As junior golfers my sister, Taylor, and I visited almost 10 schools across the country. We knew we both wanted to play golf at the same school so with that in mind, we went on our visits together. We were so excited to begin our recruiting process as playing college golf was what we had worked for since we began at 8 and 9 years old. There were a few factors of the recruiting process that we didn't know about and some things we were glad we knew. Im going to give you a few tips to make sure you get a spot on your dream team!
1. Plan your visits in bulk
I really recommend taking a few visits in a row. We did this and would visit 2-3 schools back to back. I feel like this allowed me to remember the feeling I had when I walked on each campus. It was fresh in my mind and I was able to compare the 2-3 schools and note the things I liked or disliked.
2. Always be realistic and upfront
You should be realistic about your abilities when visiting a school. For example, your dream school may be a Division 1 SEC school but if you will struggle to make the traveling lineup, it may be in your best interest to play at a smaller program where you can compete; depending on your individual goals. You should be upfront with the coach when discussing this. Ask where they see you fitting on the team, their qualifying procedures and opportunities to earn a spot on the traveling team.
3. Make sure you like the school; even if you weren't playing golf
I attended Clemson University. Although I didn’t graduate as a student athlete, I still envision myself going back to Clemson to get my degree. I loved the campus, dorm location, student life and experience. Don’t select your school based on the coach, or because your friends play on the team. Those factors can easily change or go away so you want to make your decision based on the school that best fits your needs. It is important to consider your priorities whether thats academics, greek life, athletic facilities, or student life.
4. Pay Attention
When looking back at my recruiting experience and after talking with a few college coaches- most of them have a main goal of gauging your interest. Not only your interest in the school you are visiting but your interest in golf, academics, and ability to communicate. In most cases, your visit is the coaches' first time getting to know your personality off the golf course. They are watching every little move you make. Stay away from things like being on your phone. Although you may not intend for it to; it comes across as if you are uninterested. Make eye contact, ask questions and be engaged! Make sure the coaches understand you are taking the visit seriously.
Overall, I would suggest having a plan and setting goals for what you want to get out of each visit. Take a notebook of questions or concerns if you need to. This will ensure you are making the most of each visit and you don't forget to ask those important questions. I also suggest following up with a thank you letter. It will really go a long way!