For the last article in this series, I am going to take 2022 recruits and younger and share some advice to them as a whole. While there are certainly some 2022 recruits and 2023 recruits who have started the process, those are more of the exception so I am going to share my advice based more on the majority of girls at this stage.
If you are a 2022 or younger recruit, here are a few pieces of advice:
- There are soo many stages that a young girl can be at with her commitment level, size, strength, and golf experience during these earlier years. Yes, because the process does still start early you need to start to think about your future plans as you get closer to being a high school student, but don’t let it take the fun out of the game.
- The game needs to still be fun but as you move into later years of middle school it needs to become more competitive and serious if you have goals to play at a higher level and move on to a competitive program in college.
- If you want to just continue to play and have fun with it, that’s ok too, just keep in mind that if you do change your mind later you may not have the time to reach your goals for playing at the next level.
- Make sure you have an instructor/coach who understands your goals and knows how to help you reach them. You need someone who will teach you ALL aspects of the game from swing to short game, wedge work to putting, course management to rules, practice drills to practice rounds. If not, take it upon yourself to learn these things by attending a short game school, go see a mental coach, study the rule book, research good practice drills.
- Attend golf camps at the universities you are most interested in and take the opportunity to connect with the coach while you are there.
- Progress your way through junior golf tourneys, don’t try to make big jumps because you hear you should be playing certain events. This is a process that is different for everyone. Win local small tourneys first, starting playing local 2-day tourneys, then move to 2-3 day state events, then to more regional tour events and eventually national tournaments.
- If you are a top ranked 8th or 9th grader, then you can put together a resume and send some emails out to coaches that you are interested in. They are actively starting to identify the top-ranked players in those classes as they make their way to that recruiting class. Make sure you include your swing or high school coaches contact info or a 3rd party reference because that is the only way he/she can contact you in return. Get your upcoming schedule to the coaches, they need to know where you are playing if you want to increase your odds of them coming out to watch you. You have to make yourself visible and show that you are playing and working hard.