Trying out for your high school golf team can be nerve-racking and confusing for a lot of first-timers.
There is a lot of planning that goes into preparing for high school golf tryouts but with a little effort and a positive mentality, you will be able to make the team and have a great season!
9 Tips on How To Make Your High School Golf Team
- Find an Instructor
- Join Summer Leagues
- Get Fit For Golf Clubs
- Talk to the Coach
- Talk to Someone on the Team
- Short Game Over Driving Range
- Play the Right Golf Ball and Load Up
- Invest in A Carry Bag or Pull Cart
- Play As Much Golf As Possible
Luckily, I did make my high school golf team and it helped shape my professional career.
However, there is a lot of information that I did not know beforehand that I wish I had that would have made the tryout process much easier.
1) Find an Instructor
Finding a golf instructor is my #1 tips for a reason. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have my golf instructor to help prepare me for my high school tryouts.
A golf instructors job is to make sure their students are ready and prepared for any:
- School Tryouts
- Golf Events
Think of a golf instructor like a personal trainer for your golf game.
They are there to coach you towards your goal and share their knowledge and expertise with you so that you can feel more comfortable playing golf at a high level.
I would recommend taking a lesson at least once a week during the summer so that you can soak up as much information as possible and actually have the time to practice what you learn.
To find golf professional, simply type in google “golf instructors near me” and you will get a nice list of instructors in your area where you can compare prices and what they offer.
2) Join Summer Leagues
Joining a summer league is a great opportunity for those looking to gain experience playing with others. These leagues are usually held at local golf courses and are supervised/ taught by golf professionals.
Again, just google “junior golf leagues near me” and you will get a great list of options that you can use to find a league that works best with your schedule.
From my years of being a golf coach for a high school team, I see a lot of golfers start to get nervous when they play with others.
While this is a completely normal, reaction, the only way to soften the nerves when playing with others, is to keep doing it.
The first few times might be a little awkward but after that, you will start to get used to playing with others.
Something that helped me get over my golf anxiety is to think “no one else cares about my golf game except for me”.
This phrase is actually quite true when playing with others as everyone else is only thinking about their game and really couldn’t care less how you play.
3) Get Fit For Golf Clubs
If you don’t know what getting “fit” for golf clubs means: It is when a professional club fitter finds a golf set that works best for a players swing.
This is a must for golfers looking to play competitively.
With hundreds of different product combinations out in the market, you will save both your time and money having a professional find your clubs for you
How Much Does This Cost?
Probably the question I see the most when golfers are looking at getting fit for clubs is, how much does it cost?
On average, it costs around $200 for a full bag fitting. Often, this fee is reduced or taken out if you purchase the clubs the day of the fitting.
If you are on a budget, you probably didn’t want to hear this.
However, I cannot stress the importance of getting fit for golf clubs in this day in age when even the slightest club adjustment can save golfers years of higher golf scores.
4) Talk to the Coach
Before just showing up for your high school golf tryouts, find out who the coach is beforehand and reach out to them via email or phone.
A simple introduction of who you are can make a big difference when the coach is deciding on who they want on their team.
My first few days of high school tryouts actually didn’t go very well. However, I knew my high school golf coach because I played hockey with his son.
Now I know this isn’t the entire reason I made the team but because he knew of me, I feel like I had a better chance of making the roster.
5) Talk to Someone on the Team
If you cannot get ahold of the coach and introduce yourself, the next best thing is to find someone who is currently on the team or maybe played in years past.
Once you find someone on the team, fire away as many questions as you can think of. Here are a few questions you might want to ask:
- What scores are needed to make the team?
- How many players make the team?
- Where does the team practice?
- Do the team use buses or carpool to practice and matches?
- Is the coach laid back or strict when coaching?
- How much does it cost to play?
Obviously, there are plenty of other questions. The point is getting as much info as you can so you better prepare yourself before tryouts.
6) Short Game Over Driving Range
The short game is considered to be:
These three areas are where over 50% of your strokes are going to come from. Again, from my years of coaching, the #1 thing I see in new high school golfers is their lack of practice in their short game.
It’s cool if you drive the ball 300 yards. But it’s even cooler if you can get up and down from anywhere around the ground and save par!
The best part is, short game practice is usually free!
Instead of paying $8-$10 for a bucket of balls, just head over to your local golf course and bring a few clubs to chip and putt with.
I promise that if more work is spent chipping and putting, you will save more strokes during tryouts.
7) Play the Right Golf Ball and Load Up
Did you know that playing the right golf ball for your game can make your golf ball travel further and straighter? Sound too good to be true?
It’s really not. Golf balls are designed using different layer coatings and compression rates that are geared towards specific golf skills sets and genders.
The most important part about finding the best golf ball for your game is clubhead speed.
The faster the clubhead speed, the more compression you need in your golf ball. The slower the swing speed, the lower the compression you need.
Here are a few quick examples of some popular golf balls, their compression rates, and who should use them.
- Titleist Pro V1 – Compression Rate 100- Should be used by golfers with swing speeds over 100 mph
- Srixon Q Star Tour – Compression Rate- Should be used by golfers with swing speeds 80-95 mph
- Callaway Supersoft – Compression Rate 38- Should be used by golfers with swing speeds of 80 or lower
If you do not know your swing speed or what type of golf ball you need.
I recommend checking out one a few these golf ball websites where you answer a few questions about your game and a golf ball will be presented to you (brand really doesn’t matter).
Once you find a golf ball that is right for your style of play, its time to load up!
The average golfer will lose 6 golf balls a round and in competitive golf, you can’t take time to look for balls in the creek if you run out.
Here are a few places you can look to find the best deals on golf balls to make sure you always have enough:
- Local Pro Shops
- Dicks Sporting Goods
- Golf Websites
The key when buying golf balls is that you want to make sure you use “new” balls.
Used golf balls that you find on the course or that your grandpa gives you will not help reduce spin as the dimples become faded and don’t grab their air as well as new golf balls.
8) Invest in A Carry Bag or Pull Cart
Unfortunately (or fortunately for the golf course) high schoolers are not able to use golf carts to drive to their golf ball.
So to make sure golfers keep up the pace of play, it is essential to use a lightweight stand bag or a pull cart.
Trust me, you don’t want to be lugging a set of clubs around for 18-holes!
Here are a few examples you can look at of a stand bag and a pull cart that you might want to think of using when out on the course
Using these will allow you to save more energy and easily walk the course rather than dragging a heavy set all day.
9) Play As Much Golf As Possible
My last tip for making your high school golf team is to play as much golf as you humanly can! Simply put, the more you play, the more you will learn and be ready for gameplay.
Competitive golf is much different than going out to play with a few friends.
Every shot matters and the pressure that comes with that is often too much for some. But trust me when I say, that the more you play, the easier it gets.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to practice playing competitive golf:
- Play with your friends for 10 cents a hole
- Keep track of your scores and reward yourself when you score lower
- Join a group of golfers you don’t know
- Try to only have 18 putts or fewer per 9 holes
- Join a golf league (as mentioned above)
Most high schools have a Junior Varsity and Varsity Team. To make the JV golf team, coaches look for average scores in the mid-40’s for 9 holes of golf.
High School golf coaches usually allow 12-16 golfers on the team. In the United States, it is customary for there to be 6 players on the Varsity Team and 6 players on the Junior Varsity Team. Coaches will often select a few extra players to grow talent depending on how many golfers attended tryouts.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your tryouts! Let me know if you have any questions down below!