcoux Verbally Commits to Rutgers University

It is no wonder that Rutgers University made the enormously talented rising senior such a high priority in their recruiting efforts, where BGGA’s Marcoux verbally committed as a junior.

“Xavier sets no limits on himself, and balances the demands of school and sport with ease,” said Nick Duffy, BGGA Senior Golf Coach.

Outside of class and golf, Xavier has been commended for his outstanding service work, particularly with the Alzheimer’s USA Association, for which he raised over a thousand dollars during his junior year. Xavier received High Honor Roll awards at Montverde Academy and was recognized as BGGA Student of Year in 2017 for his help and support of others, for demonstrating the highest of personal integrity, moral and ethical character and for being a strong leader.

Positively impacting lives through service to the community is one of BGGA’s key values. It happens every day as BGGA student-athletes like Xavier are serving and mentoring while they are learning and training.

Get to Know Xavier Marcoux

What or who drives you to do your best at golf and in life?

I’m driven by a dream I’ve had ever since I started playing golf. I’ve always dreamed of being on the PGA tour and being one of the best golfers in the world. This drives me every day because I always have something to drive toward, and it has given me a sense of motivation ever since I was a kid.

What went into your choice to attend Rutgers?

A lot of factors went into my choice to attend Rutgers.  I wanted to play Division I golf at a power 5 school where I could compete at the highest level, and Rutgers gives me that opportunity. Education is one of the most important things to my family and Rutgers is a very good academic school. Also my chemistry with the coaches and the team was amazing which helps a lot.

What excites you most about playing college golf?

I’m excited to play at a higher level than I am now and to play and compete against some of the best amateurs in the world. I feel like that is the next step in my development. Being able to compete with the guys in college will help me get better as a golfer.

Dream job or dream degree post-college?

My dream job would be to play on the PGA tour and compete against the best golfers in the world for a living. That would be the best job ever.

Tell us about raising $1,215 for Alzheimer’s USA Association.

It was an honor for me to be able to raise money for this organization as my family has been affected greatly by the disease. Both of my grandmothers have Alzheimer’s so to be able to raise money for the cause was a great honor for me.

How has BGGA impacted your game?

BGGA is the reason I’m where I am today. It gave me the opportunity to play year round and get the best coaching available which, along with my work ethic and the facilities we have access to, is what brought me to the Division 1 level of golf.

What have you enjoyed about your BGGA experience?

What I have enjoyed most about my BGGA experience is meeting people from different countries and getting to understand the different cultures where they come from. It has definitely been a cool experience getting to know and live with people from all over the world.

What might be your best memory about attending BGGA?

My best memories from BGGA are going on road trips to away tournaments, especially this past year going to Atlanta two weekends in a row was very fun.

Which tournament would you most like to win?

I would most like to win The Masters.

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for your parents?

I’m bringing my father to the U.S. open this year for his 50thbirthday and I’ve surprised my mom a few times on her birthday on Mother’s Day

What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for you?

The nicest thing they’ve gone for me is give me the chance to go to BGGA, live away from home and get better at golf while they had to sacrifice a lot for it.

You will go far Xavier Marcoux! Go Scarlet Knights!

BGGA’s Jack Hughes Commits to University of Colorado

BGGA’s Jack Hughes has committed to play on the men’s college golf team at University of Colorado.

Jack’s dream was to play for CU. He decided to come to BGGA for his junior year of high school after he become serious about taking his game to the next level. He knew he needed to be pushed and the weather in Florida would allow him to train and play golf year-round. Jack will finish up his senior year home in Colorado.

“Jack is motivated, hungry and passionate to learn, yet what sets him apart from his peers is his work ethic and desire to improve day in and day out,” said BGGA Senior Coach Zach Parker.

Jack had a great year during his junior year at BGGA. He achieved his lowest two-day tournament score ever, while maintaining a 4.1 GPA. His increase in self-awareness and ability to be his own best coach was a highlight of his year. He scored a 67/71 at Faldo Series Falcon Fire, placed 3rd at the IJGT Orange Lake and competed with excellence at the Scott Robertson Qualifier.

Jack embraced his role as a BGGA Junior Ambassador. He was a huge help around campus and showed signs of being a true role model. Jack defined excellence in many ways at BGGA.

We wish Jack best of luck at University of Colorado. Go Buffaloes!

What College Golf Coaches Look For In Recruits

The college recruiting process is a daunting task for most junior golfers, so it’s important to head into it knowing what coaches are looking for so you know your priorities when it comes to being a desirable recruit. Although every coach has their own wants and needs, here is a general list of what most coaches are looking for in a player.

A player who can help their team

Every coach wants to make their team better so they are not trying to recruit players who will fit into the fourth or fifth spot on their roster. They are looking at players who can make their top three, possibly not right away but in the near future. In our experience players and parents often look at the worst player on the team as an indicator as to whether they can make the line-up, which is not a good strategy.

A student who can pass admissions and help the team GPA

Academics. Academics. Academics! There is a misconception that coaches can push players through admissions because they want them to play for their team. Unfortunately, this is not the reality in most cases. It is important that a player passes admissions on their own merit by having the test scores and GPA required by the school.

A coach may look at a player who may not be in their top 3, but is a solid student who will help their team GPA and has a chance to play in the future.

Get ready to hit the books!

A good teammate

It’s not all about academics and golf scores. A coach wants a player of the upmost character who will fit in with the players on the team. Often coaches will have prospects meet or even stay with their team during visits as a way of seeing how they might interact in the future. Team chemistry and culture is extremely important!

An coachable athlete

When a coach commits to a player for four years they certainly want one who is coachable. It’s too long of a period to be with someone who isn’t open to feedback and who does not have a growth mindset.

Be persistent in reaching out to coaches. Don’t send one e-mail and then give up. Coaches are inundated with so many e-mails, it’s difficult to keep track of them all and often the coach is out of the office at a tournament (these guys work hard).  Keep following up to land on the coach’s radar screen.

Your College Roadmap

We know college is important to you, which is why it is important to us too. BGGA College Planning & Placement has decades of experience finding the right college for students.

BGGA College Planning & Placement works with all Academy students to create an individualized roadmap to reach their goal of studying and playing golf at the collegiate level. This is accomplished through college planning, athletic recruiting, SAT/ACT/TOEFL registration, academic support and NCAA compliance education.

Preparation needs to start early and there is a process to follow. Every student is unique in terms of his or her strengths and weaknesses and to what degree they have engaged in the recruiting process to date. For the purposes of this post however, we are sharing the “optimal” college placement timeline. Some top players are recruited prior to entering high school, but for most, you become a “Prospective Student-Athlete” (PSA) in your freshman year of high school, which is where our timeline begins.

Learn more about BGGA’s College Planning & Placement and see a signing day list of where BGGA students have gone on to play college golf.

Freshman Year of High School

  • Create a resume and establish a ranking in junior golf in the U.S. by playing in multi-day tournaments. This is how you start to build your profile.
  • Understand how the various rankings work (Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek, AJGA, etc.) as this will factor in your tournament schedule.
  • Begin your research on colleges and admissions requirements.
  • Understand what it takes to play on the teams you are targeting, and be aware that coaches are typically looking for their top-3 players.
  • Keep up academically by taking the core courses required by the NCAA.
  • Maintain a high GPA and figure out a plan for the next three years in regard to academics.
  • Build good study and practice habits.

Sophomore Year of High School

  • Continue to make academics a priority and maintain your GPA.
  • Participate in school activities.
  • Keep building your list of potential colleges.
  • Play consistently in tournaments and at the highest level possible to improve rankings.
  • Update your golf and academic resumes.
  • Register with the NCAA eligibility center.
  • Start contacting coaches when appropriate. Although they cannot respond at this time, they can send you an introductory e-mail with a questionnaire, which should be completed and submitted within one week.
  • Call coaches as they are permitted to speak with you if they answer when you call. Keep in mind that they are not allowed to call you back if they don’t answer, so keep trying to reach them.
  • Take preparatory/practice tests for SAT and ACT.
  • Although unofficial visits where you meet with the coach on campus are no longer permitted until your junior year, visit some campuses with your family to get a feel for your likes and dislikes.

Junior Year of High School

  • Refine your college list by looking at team rosters to note how many players are leaving the year you enter and note their scoring averages.
  • Continue to update your golf and academic resumes and send them to coaches.
  • Try to arrange to speak to coaches on the phone so you get to know them and build a relationship.
  • Take standardized test prep courses and register to take the SAT and ACT in the fall of your junior year.
  • Take the TOEFL if required.
  • Start making unofficial and/or official visits to colleges as official visits are now permitted in your junior year.

Senior Year of High School

  • If you haven’t taken the SAT or ACT this should be a priority. You can retake them if you need to improve your score.
  • Have your transcripts sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Upload your test scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Complete the amateurism certification process.
  • Continue to compete in tournaments.
  • Try to narrow your list of potential colleges down to those that are a “best-fit” for you.
  • Continue to make unofficial visits or official visits if asked by the coach.
  • Evaluate offers and decide on the best option for you!
  • Sign a “National Letter of Intent” (NLI) if in NCAA D1 or D2 (signing period begins in mid-November of your senior year).

VANDERBILT FRESHMAN ANNIE KIM (BGGA CLASS OF 2018) WINS FIRST TEAM TITLE

Annie Kim T-15 in her first collegiate tournament.

Bishops Gate Golf Academy (BGGA) Alumni Annie Kim teed it up for the first time for Vanderbilt and went on to win the team title. The women’s golf team won the rain-shortened Mason Rudolph Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club, with the Commodores having a 12-shot margin over Arizona State with a 17-under par total of 599 (278-281).

Annie’s 143 (71-72) led her to T-15 in her first collegiate tournament.

Kim credits the BGGA coaching team and facility as giving her a great opportunity to improve her game and commented that, “No one can deny that Bishops Gate has the best golf training facility in Florida.”

Student-athletes at BGGA have to learn how to handle the rigors of academics and athletics while living away from home. It’s a skill that helped her transition to college.

“College coaches tell you that you have to change your lifestyle and adapt to being a young adult,” said Kim. “When you move to college you have to have time management, but at BGGA you already do things yourself, so I already had those skills to carry to college.”

The team win is the first for the Commodores at the Mason Rudolph Championship since the 2014 edition of the event and the third time Vanderbilt has won their home tournament (other win came in 2002). Vanderbilt returns to the course October 12-14 at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational in Chapel Hill, NC.

College Planning, Placement and Testing Requirements

As students reach the conclusion of their high school years, it is only natural to begin contemplating what they will do with their lives after they walk away from the podium with their graduation diploma. For many, the path they decide upon involves going to a four-year college with the intention of obtaining a bachelor’s degree, and possibly advancing from there to grad school.

For student golfers, matters tend to be a little more complicated. If they intend to continue golfing after leaving high school, then they need to figure out how to balance their athletic interests with their academic pursuits.

To a large extent, teen golfers preparing for college face the same problems and challenges that their non-athletic peers do—like studying for entrance exams—but there are additional considerations that must be contended with as well. With that in mind, let us explore some of these considerations, such as selecting the right school and ensuring that one’s academic record is satisfactory for admissions purposes.

Which School Is Best?

As we have mentioned, student-athletes share many of the same concerns that all college-bound teens do, and for that reason the process of picking the “right” school is substantially similar. Students need to ask themselves some key questions:

  • Where would they prefer to study? Should they stay in their home state, or are they willing to travel across country to pursue the right opportunity?
  • What would they prefer to study? Not everyone will be able to play golf professionally. Student-athletes need to think about the kind of degree they will be getting after they complete their undergraduate education.
  • What kind of campus environment is best? Some students love the excitement of being part of a large student body, with all the opportunities for socializing that those kinds of schools can provide. Others, though, feel lost in a crowd.
  • What kind of golf program does the school have? Naturally, this is a consideration particularly relevant to student golfers. In 2015, there were 1320 schools across the nation with varsity-level golf programs.1 The availability of a good golf program can be the deciding factor in selecting a school, especially if all other factors are roughly equal. This is what we will focus on now.

Ball going in

Types of College Golf Programs

The crown jewel of collegiate golf is the NCAA Division I. This represents the highest level of athletics for college and university students—not just for golf, but for all sports, from basketball to water polo. Division I schools have the best-funded, most prestigious athletic programs. To qualify for inclusion in this division, a college generally must have at least seven sports programs for men and seven for women. For obvious reasons, Division I tends to be the first choice for student athletes, though, as we will see, it is not for everyone.

In 2015, there were 320 Division I schools with varsity-level golf programs. Combined, these 320 schools maintained 301 men’s and 263 women’s golf teams. 3003 male and 2203 female golfers competed at this level.

Golf Academy Examination Fees

Below this level is the NCAA Division II. On average, Division II schools can be characterized by smaller enrollment and more modestly funded athletic programs. You will find a mix of relatively small public schools and private institutions here.

In 2015, there were 255 Division II schools that offered a combined total of 237 men’s and 191 women’s golf programs. In this division there were 2446 male and 1493 female golfers.

The NCAA Division III provides another option for college golfers. This division, unlike the other two, cannot by law offer athletic scholarships. However, many student-athletes have found good opportunities here to advance their athletic and scholastic interests.

In 2015, there were 312 Division III schools with golf programs. 293 men’s and 196 women’s golf teams were active at this level, with 3154 male and 1484 female golfers.

It is important to understand that the three NCAA divisions do not constitute all available opportunities to play golf at the college level. A significant number of student-athlete golfers compete in schools that are not governed by the NCAA; these institutions include small four-year colleges and two-year junior (or “community”) colleges. In fact, some golfers achieve success at an NCAA school after completing a two-year program at a junior college. It is an opportunity that many student-athletes unwisely overlook.

Women Swinging Golf Club

Scholarships

It is certainly no big secret that college has become expensive in recent years, and tuition will only be heading further north for the foreseeable future. Considering that unfortunate trend, many student-athletes understandably try to cut down these expenses by winning a scholarship of some kind. Luckily, student golfers have a number of scholarship opportunities available to them; let us take a look at these:

NCAA Scholarships: Schools in NCAA Divisions I & II are permitted to offer a certain number of golf scholarships during each academic year. (As mentioned previously, NCAA Division III schools cannot provide athletic scholarships.) Under NCAA rules, golf is considered an equivalency sport for scholarship purposes.

What does this mean? Schools are permitted to divide up their scholarship funds however they see fit, so long as they provide no more than the equivalent of the maximum number. For example, if there are four scholarships available, the school can elect to hand out four full scholarships or eight partial scholarships, or establish another arrangement that adds up to the equivalent of four full scholarships.

In 2015, Division I schools were allowed to provide 4.5 men’s golf scholarships and 6.0 women’s golf scholarships. Division II schools were allowed 3.6 men’s scholarships and 5.4 women’s scholarships.

Bear in mind that students must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center in order to qualify for any of these NCAA scholarships.

NAIA Scholarships: Students who cannot grab one of the above scholarships can still play for an NCAA school under a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) scholarship. To qualify for one of these, students must (1) score at least 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT, as well as (2) accumulate a 2.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) OR graduate high school in the top half of their class.

NJCAA Scholarships: We have mentioned that junior college is a doable route for student-athlete golfers. If you are still not convinced, you may be interested to hear that even junior college golfers can qualify for full or partial scholarships. These are awarded by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which has 525 member colleges across the nation.

There are a number of other scholarship opportunities that student-athletes might wish to look into, including some offered by the LPGA and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).

Learning Never Stops

Tips on Finding the Right Program

Whether you are hoping to land a generous scholarship or simply want to get into the best school possible, you should put your best foot forward both academically and athletically. It is not all about golf—a high GPA and strong ACT/SAT scores will maximize your opportunities. You should begin preparing for college by your junior year of high school.

You should attempt to reach out to coaches at colleges where you would prefer to attend. It is important to note that NCAA rules place restrictions on coaches’ ability to contact high school prospects. They are not allowed to call you before July 1 of your senior year. This means you need to take the initiative. NCAA coaches are permitted to meet with you informally at their campus, so you should attempt to arrange a visit with them to ensure that they are aware of you and what you can offer the program.

It also gives you an opportunity to see whether your personalities mesh well. You can also send them your resume—email seems to be the preferred method these days—and some video clips showing off your skills. The resume you send should include your golf achievements, including your tournament results and USGA Handicap Index.

Contacting a college coach should not be a one-time-only deal. You should keep sending them periodic emails to make sure that they stay up to date on your progress. Start doing this no later than your junior year, and continue staying in contact throughout your senior year.

The International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) is one of the premier resources available for students hoping to improve their skills on the course and in the classroom. With alumni that have gone on to attend programs at Dartmouth, Texas A&M, Yale, Notre Dame, UCLA, and other schools, we have an undeniable track record in preparing our students for success.

Secure a future as a pro golfer by registering to the golf academy.

Sources

http://www.scholarshipstats.com/golf.htm

Golf Ball Landing On Grass

College Placement Timeline

One of the daunting tasks regarding the College Placement process is the timing of everything – knowing when to do what and making sure you are on the right track.

At IJGA, we begin working with our junior golfers in 9th grade. For 20 years, IJGA has placed nearly 100% of our students on college golf teams. With over $51 million golf scholarships awarded, we want to share with you the secret to our success.

Key considerations throughout the College Placement process:

  • Make sure the tournament schedule you set is the best for you to showcase your talents! Students should plan on playing events year round to stay in the best competitive state!
  • Research, Research, Research— Too often families have preconceived notions about DI vs. DII or small school versus large school – research will help you make sure you see all options available!
  • Answer every questionnaire you receive and every correspondence you receive from coaches, even if it is from a school you are not sure you are interested in.Communication is a must and you never know what school may work best for you!
  • Keep your GPA the highest you can — it may not seem important in 9thgrade, but a strong GPA shows college coaches you can balance academics and athletics! Just think of your competition. If you were competing with another student athlete for a scholarship, you both were equally great golfers, but your GPA was higher, it may just push you to the top!

We don’t want you to miss any key dates or tasks you should be completing.

Here is a sneak peak and some key thoughts for students and parents as they work through the college placement process:

9th Grade – Freshman

  • Understanding the importance of a solid GPA.
  • Research and start to understand what College Golf is all about. IJGA has a lot of resources here.

10th Grade – Sophomore

  • Begin SAT/ACT prep and/or TOEFL prep.
  • Make sure your classes are on track and following the NCAA guidelines. Check them out here.

Related Article: Check out where the IJGA Class of 2016 started their college golf careers.

11th Grade – Junior

Take the SAT/ACT and/or TOEFL

September 1st is a big date for the junior class, Coaches can begin to email prospective student athletes.

Register for the NCAA Eligibility Center

Visit college to get a feel for what is the best fit for you

12th Grade – Senior

July 1st coach can call prospective student athletes

Take official visits (5 allowed under NCAA regulations)

Evaluate your options and make a decision

Graduate! Congratulations, you are now a college bound student athlete!

Learn more about the IJGA College Placement Process.

The College Placement process, if managed correctly, should be a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun! It is a great feeling to accomplish your goal at the end and move onto College!

The Best Events to Get Noticed by College Coaches

Stand Out from the Crowd

It is a great time to be a junior golfer with a dream of playing in the college ranks. Scholarship opportunities have increased significantly over the last decade as more schools sponsor varsity level golf teams. This is a very good thing, but the competition for those spots has become tougher too. Getting noticed by college coaches is much like a tournament, so aspiring junior golfers must use the same kind of discipline and skill that helps them do well on the course to succeed.

One of the most important factors in making an impression is playing in quality tournaments to demonstrate your abilities both on and off the field. Fortunately, the number of tournaments for juniors has grown over this time period as well. This provides many more opportunities for young golfers to find the best mix of competitions to enable them to stand out from the crowd.

IJGA Top Finishers

What Are the Best Events to Play?

Success in elite junior golf tournaments will help capture the attention of college coaches, but all tournaments matter to those evaluating your potential. Build your competitive golf resume wisely – and steadily. Choose events in which you can perform well and seek to step up your competitive level only when you are ready. It is inevitable that you will have a poor first round score somewhere and feel like you should withdraw from the tournament. Resist this urge because many college golf coaches look for juniors who try to manage their rankings this way and frown on the practice. Make the best of the situation and post the best possible score you can. Coaches will be impressed by a player who demonstrates they can handle adversity and bounce back after a bad round.

Things to Look for when Choosing Tournaments to Play

An established tour that chooses collegiate or professional tour venues for their tournaments. A well run organization will also actively pursue and coordinate having coaches attend events. They will also be good at making information about players in the field easily available.

Quality of course and difficulty. The course should be set up like a collegiate event and pin placements should be like those in a collegiate competition. Boys 15-19 division should play 6,800-7,100 yards when possible and girls 15-19 should play around 6,100.

Quality of players in the field. This is perhaps the strongest indicator of the tournament’s quality. But, more than that, high level competition will bring out your best and help you grow and improve as a golfer. Coaches will also take note when you shine amongst other bright lights. They know better than anyone else that quality of performance is more than just the number you write on your card.

Highly ranked players may also want to participate in amateur or professional qualifiers to further demonstrate their abilities to college coaches. Events of this kind would include the U.S. Amateur Qualifier, the U.S. Open Local Qualifier and state amateur championships.

Know What Coaches Will Be There

Most college coaches will spend a full month every season on the road recruiting. In this time they will usually attend 10 to 12 junior tournaments as they are the ideal platform to evaluate young talent. Keep in mind, though, that coaches are at an event to look over current prospects, not necessarily find unknown players. Just hoping to be noticed randomly probably is not the best strategy. If you are thinking in terms of college recruitment, you should already have a proper golf resume and information kit assembled. Once you have this, do your homework and decide which schools you think fit well and will have available spots on the team. From there, find out which events these coaches will attend so that you can make the most of your showcase tournament performances. If you have not already made contact with a particular coach, send your resume and an informative but to-the-point letter expressing your interest and to let them know you will be competing at the event they will be attending. A thoughtful and well done presentation and letter of introduction will impress a coach; hopefully enough for them to take an interest in you.

Know What Coaches Will Be Looking For

Experienced coaches can evaluate your golf game in ten minutes. But success in competitive golf requires more than just a sweet swing. Coaches will be looking to determine both the quality of your athleticism and the quality of your character. As a coach follows prospects around the course he or she will evaluate how they present themselves, how they deal with distractions, how they react to bad breaks and how they interact with other players. A young athlete who shows resiliency when things become difficult and shows discipline and maturity will distinguish themselves in a very positive way. With this in mind, be sure to behave in a professional manner and always be courteous to everyone you encounter. Relax, play your best game and stay steady. Most importantly, be yourself and enjoy the experience.

At IJGA, we have many years of experience helping junior golfers navigate the difficult and competitive process of college recruitment. Whether you are thinking about signing your junior up for his or her first golf tournament or your child is already active on the circuit, know that tournaments provide experience and lasting memories. You can learn more about the benefits of juniors competing in tournaments, as well as tips on how to improve junior golf training by contacting the International Junior Golf Academy today at (843) 686-1500.

You may also request more information by clicking here. »

Quiz – What Schools are Right for Me?

For junior golfers, finding the best college to attend is one of the most important and difficult decisions he or she will ever face. It is a choice that will shape their future like no other. Their athletic, professional and social lives hinge on piecing together a puzzle of questions and options that ultimately lead to a successful and happy life. Such an important step deserves careful consideration, dedicated effort and enough time to create the ideal opportunity. This is a deeply personal choice as unique as the young athlete who must make it and is much more than the sum of a list of items on a piece of paper. But guidelines are a good place to begin the journey, so here are some questions that we hope will help make the process easier.

1) Am I a good fit for the team and can I contribute?

The most important aspect of a career in college athletics is what you can contribute to making the team a success. Your homework should include evaluating the current team both in regard to statistics and intangibles. Look at team size, the players and their scoring averages, rankings and recent accomplishments. Next, evaluate where you are now with your game and what it would take to be a starter on your chosen team. Would you eventually be one of the five team members who travel to compete in tournaments?

When the time comes that you feel you are ready to contact a coach about your interest in their team, you should be able to make a strong case for why you are a great choice for them relative to where the team is now and what they want to achieve. Show your knowledge of the program and of your own abilities. This sort of maturity and self-awareness is a strong selling point for experienced coaches. Be realistic and don’t oversell yourself but, by the same token, do be confident that you can deliver if given the opportunity. The bottom line here is simply go where you will get to play.

2) Will the school I choose give me a strong academic foundation for a professional career beyond competitive golf?

Golf serves two purposes for most juniors hoping to play in college. First is the goal of playing professionally after graduation and second as a vehicle to gaining a quality academic degree that will provide great options for life beyond the golf course. In light of this, the academic quality of the chosen school is of utmost importance.

What courses of study and programs does the school offer and how do they rank compared to similar institutions? Does the school have adequate academic resources available to help the student succeed? A college education is much like competitive golf in that it requires a great deal of discipline and self-determination on the part of the student. Coupled with the added requirements of athletic pursuits, day-to-day life can become difficult at times when trying to balance these challenges. So, if the student encounters difficulties in the classroom, how well does the athletic program coordinate with their academic peers to ensure the student gets the critical assistance they need to stay on track?

Other factors to consider include class size and overall size of the institution. The sheer scale of some schools can be overwhelming at first and some students perform much better in smaller classes with regular teacher interaction.

3) How much scholarship support can the school provide?

Most golf programs provide student-athletes with partial scholarships. This being the case, the total cost of getting through to graduation is a significant factor for the hopeful athlete. Families should carefully compare options available for your preferred schools to determine the best, most realistic options. A 40 percent scholarship to a smaller school might be more manageable financially than a 50 percent golf scholarship to a more expensive school. The latter might be a much better fit academically, though, and would thus be well worth the difference. The same is often true in reverse and the smaller school might reveal itself to be both more affordable and a superior academic performer in the student’s chosen field of study. Diligent research here can pay tremendous dividends in the long run.

4) Does this school have the methodology and resources to help me move on to the professional level?

If your primary goal is to strengthen your game enough to move into professional competition after graduation, have you found the program that can do the most to help you get there? Evaluate the team’s stature, their facilities, athletic budget and tournament schedule. Do they play in a competitive conference? How have alumni fared on the professional circuits? Does the coach’s teaching style and personality fit my learning style? Compatibility here can make or break your long term hopes. The right coach at the right time has given many successful professionals the boost they needed to realize their full potential.

Remember that professional golfers emerge from schools both big and small. Quality is independent of size in most cases.

5) Is the school’s location a bonus or a potential drawback?

This factor in the school equation is usually the least significant and the most subjective based on the student’s personal preferences.

Is the campus located in the heart of a large urban area or tucked away in rural spot miles from any major city? Are security issues a problem? Are there extremes in climate that might be too uncomfortable? How easily can the student travel to and from home?

Attending a school in a location that is new and unusual could be a great opportunity for personal growth or a severe hindrance if the student finds it too difficult. This is a great intangible and in person visits become important as you near a final decision. The school’s strengths in the other factors under consideration weigh heavily in comparison to location when finding the best balance. The right school might be across the street or across the continent.

As you study the details of each school that initially sparks your interest, you will come to realize that there is seldom one “perfect” choice for junior golfers hoping to play in the collegiate ranks. A bit of thoughtful research will help find the best combination of the factors that are most important to you and enable you to create your own unique “best fit” for your student-athlete.

The experience of attending an elite golf boarding school is much like a college program and will dramatically increase both the chance of playing college golf and the quality of schools available. 92% of IJGA graduates have gone on to play golf at some of the finest institutions in the world. Click Here >> to request more information about IJGA and our world-class junior golf instructional programs and college placement services. Your future begins here.

IJGA to Professional Golf: A Road Map

Dreams do Come True

But it takes a lot of work. A lot of work. The quest to play golf at the professional level is one that requires a lifetime of commitment, dedication and sacrifice that few can muster. It is a journey that is more complicated than it seems on the surface, and some simple insights into the process can serve as a valuable road map that may help outline the best route to a successful career. For most junior golfers, the best way to that goal is a measured, thoughtful approach that enables steady growth into full potential.

Junior Golf: Academies Pave the Way

Whether your junior golfer has been playing for many years or is relatively new to the game, attending an elite golf boarding school will dramatically increase both the chance of playing college golf and the quality of schools available. For those who pass through the halls of the International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA), the dream of a professional career becomes more real, and the road somewhat easier. Nearly all of our students receive scholarships to the top collegiate golf programs in the United States.

IJGA functions much like a college program with its elite academics, world-class golf training and relentless pursuit of excellence. Emphasizing both intensive athletic training and scholastic achievement through the nationally accredited Heritage Academy, IJGA has produced some of the finest young athletes playing golf today. IJGA’s Stewart Hagestad made golf history at this year’s Masters Tournament, becoming the only Mid-Amateur champion to ever make the cut and then went on to earn the coveted Silver Cup awarded the low amateur.

Receiving the proper type and quality of instruction at the high school level is critical to future success. Our innovative coaching staff provides programs of instruction tailored to each student’s abilities and needs as opposed to a “one size fits all” style. The team guides every student down a unique path that seeks to create a finely-tuned balance of physical skill, mental acuity and upstanding character.

IJGA prepares junior golfers for all of the aspects of competitive play as well as life beyond the golf course. By the time they graduate, our student-athletes are well prepared to compete in the college and professional ranks.

College Golf: Expressway to Success

Playing golf in college serves two purposes for the ambitious athlete. First is gaining invaluable training and high level tournament experience which is much like the professional ranks without having to go it alone. Those who forego college must manage the financial and strategic requirements of improving enough to qualify for a professional tour on their own. At this stage in the learning process, the costs and logistics can be daunting. In 2017, competing on a developmental tour such as the Web.Com Tour costs at a minimum $75,000 per year and the PGA Tour about $110,000. Add to this the need to organize travel, room and board, hiring a caddy and coaches, tour memberships and tournament qualifying and registrations, and it becomes a massive undertaking for the individual. In college, the young golfer gains quality instruction, physical and mental training, thousands of hours of practice and the afore mentioned competitive experience without the same burdens.

The second positive aspect of playing golf in college is gaining a quality academic degree. This will provide great options for life beyond the golf course and often also helps with the pursuit itself. Many who take the college route earn degrees that help manage the various aspects of making the way to the pro ranks.

Simply said, the college path to professional golf delivers excellent return on investment.

Making it on Tour: Avoiding Potholes

Making the move into the professional world is a learning process just like junior and collegiate golf and it requires patience and mental toughness.

The PGA’s qualifying school, or “Q-School,” used to be a direct path to the premier level, but, since 2013, has become an entryway to the Web.com tour which is the developmental arena for the PGA Tour. IJGA’s Richy Werenski earned his way onto the PGA Tour this way. The LPGA qualifying school is more like the traditional format featuring escalating qualifying tournaments. IJGA alumna Stephanie Meadow won her LPGA Tour card via the Final Qualifying Tournament. The vast majority of golfers will require significant seasoning to be ready for this step.

Obviously the ultimate goal is playing on the PGA or LPGA Tour, but most everyone entering the pro circuit will start in more humble venues. The first professional tier features various mini-tours that host events around the country that require entry fees and offer modest prize money. At this level only the most successful players will win enough to do more than cover their expenses, so the emphasis is on gaining experience and moving up to a higher tour.

As professional golf has continued to expand over the last thirty years, more of these developmental tours have emerged to accommodate the increased demand. Today there are more than twenty professional golf tours, each run by a professional golfer’s association or an independent tour organization which is responsible for arranging events, finding sponsors, and regulating tour play. Competitive play in these venues is tough and finding the right entry-level tour as a road to the top requires some study and self-evaluation as the choice will be different for everyone. Examining past statistics and results of the various tours along with other personal intangibles will help in finding the right place to begin.

Moving into the highest ranks takes years for most players who succeed, so managing the costs of navigating the lower tier tours is an important factor to consider. As mentioned before, the expenses are considerable and it takes time to reach a point where tournament earnings eclipse costs. Taking the college route pays dividends here as opportunities to earn a living outside of tournament golf support the drive to continue playing and moving up the ladder. With some success on the course may come opportunities for sponsorships to aid in defraying expenses and some players even sell shares in their future potential in the manner of a stock offering. Navigating the byways to a successful career in golf benefits from creative thinking.

The road to the world of professional golf is unique for every ambitious individual who aspires to achieve the dream. Careful consideration of the many options available will help make it easier and more attainable. Study the road map carefully to find the right path for you.

Click Here >> to request more information about IJGA and our world-class junior golf instructional programs and college placement services. Dreams begin here.