The lament of college golf

mulligan, 15 September 2005, Comments Off on The lament of college golf
Categories: Uncategorized

There is an interesting article over at discussing the recent trend of top-talented golfers skipping college and heading directly to the PGA or LPGA. The bulk of the discussion, strangely, focuses on college coaches, sounding like a “why me?” pity party: college golf will be less competitive, we can’t plan for the long-term development of our teams, wah. The future of golf is in jeopardy because the best players aren’t going to school with them for four years.

Sorry to burst their bubbles, but we have to get rid of the misperception that college golf can better prepare you for the pro tour. While it can (and college has prepared many of the pros currently on both tours), college is no longer the only way to become a professional golfer. Ask yourself this: would you rather leave your career in the hands of a college coach, or David Leadbetter? At college you eat crummy food, are distracted by actually having to go to class (and keep your grades up for your scholarship), and have a thousand other things taking your attention away from golf. With the massive increase in golf competition at both the amateur and professional levels (think mini tours, Nationwide, etc), there are plenty of opportunities to hone your game and compete against other hungry players.

Further, we have to get away from the notion that going to college is a requirement for the normal development of young individuals. It is not (and this is coming from a college professor). This is especially the case for athletes who are already prepared to make the next step: college would gain them nothing, especially when you consider the potential earnings that they would forego. Paula Creamer made 1.2 million on tour this year. She would have earned nothing at college next year. If college is really about preparing you to get a good job and have a good life, and you already have those things, why take the detour?


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