What to expect in College Golf

Well, college has started back up among the hundreds of colleges and universities all across the United States. With that comes the college sports programs. Of course, our favorite sport, Golf, typically contains both a fall and spring regime. I am not 100% sure on whether women’s golf does both fall and spring, but I know many men’s golf teams do.

Evansville’s Golf Team has a fall and spring schedule for men’s golf.

Playing college golf is a much different beast then high school golf. One reason is your personal schedule.

In high school golf, you are stuck having a practice at the same time everyday after class and then going home and doing homework.

In college golf, everyone’s class schedules are different, so typically there are multiple practice times that players can choose. You also have the consideration of campus activities, whether or not you’re in a fraternity, homework, possible job, and many other distractions that you may or may not find while in high school.

For me personally, I had all my classes done by 1pm or 2pm everyday so I could get out for a 3pm practice. You would also have weekend practices many times playing a qualifier in order to compete in upcoming invitationals.

I would say my class schedule rivaled that of a typically high school time frame because of the practice, but many students choose to spread out their schedule which leaves little time for practice. Many people may have classes at 4pm or even 6pm, which falls dead in with team practice time. However, those particular players have to get their daily practice done in the early morning or early afternoon.

36 holes

The biggest transition, in terms of tournaments, that I faced in college was the grueling 36 hole days. This is the arena that I feel where golf IS A SPORT. I don’t consider golf a sport for those who travel around in a golf cart for 18 holes picking up hot dogs and a coke at the turn.

In college, IT’S A SPORT!

So, in the fall months, you sometimes spend 8 hours on the road traveling to your golf destination. Then, you have to get up at 5:30am, get to the course by 6:30am, tee off at 7:30am (walking) and you may not finish the round until 6pm that night. Combine those days with rainy weather or 90° days, and by the time you get back to the hotel, you are ready for bed.

In high school, you typically would play 9 holes after school (assuming light only allowed you 9 holes) and then on Saturdays, you would play an 18 hole invitational.

For me, tournaments in college consisted of 54 holes. 36 on the first day, 18 on the 2nd day.

In college, it becomes VERY important to get on a workout plan. Many teams have a workout schedule they follow. You don’t always get this in high school. With college golf, there is more pressure, higher level of competition, more responsibilities, and longer practice hours. The NCAA has rules set that don’t allow teams to practice more then 4 hours, but on an individual basis, you can practice all you want.

When signing onto a college golf team, just realize that there is MORE expected out of you, not just on an athletic basis, but an academic basis. You have more responsibilities since you are now living without your parents, more time constraints, longer nights due to homework, and then trying not to get in trouble assuming you have joined a fraternity or sorority (if you are a girl reading this :))

I personally would guard against joining a fraternity if you plan on playing college golf. Reason I say this is because often times, the fraternity becomes more of a priority then the golf team. From personal experience, those that joined a fraternity at the University of Evansville AND were on the golf team found themselves no longer in the top 5 and playing tournaments. This was not a decision by the coach, but merely a decline in the quality of play among these specific players. They would routinely get outplayed when it came to practice and qualifiers.

College golf is awesome and I would love to do it again (but I can’t). It’s a blast if you allow it to become a blast. Road trips, hotels, tournaments, etc… Were all great times especially with teammates that you get along with.

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