For anyone who wants to pursue college golf in the US, Golf Digest India lists out a few simple steps to get you going.
As students in India approach 12th grade, parents and students together start planning colleges and fields of study to pursue. For those with ambitions of studying abroad and looking to pursue golf at the same time, the U.S.A. is quite often a popular destination of choice. In doing so, scholarships, funding & tuition waivers are keywords on your radar. How do you approach the admissions process and even better, how do you swing a golf scholarship in your favor to help you fund your education? Golf Digest India lists out a few simple steps to help you begin the process.
Step 1- Identify your major field of study & shortlist colleges
It is important to identify your field of interest and what you wish to pursue academically. This determines your University choices and where you may attend college. Every college golf program has certain academic requirements as well. It requires you to maintain a certain Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Spend some time to identify your preferences.
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Step 2- Identify golf programs
Once you have shortlisted colleges from an academic standpoint, look into their athletics program to determine their golf team & roster. US colleges have various divisions for athletics i.e. NCAA Div 1, NCAA Div 2, NCAA Div 3 and so on. Div 1 schools are obviously on the radar of the most talented golfers but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t make a golfing career coming out of a lesser-ranked college.
Step 3- Contact golf coaches
Once you have shortlisted the colleges that offer the right blend of academics and golf to suit your profile, start contacting the coaches. Coaches are the best source of information for the golf program and will help you realize the various steps involved in team selection.
Step 4- Play tournaments that matter
Based on feedback from the golf coaches, you must identify the tournaments in India and around the world that you should participate in to help you gain amateur ranking points for your golf scholarship. This goes a long way in obtaining a scholarship and also making it to a top college golf team.
Step 5- Stay in touch with the coaches
Stay in constant touch with the coaches and update them on your performance. Feedback from them is very important and also building a rapport goes a long way. You may choose one college now, but once you are there you may still look to transfer to another college after your first year. The coaches play a big part in this decision.
Step 6- Take the entrance tests – SAT & TOEFL
Ensure you have scrutinized the admission procedures for the college and begin your preparations for SAT and TOEFL early on. Most American colleges have an ‘Early Decision’ which greatly benefits international students with academic scholarships. This coupled with a golf scholarship can ensure a nearly free education. Of course, all this depends on your academic track record and entrance test scores.
Step 7- Set deadlines
Set clear deadlines for your applications and follow them diligently. You can also avail the services of numerous admission and guidance counselors across India. There are several of repute which can be found in a simple web search. We hope this helps you begin the process.