How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?

A multisport background in high school is a positive!

Junior golfers and their parents often wonder how college golf coaches perceive recruits who compete in other high school sports. Several questions come to mind that I have been asked:

  • Does a coach prefer junior golfers to be focused exclusively on competitive golf?
  • If our junior golfer plays another sport, will it help or potentially hurt his/her candidacy?
  • Should we be worried about limitations on golf practice time or the potential for injuries?
  • Is there a point in time during my son or daughter’s high school career that it would be wise to stop playing another sport?

Let me provide some thoughts based on my experience as a former Division I head coach and current advisor to junior golf families pursuing college golf.

For starters, it’s important to understand several of the key attributes coaches value as they research and interview recruits. Beyond golf scores and academic credentials, coaches like high school golfers who possess a good level of physical fitness and athleticism. This makeup signals the capacity to hit the ball far and adapt well to a college golf fitness regimen. Gutsy, mentally resilient kids who thrive in competitive environments are also a preference. Additionally, because a competitive yet encouraging team culture is crucial to the success of a golf program, coaches are seeking junior golfers who compete to win, set a good example, and build up teammates; they want incoming team members to strengthen the camaraderie of the group. Coaches know the traits I’ve mentioned usually translate into personal success for new college student-athletes and enhance the effectiveness of their golf teams.

So, you can see why coaches would feel it is a positive for junior golfers to be involved in team sports. This sports diversity prepares them for the college environment and can be an attractive bonus for any junior golfer’s candidacy as a recruit. Of course, playing high school golf certainly builds the qualities coaches like to see, but involvement in other sports can offer an extra benefit. For instance, the players on a basketball team must work together in a much more dynamic way during games to create success for the group. Because of this dynamic, participation in basketball (or baseball, lacrosse, soccer, to name a few) imprints even more deeply the importance of teamwork, fitness, mental toughness, and competitive desire. Coaches will appreciate and respect the heightened level of experience in these areas.

With many personal growth and recruiting benefits for junior golfers who participate in team sports outside of golf, are there downsides? Well, the extra demands on time may limit the opportunities for golf practice after school or on weekends. Having said that, college coaches do not expect junior golfers to play an intensive tournament schedule during the school year (maybe one event per month or less), so taking a break from competitive golf and containing golf practice to just a few hours per week can still work. Plus, this schedule may be a good way to get mentally refreshed for golf when it ramps up into full focus.

Perhaps the biggest downside to be mindful of is “high impact” sports (football, hockey, or similar), which may bring an increased likelihood of severe injuries. Kids will be kids, so I’m not suggesting they should stop competing in such sports due to fear of injury. But, if a junior golfer is keen on positioning for college golf opportunities, it would be wise to consider playing high impact sports during the earlier years of high school and curtailing involvement after sophomore year or early junior year. This approach will improve the odds of a junior golfer being healthy and injury free going into the spring, summer, and fall after junior year, usually the important final stretch of the recruiting process for most prospects.

Participation in other sports can definitely add to a junior player’s candidacy in the pursuit of college golf. So, if you’re involved in that special “other” sport, keep on playing, or consider getting started in a new sport today! It can be a great way to make yourself into a more valuable teammate in the eyes of your future college coach.

To your success,

nicky goetze


Parents and Junior Golfers New to Going to College? Start Here!

Are You Prepared to Pursue College Golf?

Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players

    How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?
    When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches?
    When Should Junior Golf Prospects Expect to Receive Offers from College Coaches?
    Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics?
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"

    What Can You Learn from College Golf’s Post-Season Championships?
    How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?
    How Do I Know Which Schools Are “Best Fits” for Me?
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”?
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges?
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary?
    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf?
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit?
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College

    How Do College Coaches Determine Who Makes the Traveling Squad: Qualifying Rounds, Coach’s Selection, or a Combination of Both?
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part One
    Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to Redshirt?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf

    Do You Know the Rules of Amateur Status?
    What Academic Habits Are Essential for a High School Student-Athlete?
    Are There Benefits to Playing on a High School Golf Team?
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible

    Are You Being an Effective Self-Advocate?
    With spring around the corner, am I staying active in the college recruiting process?
    What Should Junior Golfers Do Before Their High School Years To Start Pursuing College Golf?
    How Can Golf Recruits Maximize Visibility Among College Coaches?
    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
    Will Playing AJGA Events Increase My Chances of Earning a College Scholarship?
    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1

Recruiting & Scholarships

    Can My Social Media Activity Affect How I am Recruited? UPDATED June 30, 2017
    Are You Prepared to Pursue College Golf?
    How Should I Respond When a Coach Makes an Offer?
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit?
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process?
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI?
    What is a Full Scholarship?