Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
Did you know that there were almost 25 million golfers that showed up in 2020? That number might not mean much – but it was over half a million more than the year prior. Golfing was breaking all sorts of records during the pandemic.
For those looking to further their golf career in college, you might be wondering how to get a golf scholarship. Keep reading to learn more about how college athletes can get financial aid for golf.
How to Get a Golf Scholarship in 2022
Scholarships differ slightly between men and women for college golf programs. However, for both genders, it is important that you not only have an exceptional golfing game but that you take note of your academics.
There are a few routes where you can get funded and receive financial aid for golf. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) funds golf scholarships for both males and females in Division I and Division II college programs. In this scenario, scholarships are much more limited.
Getting a golf scholarship with this route caps out at around 2,000 scholarships for the nation in an entire year. This cap only includes full scholarships; some coaches opt to split the scholarship money to provide more spots on the team.
Missing out on an NCAA scholarship doesn’t have to be the end of the world. There are plenty of other avenues that many people overlook. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) provides financial aid and golf scholarships for high school students with smaller schools or divisions.
If you are interested in giving yourself the best chances of getting a golf scholarship through the NCAA then make sure you register on their clearinghouse before applying.
Universities and colleges are expensive, and scholarship opportunities help curb the cost. Not only does this allow you to get an education at little to no cost, but you will also be able to enjoy a sport you love!
There are a few other lesser-recognized scholarships that you can always try shooting for. An example of this is the Bill Dickey Scholarship Association. The organization’s main focus is to reward student-athletes of minority groups.
Additionally, students can receive up to $3,500 in scholarship aid for up to four years at a university or college. Other minority golf scholarships include the AT&T Pebble Beach Junior Golf Association Scholarship, awarded to students looking to go to a four-year university.
Women’s Scholarship Opportunities
In 2020, a new rule change allowed females with golf scholarships to apply for more financial aid as long as they qualify. This rule change opens the door for women participating in golf programs to receive further additional aid.
Golf works a bit differently in that only the top five players will travel to tournaments. While you might secure a spot on the team, you will want to compete with the top players to earn the highest scholarship award.
Many high school tournaments are only nine holes, so make sure you build your profile by attending sanctioned events where you can play 18 holes. Finally, don’t neglect your GPA or grades – schools will still look at high academics for admission.
If you are interested in D1 scholarships, you should aim for the mid-70s on your scorecard and look into frequently competing in national tournaments that span multiple days.
Men’s Scholarship Opportunities
Men’s golf scholarships are also difficult to achieve. Coaches will usually pick the top golfers on the team to provide them with scholarships. With a ten roster team, this limits the number of scholarships available, especially at the higher D1 level.
Some coaches use an algorithm to average their top golfers’ scores and then base their recruits off of that range. Not all colleges look at this – but it helps some universities or colleges narrow down their choice. You should aim for a score in the low 70s on a 6,600-yard golf course at the minimum.
Just like females getting a golf scholarship, males will have more competition in attempting to obtain a D1 scholarship and should participate in multiple nationally recognized tournaments.
The same advice follows for men – don’t neglect your studies! The NCAA eligibility forms online will require the submission of transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. The better grades and SAT or ACT scores you have, the more opportunities for scholarships will be present.
Do the scores you get on your final tally really matter? And if so – how much? For D1 schools, you should be aiming for 65 to 75 for men and 66 to 78 for women.
Yes – these scores matter!
The majority of coaches at this level of play will be comparing your score versus their current athletes. If you don’t rank high enough, it doesn’t matter if you have a great golf swing or stellar grades. They want to make sure you can keep up with the traveling team.
If you are just starting out or not quite to that level yet, then don’t worry. Division III colleges provide a bit more flexibility on scoring. It ranges from 68 to 80 for men and 70 to 92 for women. Keep honing in that golf swing, and you will catch the eye of more colleges or universities.
Get Out There
The biggest piece of advice for improving your chances on how to get a golf scholarship is to get out there and play. Many coaches won’t actively seek you out for a scholarship.
That means you need to put in the work of creating a profile, registering for high-profile tournaments, and, most importantly – practice!
For all of your golf obsession needs, make sure you check out our site for relevant advice and to check in with the latest golfing news.