Archive: February, 2013

Van Wilder gets a Golf Scholarship!

Hello friends,

A good friend of mine, and one of Calgary’s top junior golf instructors, Mitch Walz (@walzygolf) has asked me to write about quite a few topics over the last year, and I’m working on them! He has high standards so I’ll publish when they’re ready haha! This blog is about some “outside the box” ways to think about choosing a school for college golf. I hear all too often about junior golfers in Alberta signing ‘Letters of Intent’ to schools that aren’t the best fit for them.

Some of you may know of my golf history, some may not. Either way, I’d hardly call myself up to date on this topic. That said, I have been a part of the Alberta Golf Scholarship Panel, and have many friends and colleagues who have shared their experiences with me. Here I will only present thoughts based on my own experiences.

Here are some guidelines and questions that I don’t think get considered enough when choosing a school.

Would you want to move to the town/city if golf wasn’t a factor?

Is this a place that you would want to build a network of friends for 5 years?

What is a detailed tournament schedule, and how will this work with a full course load in 3rd and 4th years? What kind of scholastic support is there?

Just because you get a scholarship, doesn’t mean you have to take it..

Are there any international players on the team already? Any Canadians? If so, CALL THEM!

Is the coach going to be there the whole time you are? What is the schools athletic budget and how stable is the program? Is the coach someone you would like to mentor you for 5 years?

What is the team chemistry like? How many new players are coming in vs. how many are graduating? Is there a chance to go to the same school as a friend?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but please note that most of it deals with the people there and the culture. I went to the University of Victoria, and now live in Calgary. So now I have friends all over Western Canada that I visit every few months. This is very different from a player that went to school in Mississippi, where all the networking and time invested in social life, is mostly faded after a few years. I love going out to Victoria and BC, knowing friends all over and always having opportunities to stay with them as opposed to hotels!

Hope this helps! Cheers!