Camps vs. Tournaments
Everybody knows that playing golf tournaments is a useful and proven way to improve your game, increase your ranking, and ultimately get noticed by college coaches. What you might not realize is that tournaments come with a number of limitations…mainly restricted access to coaches and minimal guarantees. Camps are designed to not only fill these gaps, but provide added value in a variety of other ways. Camps should not be seen as a replacement for tournaments, but rather as a supplement for players looking to increase their exposure and build better relationships with college coaches.
Camps deliver a unique opportunity to…
- Meet and engage with college coaches in a casual environment
- Get evaluated in practice and throughout 36 holes of competition
- Receive skill instruction from top college coaches
- Learn about the recruiting process and what it’s like to play college golf
- Have your questions answered by college coaches
Parents frequently ask us when their junior golfer should start participating in camps. While camps deliver guaranteed value for any junior golfer, there are specific benefits at different ages that we think you should know about.
Juniors and Seniors will benefit most from…
- Exposure to coaches that might have overlooked you
- Guaranteed evaluation by every coach
- Learning how each coach communicates and teaches the game to help inform your final decision
- Learn the ins and outs of college golf before you get there
Freshmen, Sophomores, and middle schoolers will benefit most from…
- Building relationships with coaches who you otherwise wouldn’t be able to talk to per NCAA rules – Before June 15 after your sophomore year, camps are the only permissible opportunity to engage with coaches
- Get on coaches’ radar before they start making their short list for your class
- Learn good techniques and practice habits to prepare for college golf
- Learn about the recruiting process before it’s too late
Tournaments have historically been the best way to prove yourself to coaches since competitive scores are the most important factor they will consider. Tournaments will…
- Sharpen your skills in a competitive environment
- Establish your national ranking (Junior Golf Scoreboard, Golfweek, WAGR, etc.)
- Let coaches see how you perform under pressure
- Allow coaches to evaluate your record against other players they may be considering
These are all great reasons to play tournaments and we encourage juniors to play as many tournaments as possible. That said, we think you should know that there are very few guarantees here…
- The coaches you are hoping to see might not be there
- Even if your favorite coach is there, they’re probably watching other players and might not see much your your round
- Coaches aren’t allowed to talk to you or your parents during the round – they can set up a time to talk after each round but these meetings are usually reserved for players that they already have significant interest in
When you hear “college golf workouts” you probably think stretching, bands, and body weight exercises. While this is true in some cases, most teams go far beyond this.
Every team is different, but expect some combination of qualifying, play days, and structured team practice. This is a good question to ask coaches as you begin your recruiting conversations.
The terms “committing” and “signing” are often used interchangeably to describe accepting an offer to play for a university, but they are not the same. Each comes with it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages that we think you should know about.
Playing tournaments is not just a great way to become a better player, it’s also the best way to increase your “stock” in the eyes of college golf coaches. The truth is, coaches don’t really care what you shoot in practice rounds or even what your handicap is…they want to see tournament results!
Getting in touch with a college golf coach can be tricky. Not only is their schedule very demanding, but every year they have hundreds of players from each recruiting class vying for their attention. With so much competition, how do you stand out from the crowd?
A college golf resume is your opportunity to make a good first impression and communicate the critical information that coaches are looking for.