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Special Note- Per NCAA Bylaws, I do not market a prospective student-athletes athletic ability or reputation, negotiate or promise scholarships, or serve as an agent or swing instructor in any way. I may serve as a reference for PSA's. In addition, it is permissible for ForeCollegeGolf to distribute high school academic and athletic records to college coaches without jeopardizing a PSA's eligibility. I help my clients manage all forms of communication (email, phone calls, personal meetings) with college coaches, and encourage the players I work with to correspond directly with coaches as part of an effective personal marketing plan. 


In accordance with NCAA Rules & Bylaws, fees and services are not contingent on a prospective student-athlete being recruited or receiving financial aid. All payments are due based on the terms of the enrolled program. Michael J. Smith, Golf Excellence LLC and Fore College Golf do not serve or act as an agent in any way. ForeCollegeGolf TM, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 


© 2020  Golf Excellence, LLC. All rights reserved. 

  • Michael J. Smith, FCG

What characteristics should I be looking for in a College Coach?

During the recruiting process, college coaches are evaluating hundreds of athletes from every recruiting class, all over the country. Your job as a prospect/player is to do your research and evaluations of the coach and programs who are recruiting you. Not every school or university is created equal, and not every coach is a great role model, teacher or mentor. Ultimately, you should base your final decision off of a combination of factors but the head coach should be a small piece of the puzzle, not the one and final reason you decide to attend a school. Why? Because coaches come and go, so it’s important to ask yourself the question, “If the coach left tomorrow, could I still see myself playing 4 years of competitive golf at this school?” I can’t stress this enough. The current coach may resign or be fired after you sign the NLI. The NLI is binding for the university, not the coach. So, make sure you’re not basing 100% of your decision on the head coach.

Over the years, I’ve had the special opportunity to talk to over 100 college golf coaches at the Division I & II level. From those conversations and interactions one thing is obvious – the best coaches have several of the same characteristics. Of course, no coach is perfect but use the checklist below to help you separate the good coaches from the great ones.

Characteristics of Successful College Coaches

  • They demand perfection (or near perfection) in everything that you do, even off the course.

  • They understand that winning is the only thing that they will be judged on and still can balance tournament preparations, strategy, and player development with other job requirements.

  • They learn from every coach they have worked for and even learn from players

  • They are good communicators

  • They aren’t caught “off guard” easily

  • They know when/how to motivate their players and are trusted by their team.

  • They have faith and passion in their players

  • They have faith and passion in their plan

  • Their players are accountable

  • They are great teachers and are able to simplify complicated things

  • Their practices are tough and demanding

  • They have strong relationships with other coaches across the sport at every level

  • They expect you to play well and do well in the classroom

  • They enjoy the process

  • They are open and honest with their players

  • They have clear and precise team rules

  • They verbalize everything that is expected of you

  • They take time to listen to their players

  • They are able to put the “big-picture” in perspective

The list could go on-and-on. Use the characteristics listed above to evaluate each coach you meet and don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the topics listed! They should be willing and open to discussing them with you.

Mike Smith is the Founder & CEO of ForeCollegeGolf and specializes in assisting junior golfers & their families through the college recruiting process. Email him @ mike.smith@forecollegegolf.com

#collegecoaches #teamgolf #juniorgolf #juniorgolfexperts #ajga #americanjuniorgolfassociation #collegerecruiting