College Golf Checklist for International Students
So you want to play college golf in America? Awesome! Join the hundreds of international student-athletes who call the USA home for their college years. There are a number of action items you must complete in order to be eligible to play golf in the NCAA, NAIA, or NJCAA.
- Research schools in NCAA, Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA. There are 900+ options for men and 750+ for women across all divisions.
- Get to know the NCAA recruiting rules and contact dates. Coaches can speak to you on June 15th following your sophomore year (Grade 10); however, that date will vary if your high school does not follow a traditional academic calendar like the United States.
- Familiarize yourself with the NCAA’s Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.
- Ensure that your academics are on track by researching your country’s requirements in the NCAA’s Guide to International Academic Standards for Athletics Eligibility.
- Play in events to establish a Junior Golf Scoreboard (JGS) ranking, Rolex American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) ranking, or World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
- Email college coaches with your resume and swing video. Access contact information for college coaches by looking up their email addresses on university websites.
- Sign up for camps where you can meet golf coaches directly.
- Register for the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Follow golf programs on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram).
- Use the website Golfstat to research college golf teams and their rankings.
- Register early (international testing locations tend to sell out since there are limited offerings) and take the SAT for the first time.
- Play in summer events in the USA (e.g. FCG International Championship, USGA qualifiers, IMG Junior World). Tours like the Future Champions Golf host tournaments all year long!
- Talk to coaches on the phone and via text to determine what they are looking for from your recruiting class.
- Take official and unofficial campus visits to your top university choices.
- Take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and ensure that your score will fulfill the requirements of the university of your choice.
- Complete items on your task list on the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Select your “best fit” from an academic, athletic, and personal perspective.
- Sign your National Letter of Intent (NLI) in November.
- Submit your college application by the deadline – early November for Early Action (EA) and Early Decision (ED); early or mid-January for Regular Decision (RD); and at the university’s required deadline for Rolling Admission (RA).
- Finalize NCAA Eligibility Center requirements (e.g. complete proof of amateurism, submit high school transcripts).
- Register for an I-20 Visa to study in the USA.
Dr. Katie Brophy Miles is the Founder and CEO of Golf Globally, a college placement company that assists students from the US and overseas with the college golf recruitment process. She was the head coach at Georgetown and the assistant coach at Indiana for 11 years at the NCAA Division I level and has her PhD in Human Performance. Visit her website for more information.