As the time of year when both seniors and juniors are making their college decisions, I wanted to talk a little about the battle between this being the player’s decision but also knowing what may be best for her in the future that she just can’t see at the moment.
One of the toughest parts about this process is the desire many girls have to attend a highly ranked academic school and/or big athletic program, but their golf resume just not being strong enough for those particular schools. While there are scholarships that do go unused, when it comes to a certain “type” of school, there just aren’t enough spots for the number of girls who want them. So the decision sometimes comes down to attending the school she desires without playing golf vs attending the less desirable school with the golf program that fits. And in some cases, I have had it be the opposite where the parents had the higher expectations for the “type” of school for their daughter, whereas she simply just wanted to go somewhere to play golf.
There are certainly pros and cons to both and as a big college sports fan and top academic student, with the goal of playing college golf, I understand the desire many girls have to attend certain schools. I also understand the parents’ desire to have their daughters attend certain schools as well, especially if they are covering any of the costs. The answer to this decision isn’t the same for every girl, but there is one piece of advice for every scenario, be willing to keep your options open and see the bigger picture.
A few things I tell some of my parents and girls when they get to this part of the process and are having a hard time.
- You can always decide later that college golf isn’t for you if the school ends up not being what you want it to be. If you know a school may not be ideal but you have the opportunity to play college golf then at least give it a chance. You can always go to the bigger state schools but you can’t decide later that you want to play college golf.
- The connections, relationships, and experiences you develop and build as a college athlete almost always outweigh attending a school as just a regular student. This is certainly not always the case, but it’s typically a scenario that is hard to argue against when you take all things into consideration.
- If you plan to go to grad school then you can have that bigger college atmosphere at that point and play golf at an undergrad school that is smaller.
- If attending a particular school means going into debt whereas you may have an opportunity to receive substantial financial aid somewhere else and still play college golf consider that for the future. The stress of paying off debt post-college is not an ideal situation, especially if you want to go to grad school.
- Don’t feel like you have to sacrifice your academic goals just to play golf because that is what everyone thinks you should do. If you truly want the academic experience and you can’t find that with the golf then it’s ok that you choose that route. Just own it and make your time in college what you want it to be.
The chance to play college golf is a rare and very unique one for girls. So if there is any way to find the right balance and come to an agreement on what will be the best for her future then do what you can to make that happen.
If you are near the end of the process or just getting started and seeking guidance then please don’t hesitate to reach out and we can find a session or service that fits your needs to ensure you get that support.