How To Win a Golf Scholarship to a USA University

April 8, 2021

Winning a university golf scholarship can be a long and winding road. In this blog, we take a look at what it takes to secure your spot amongst some of the best universities and colleges in the USA. It is a little-known fact that around 65% of the professionals currently on the PGA Tour used to play collegiate golf in the States. Due to the intense competition and massive exposure, collegiate golf is one of the best routes to a pro golf career. Like all other scholarships, golf scholarships are not easy to acquire. Golf Scholarships are awarded by universities and colleges to top golfers, which allows the athlete to participate in intercollegiate matches, tournaments, and championships.

Stanford celebrates a championship win during the Division I Men's Golf Match Play Championship held at the Blessings Golf Club on May 29, 2019 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Jack Dempsey/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Three Important Aspects

Let’s take a look at the three most important aspects coaches and universities look for in a potential golf recruit:

  1. Academics: GPA, test scores (such as SATs), and overall academic performance through high school are crucial. Accordingly, a GPA of 3.0 and above will catch the eye of golf coaches in the USA.
  2. Golf: High school tournaments are not the best indicators of success. Coaches want players competing in quality national and provincial events. Tournament experience is crucial, and tournament scoring average is the number 1 most important stat. Coaches will not only consider your handicap when making a decision.
  3. Personality: Scores are not the be-all and end-all. Most coaches are looking to get to know you beyond your credentials and achievements on a piece of paper. Allowing your personality to come through (via video calls) will also enable the coach to see how you will fit in with the ethics, morals, and values of his team and school.

Academics Are Important, Too

However, golf is a non-revenue sport, so having good academics will help to open up more opportunities. As a result, the more universities you can qualify for academically, the higher your chances of earning a scholarship. The academic requirements for what a college golf coach is looking for varies based on university and division level.

As these expectations can vary, there is a fairly broad range of requirements that each division covers. However, we can provide a good estimate based on past athletes, and the success they have found at each level. Below is a brief overview for each division and association:


  • Top finishes at national/provincial levels
  • Your golf resume consists of national, provincial, and multiple local tournament wins
  • Average scores from courses
  • Low End: 65
  • High End: 75


  • Competes in local tournaments
  • Average Scores from courses
  • Low End – 68
  • High End – 85

Coupled with the academic aspect, coaches have a keen eye for spotting talent and ability. Although it's not the only factor, a golf game consisting of solid fundamentals does go a long way to bridging the gap between raw talent and producing good results over an extended time. Make sure to always be working on the building blocks of your game to show coaches that you have what it takes to improve. Letting coaches know this will greatly help you win a university golf scholarship.

Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest University wins the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur

When Should I Start?

Given how competitive golf scholarships in America are, we would advise you to begin the process 2 years before leaving high school. The process from your initial application to starting your collegiate career can take anywhere from 12-36 months. Accordingly, applicants should be anywhere between 14 and 17 years old.

At Aspire Atlantic, our role is to best prepare you to maximize your scholarship opportunities within the following governing bodies: NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA. Therefore, our scholarship program is tailored to suit you and your family’s needs. We achieve this by providing you with:

  • Dedicated staff to guide you through the whole process from start to finish.
  • SAT Exam registration booking, preparation advice, study program, exam requirements.
  • NCAA and NAIA eligibility centre registration advice and guidance.
  • Specific promotion to American Universities and Colleges.
  • Negotiation of scholarship offers.
  • Visa assistance

The Guy Waterhouse Story

Aspire Atlantic superstar Guy Waterhouse is a great example of how to win a university golf scholarship using the three aspects that coaches look for.

Aspire Atlantic superstar Guy Waterhouse in action for the Princeton Tigers golf team.

Following a glittering high school career, which included being selected as Head Boy of Hilton College in KwaZulu Natal, Guy joined Aspire Atlantic with his sights set on some of the top Universities in the world. Naturally, this list included several Ivy League destinations. With Guy's excellent track record and achievements, he had many options open to him. With Aspire Atlantic's help, he secured himself a spot at the prestigious Princeton University, and his golf game subsequently helped him to win a place on the Tigers' golf team. In short, Guy's golf game, strong academics, and leadership skills helped him secure a place at one of the best universities on the planet.

A blend of academic consistency, raw athletic talent and a solid partnership and relationship with Aspire Atlantic will certainly constitute a tremendous step forward in procuring your golf scholarship opportunity in the USA.

Remember, it's always the perfect time to begin your journey towards studying at the university of your dreams. Sign up here for a free consultation with one of our recruitment experts. You could join over 300 student-athletes already placed in the USA, competing at the highest level and earning a world-class degree!


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