Not going to lie, this is a difficult post to write and I’ve been trying to figure out why I put it off. I think the reason is because so many girls have a great college golf experience. There are a lot that don’t but I guess it’s just understood that you don’t talk about it. It was a big part of my life and I’m not saying everything was horrible but overall I’m left with wanting to move past and forget my college years. So I figured that I’d write about my experience a little bit to shed some light on a college golf career that didn’t go as planned, just in case there is someone out there having a tough time. Or even to help high school golfers do their due diligence before they commit to a school.
The first college I went to, a Division 1, I loved the campus, loved the college courses, I enjoyed spending time with my teammates. The school put a large emphasis on school work, we were required to do 10 hours of study room work in the athletic department. All great things. By the end of my freshman year, I was unhappy with the golf program though. We had inconsistent practice and scheduling. No workouts the entire year. I was playing some of my worst golf and I was ready to move on and try a different fit.
I decided to transfer to another school that had Division 2 college golf team so I didn’t have to sit out the year.
The team was a winning team and it seemed like the players were doing well and after my interview with the team, I was ready to play. I would say my first year and a half was good for the most part. My team got along, I’d made friends. The campus was a commuter school so I got to stay at home. We had consistent, and tough workouts. We had what I thought were great practices. And we won!
As I approached the end of my junior year, things started to get a little rocky. My coach and I weren’t really on good terms. I attribute it to a few things from my work outside of the golf program to develop as a player, and personal differences. My senior year I made the tough personal decision to graduate in the winter, only playing my Fall senior semester.
In both instances, I approached the athletic directors of both schools and told them why I was leaving so it was clear. I made the best choices, consulting my family along the way, that I thought I could. And I still stand by those decisions today.
So no, I didn’t have an amazing, incredible, take-me-back college golf experience.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t! My advice would be to follow the team you’d like to hopefully sign to and follow their progress. Make sure to set up a tour of the campus and a meeting with the coach and players. And then meet the players separately from the coach. Ask questions! You may be spending the next 4 years with this team! Have some questions for them. And even, if it’s possible, try to reach out to alumni or past players on social media. Know nothing in life is perfect, and every school is going to have its pros and cons. Just decide what cons you can tolerate. And sure, things may happen and for some reason it may not be a great fit later on, it’s not the end all. You can make a change! But at least you’ll feel like you did your homework leading up to starting your college golf career.