Step 10 – Tournament scheduling
AMERICAN JR. GOLF ASSOCIATION vs. STATE TOURS vs. LOCAL TOURS
Despite what most state wide junior tours will advertise, the AJGA is the best junior tour to gain exposure to college coaches. The AJGA can be a very complicated process for parents that have never experienced the junior golf process. There are different levels of tournaments, with the “Open events” and “Majors” receiving most of the attention of NCAA D1 golf programs. You will see on average, one dozen D1 college coaches at these events, depending on the event and location. Coaches prefer to watch these events, because you will be playing against future collegiate players on better quality golf courses compared to state and local junior tours.
Junior golfers need to start entering the first level AJGA events early (age 13) in order to gain “performance stars” to earn their way into top level events and gain optimal exposure to coaches.
STATE/ REGIONAL TOURS
Based on the junior golfers specific situation, it might be best for them to play regional or state wide junior tours. These tours would be similar to the Texas Junior Golf Tour or Junior Golf of Arizona. These events provide great competition, which help you gain experience against quality players. Some of these tours can be nearly the same price as AJGA events, but do not have the benefits of exposure like the AJGA. Although you will save traveling costs if they host a tournament in your hometown.
Local and regional college coaches will attend these events on a regular basis. Most of them will be smaller schools, who have limited recruiting budgets and need to recruit regionally or close to campus. Yes, most colleges have a small recruiting budget! That’s why it is vital for you to take the PROACTIVE APPROACH and reach out to these college coaches!
LOCAL JUNIOR TOURS
Golf tournaments close to home are vital to players at any level. For the most experienced player, local tournaments are a great opportunity to get experience posting low scores and learning how to win. We would recommend filling in off weeks with local tournaments to give yourself extra tournament reps and become a better player. These tours would include your local Junior PGA Tours, such as the South Texas PGA Junior Series.
For the junior golfer that is new to competition, these are a great way to gain experience of tournament golf at a cost effective price.
FINAL TIP: Maintain Ongoing Follow-up
Now that you have done all the legwork to be recruited, it is important to keep up with these coaches. And the importance of follow-up cannot be overemphasized. Remember that you have invested much time and energy into this process and you want that to pay off in the end.
You must continue to follow-up with phone calls to coaches – at least one time per week until you talk to a coach and schedule a plan of action – and then maintain regular contact with the coach during that plan both my phone and via email until the day you sign your National Letter of Intent.
Find any reason to follow up with a coach!
- Topics for follow up:
- Congratulate them on team accomplishments
- Update them after tournaments (update them after good and bad tournaments, they don’t want to just hear about when you’re playing great!) When you play poorly, let them know what you learned. You learn more from your failures than your accomplishments!
Because unexpected circumstances arise throughout the recruiting process, this step will provide you the capability to re-evaluate schools as necessary and to follow-up on questions coaches may ask regarding recruiting trips and other matters.
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! KEEP FOLLOWING THIS SYSTEM AND YOU WILL OPEN UP ALL THE DOORS FOR PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF!