COLLEGE GOLF IS A DIFFERENT BEAST
My oldest son started college in August and is part of the golf team. He is having a great time being on the team and enjoying the school, but my wife and I have already started to notice that being a college golf parent is much different than being a junior golf parent. Let’s consider junior golf parent vs college golf parents.
Like everything with your child going to college, this is quite the transition. To be honest, it feels more different than we expected.
As a junior golf parent, you are part of the process. You drive your child to events. You help your child pick tournaments. You might even get asked for swing advice or even caddy. You are the primary support structure for your golfer through the good and the bad.
How is college golf different? Basically, you aren’t involved at all. Its not a bad thing – it is cool to see your son or daughter become totally independent and deal with challenges themselves, but it is different. It is an odd feeling.
You may be shocked to hear this, but once your child goes off to college calling home might not be their #1 priority – not sure it is in our son’s top 10 priorities :).
I have a rule that has helped. No matter what time of day or what I am doing, if he calls – I take the call. I will skip out of meeting or interrupt a conversation. Doesn’t matter – if he wants to talk, I am going to answer. Period.
So much is changing in his life, that we spend much less time talking about golf. Again, not a bad thing, but very different.
There is nothing better than team golf. I have written before how much I love High School golf and being a college team is awesome. Here is the thing. If your child is good enough to play in college they probably never had to sweat out making the top 6 in high school. This is a new dynamic.
Most college teams have a roster of 10-15 players. All of these kids can play. Making the top 5-6 isn’t easy, especially as a freshman.
Sweating out qualifying with your college golfer is a new activity. It might be more stressful than the tournaments. Travelling with the team is an awesome experience and being left back on campus isn’t much fun.
If you college golfer stayed close to home, you are lucky! Even so, you won’t be able to travel to every college event. As a junior golf parent, I almost never missed a round, but we haven’t been able to see our a college event yet. This leaves you watching live scoring on GolfStat.
There is nothing wrong with GolfStat live scoring, it is just a stressful way to spend 5 hours. Watching one hole at a time appear in your child’s scorecard. How is the team doing? How did my child just make a triple? Sweet, a birdie!
Every once in a while your child’s group just doesn’t post scores for an hour or so…..you keep hitting refresh, but nothing updates. All of a sudden…..out of nowhere….5 holes pop-in! You could call exciting, but I think the better word is excruciating.
So what is my point of this post? Your child will love playing college golf and parents should be prepared to adjust. It is different. No bad, but different.
About the author
Mike Harris is a former college golfer and dedicated father of two talented junior golfers. With a passion for the sport that began in his own childhood, Mike now focuses on helping his children, Avery and Olivia, navigate the world of junior golf. He’s eager to share tips, advice, and insights with other families on their own golf journeys. Join Mike as he tees off into the exciting realm of junior golf, providing guidance to parents and kids alike.