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I have only been playing for a couple years and I have seen improvement but my scores don't show it. I really want to play college golf but I am running out of time in high school (one year left). Do you think it is possible for me to play college golf and how does the process work (after I get better).
It is possible to play at most D-3 schools. All you have to do is email the coach and ask when tryouts are. Show up and bring your a game and you will most likely make the team. If you have the chance to break 80 every time you are out, making the team shouldn't be too difficult.
Look at your county/regional high school golf tournaments and look at the scores for the top third. That's the target scoring you'll need for about anywhere that has more trying out than can be on the team. That's your goal for the coming year. Everybody wants to practice bombing a driver, but you will need to focus on 150 yards and in, especially pitching/chipping, bunkers, and putting. There's no shortage of statistics on ...an average score of 80 will have 30-32 putts, 90 will have 34-36.... The average amateur is 22 feet from the hole on an approach shot, the pro is 12-15 feet, the pro one putts 80% at 6-8 fee, the amateur is 50%... and so forth. All you really need from your driver is in the fairway.
Once you get on a college team, you will be working out year round, so get started now.
Have fun, and follow Tony's recommendations, and if you are under 80, try some division 2 schools, as well.
HOpe this helps. I played at Chapman University back in 1995 and had some scholarships to ASU back in '92. It's not much but I have had some experience with the process even if it was twenty years ago. In any event, I think most student-athletes, well-intentioned as they may be and with understandable excitement, at times fail to do all their homework about teh universities they are applying too. What I'm trying to say is, before you begin doing an email or letter "blast" to a bunch of different colleges (not saying you are, but hopefully this proves good food for thought for you) make sure to do your research with regard to the university's admissions standards and golf team ranking.
I say this in order to only help make your process in finding the right school and the opportunity to play golf a more enjoyable experience. So, my humble opinion is that before you begin writing letters to golf coaches, my suggestion would be first to make sure that your academic profile matches (somewhat-ish) that of the school you desire to play for. For the main fact that you might build a great rapport with the coach, move down the process of a personal try-out (or something along those lines), but then if your academics don't match the school, all those letters, phone calls and time have gone to waste.
My second recommendation would be to only contact those schools in which you have a realistic 60% chance of playing on the team. I might even concentrate on the teams top three players to give you a rough idea. A helpful place for you to look would be to check out Golfstat.com to help you research various team's tournament placements and national rankings.
Once you nail down 5 to ten colleges you are qualified for, then I would contact the golf coach and introduce yourself, albeit through a letter or phone call and tell him your intentions and why you would like to play there. I would also do all of this during your junior year. (Keep the letter brief, to the point, and cordial - you can say it best with less. And the more likely it will be read).
And finally, I might even grab your iphone (just saw this awesome instruction on how to video your swing from Michael on the Golf Channel) and video some of your swing. Make sure the video represents a good dozen or so swings form various positions.
Lastly, hang in there and stay positive. Don't allow yourself to get "bummed" when a coach doesn't respond back. They could hundreds of letters and scholarship requests on their "desk" so to speak. Be persistent, work hard on honing your game, stay patient, and don't give up. You'll do just fine and be playing collegiate golf in no time.
Just my two cents but hope it was helpful if even a little,
I was in the same boat as you are a couple of years ago I ended up going to a community college first and playing their. I ended up playing in two national tournaments in the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association). After I was done two year playing limit cause it was a two year school I had offers from D3 schools. That might be a good way to go.