How to Build a Great Golf Resume (Part Two: What Actual College Coaches Say They Like to See)

In Part One of “How to Build a Great Golf Resume”, I went over a few of the basic necessities that should be included in your resume. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I would suggest you do that here.

Recruiting is obviously a large part of a coaches’ job; they deal with it each and every day, especially during the summer months. I recently was fortunate enough to get in contact with two current NCAA college golf coaches. These two coaches have seen many resumes throughout their careers, so I asked them what they look for in a recruit’s resume and what they felt were the most important factors. They gave me some great information that I wish I had known when I was in high school. I can’t thank the coaches enough for their time and for offering up their wisdom to me for the blog!

(NOTE: The coaches supplied me with the key factors they look for, which are the topic headings below. The descriptions for each of the topic headings are my own interpretation of the information I received from the coaches).

Part Two: What Actual College Golf Coaches Like to See in Your Resume

Here is what two NCAA college golf coaches say are the characteristics they look for in a recruit’s resume. Remember, all coaches are different and they each have their own specific ideas on what is important in a recruit’s resume. This information does not represent the opinions of all college golf coaches. With that in mind, let’s dive in!

GOOD GRADES – Didn’t see this one coming did you? Just kidding. But do you see the recurring theme here? When I said grades were important, I really meant it. This is one of the first things coaches will look for when they pull up your resume. Make sure that you focus hard on your grades and succeeding in the classroom, as it will make a great first impression on any coach. The better your grades, the better your chances of being recruited.

Keep those grades up and you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

PROGRESSION – Coaches want to see how far you’ve come both on the golf course and in the classroom. A good way to show them this would be to mention when you started playing, and taking them through your career so far. Showing that you have progressed in your skills on the course and as a person is something that many coaches put a lot of stock into. For example, if you’ve improved 10 shots over the past two years, that’s something you should be proud of and also something coaches will love to see! When you get to college, you’re going to be expected to work hard and keep getting better. Show them through your resume that you’re a hard worker and that you have the ability to improve. It’s a great characteristic that will make you stand out from the crowd.

WORKOUT ROUTINE – If there is one thing that I regret the most from my junior golf days, it’s that I never consistently worked out or tried to improve my physique. Most college golf programs now require some sort of workout program, whether it’s on your own or with the team. The program I play for has two mandatory team lifting workouts per week, along with two 30 minutes cardio workouts that we must do on our own. When I first got to school I had pretty much never even touched a weight, so working out was quite a culture shock for me. However, I now enjoy the team workouts and I love the feeling of improving my game off the course as a result of improving my body. It’s alright if you don’t currently have a consistent workout routine, but you should definitely look into it before you go off to college. Chances are most of your competitors are working out and improving their bodies/golf games, so if you aren’t too then you will be at a disadvantage before you even tee it up. If you do have a workout routine that you stick to, make sure you mention it on your resume. It will show coaches that you’re committed to the process and ready to make the sacrifices it takes to get better.

“…most of your competitors are working out and improving their bodies/golf games, so if you aren’t too then you will be at a disadvantage before you even tee it up.

MULTI-DAY TOURNAMENTS – College coaches tend to focus their attention to junior tournaments with larger and stronger fields. College golf tournaments are usually between 36 and 54 holes; sometimes even playing 36 holes in a single day. If you can get experience playing in tournaments that are more than one day then it will better prepare you for college golf. If you aren’t playing in larger, multi-day tournaments, that’s okay. Keep on competing and improving your game, and as time goes on try to progress yourself into larger tournaments. Local events are great; you’re able to compete and compare yourself to the players in your area. However, once you begin to play in regional and national events, you will realize where you actually fall against the competition. There’s a big world out there with a lot of junior players usually competing for roughly 1-3 spots on a college team’s roster per year. You need to do your best to travel around and play in tournaments with strong fields; it will help get your name out there to as many coaches as possible.


VOLUNTEERING/EXTRACURRICULAR/TIME MANAGEMENT – I decided to lump these three together because they are basically all one in the same. Coaches want to see that you’re making a difference out in the real world and your community. Being a “one-trick pony” will not make you stand out from the pack. One of the other reasons coaches want to see volunteering and extracurricular activities on your resume is because it shows that you have the ability to manage your time. As I stated in “What College Golf Coaches are REALLY Looking For”,  time management is the single biggest part of college golf, and pretty much life in general. If you can show coaches that you do more than go to class and play golf, it will leave a good impression on them. When you get to college there will be no excuses for being late to class, a team workout, or practice. You NEED to be able to manage your time, so you should do your best to get a head-start in high-school and get some extracurricular activities on your resume.

MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE – Some coaches want to see that you have experience being a teammate in other team sports besides high-school golf. Society has been encouraging youth to play multiple sports while in school over the past few years, and it is something that you should look into if you have the opportunity. Being a good teammate is CRITICAL to succeeding in college golf. Many college coaches take a team-oriented approach to the way they run their program. When you play at the next level, you’re going to have to leave the “Me, Myself, and I” attitude in high school. Trust me, it will help you get along better with your teammates your freshman year and throughout the rest of your career. The college golf “team” culture is unlike anything you will experience while in high school. It may be a bit of a culture shock to you when you start playing college golf, but it makes the entire experience exponentially more enjoyable. The bond that you will build with your teammates is indescribable, and it has been what’s made the college golf experience awesome for me. The earlier you can adopt the “team” attitude in golf, the better prepared you will be to play at the collegiate level.

Don’t be afraid to try out a new sport if you have the opportunity.

Well, there you have it. These are a few of the things these two college coach’s eyes go to first while looking at a recruit’s resume. Once again, I can’t thank these coaches enough for sharing their wisdom! If you are in the process of making a golf resume, you need to make sure that you factor in these suggestions. Remember, recruiting is all about making yourself stand out from the crowd. Being well-rounded both on and off the course will help you achieve your dream of playing college golf!

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