Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

Junior Golf: Think You Can Play-Seriously Consider D-II

In today’s Wednesday Waggle we will enter the world of NCAA terminology and offer some solid points for your son/daughter to take a serious look at playing for an NCAA Division II school.


photocredit: golf digest

Here’s a brief summary of the 3 NCAA divisions and how they are different in relation to scholarship offers for college golf. D-I: biggest schools. They offer partial men’s scholarships. If your junior golfer is not in the phenom category, forget it. D-II are smaller schools. They offer partial men’s scholarships which can be combined with academic scholarships. Can’t do this in D-I. S3’s college TAMIU was about 9,000 students. D-III are mostly private schools which do not offer athletic scholarships. They basically reduce the private tuition, making it close to what equivalent public tuition would be.

At some point in every junior golfer’s career they are infatuated with playing D-I college golf. Everyone wants to play against the best, right? Not so fast. In case you hadn’t noticed, there is always plenty of competition every time your boy/girl tees it up in a tournament and there is only room for very few of them in D-I. There’s a ton of D-II schools with excellent golf opportunities.

While there were a couple of D-I schools on S3’s short list, he, and it was ultimately his decision, decided that D-II was the route to go and he felt like TAMIU was where he was supposed to be. It also worked out well financially since his partial athletic scholarship could be combined with some academic money to relieve some of the financial burden.

TAMIU’s men’s golf program has improved every year starting in the 2012-2013 season. More competitive players were joining the team and higher finishes in tournaments were becoming more common. The program was moving forward, exciting!

Today is the final round of the NCAA D-II Super Regionals in Stockton, California. TAMIU is there, 1st time ever, and making a solid showing. Being 3-under par as a team after 36 holes puts TAMIU in 13-th place out of 20 teams and they are the highest ranked school from their conference, The Heartland Conference. Check out the link above to see details of the scoring.

What score is in 1-st place? Put on your seat belts Mom and Dad, it’s 29 under par by California Baptist University of Riverside, California. Say what? 29-under, that’s crazy! Yes, it is, but these young men can play!


Any time a team or an individual shoots under par in an event, it is a solid performance. To win however, it takes a great performance. To get to great or winning efforts, one needs to grow from the solid ones. Hopefully solid will grow into great.

So parents, please give D-II a hard look. There should be a number of excellent choices for your kiddo and there’s always plenty of competition. S3’s four years at NCAA D-II, TAMIU, were great, absolutely wonderful!

See you on #1 tee, choosing D-II, ready to compete… Sam

Achievement Goals for Your Junior Golfer Academic Targets

Your Junior Golfer has two types of Achievement Goals. In this posting we will address the Academic Targets, he or she should aim for.


Academic targets come first because “no pass no play” is a reality, at least here in Texas for high school, and nationwide in college. The same study habits that result in good grades can be correlated to good golf practice habits that result in lower scores.

Stating academic targets properly is extremely important! Always state them in a positive phrasing: “Do this for the desired outcome.” Avoid stating things in a negative or “do not do this” manner at all costs. Make this a habit. So be positive and have a target in the sentence.

What are some academic targets:

1. Be in the top 20% of their class.
2. Meet/exceed the minimum SAT scores for colleges of choice.
3. Be scholastically eligible every grading period.

Academically the most important things are to have the highest GPA possible, make acceptable (to your Junior Golfer’s colleges of choice) SAT scores and be eligible every grading period. The first two items are absolute necessities and the third is a positive tie-breaker for your Junior Golfer.

These three items are tied together so good study habits help with all academic situations. Remember that you are a team, Mom and Dad or Mom or Dad and your Junior Golfer. As your kiddo starts moving from junior high to high school, you want to put more academic accountability on them.

For the younger Junior Golfers in elementary school, encourage them to pay attention in class, study hard and be a good example to their friends.

For the older kids, these seem to work:

1. Check their schedules with them for due dates, project dates, test
dates, etc. Always turn everything in on time.
2. Be an extra-credit hound… ask every teacher what is open for
extra credit…and take advantage of all extra credit opportunities.
3. Develop a relationship with the teacher. This can be very helpful!
4. Know where tutoring is available and use it.
5. Have structure at home to help accommodate your Junior Golfer’s
6. Just be there for them. Be an encourager.

Sam III, S3, began independent-transitioning (taking on more responsibility and personal accountability)entering into Middle School. In his sophomore year of high school, he started keeping his own weekly calendar, which included all activities plus school classroom assignments, tests, golf practices, tournaments, church,etc. We would do a Sunday evening review of his next week’s calendar together. This kept us in the loop and helped keep S3 sharp as well. It’s tough for some parents to let go, but we must so our kids can start growing into the young men and women they are destined to become.

Now, let’s put academics in perspective. If your Junior Golfer desires to play college golf, they must register at the NCAA Eligibility Center ( preferably during the summer before their junior year in high school. One of the first questions every college coach will ask your Junior Golfer is “What is your NCAA number?”, meaning your Eligibility Center number. You pay a one-time registration fee and then request your high school counselor send your Junior Golfer’s GPA, SAT scores ,etc to the EC, which is the source college coaches use to verify your kiddo’s academic statistics.

Please remember and reinforce with your Junior Golfer that better GPA’s and SAT scores, give them more options for college golf. So let’s go find some extra credit!!

See you on #1 tee, Sam

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