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James Imai Starts Year Off Right

Congratulations to longtime KOHR Academy student, James Imai, for winning the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, Orlando Junior Shootout.

After a first round 70 (2 under par), James started his final round two shots back of the leader Johnny Bai.  James fired another solid round of 70 in the final round and won the event by two strokes.

17 Year old Imai was in the 16-18 year old Tiger Woods division of the championship.

 

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Playing College Golf – Resources

In my first blog entry, 7 Important Steps To Playing College Golf, I touched on what junior golfers can do to maximize their chances of playing golf at the next level. The countless hours spent practicing and competing are crucial but there’s plenty more that they can do to ensure they get noticed by the right coaches.

Here are some of the BEST resources that college golf prospects can use to familiarize themselves with key dates, terms, and rules that will simplify the search process. Start reading up!

AJGA
Check out their College Recruiting overview which is under ‘News and Information’. This gives a detailed description of the terms, definitions, and dates that will be useful in starting your search.

PING College Golf Guide
Although there is a membership fee, this is a fantastic tool that has all the information that you could possibly need.  Note that if a player has a membership to the AJGA Tour they receive a free membership to the PING College Golf Guide.

Golfstat
Golfstat is the official source for college golf scores and statistics so this is a great place to see how a high school golfer stacks up against different levels of collegiate players.  It’s also a great place to stay up to date on the latest college golf results and keep tabs on your favorite schools.

NCAA Eligibility Center
If a high schooler wants to play college sports the very first thing they need to do is register with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and make sure you check all the eligibility requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that picking the right college is one of the biggest decisions that most people make. By doing the appropriate research and talking with the right people, you can begin to take control.

Now that you’ve done your research, here are some steps that you can take to make sure you get noticed!

  1. Visit as many schools/meet as many coaches as you can!
  2. Talk with players and parents that recently have gone through the recruitment process. They will be able to provide you and your family with valuable insights!
  3. Be persistent! Follow up with coaches in a timely, professional manner. And remember- coaches want to hear from the student-athlete, not the parents!!!
  4. Start to narrow down your list of schools based on your preferences. Academics, golf team/level of competition, location, school size, etc. are all MAJOR factors in your decision.

Enjoy the road to playing college golf!!!

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

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7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF

About 15 years ago, I was a competitive junior golfer with aspirations of playing collegiate golf. I had won some junior tournaments, possessed a strong work ethic, and had no doubt in my own mind that I had what it took to compete at the next level. I was also lucky to have parents who were always supportive but never overbearing. My grades and test scores were solid. I was ready (or so I thought). Why weren’t coaches knocking down my door to recruit me? What more could I possibly need to get recruited?

Boy, was I naïve! Little did I know how different college golf recruitment REALLY was.

After taking a gap year to work tirelessly on my game under the tutelage of Bill McInerney, I committed to play at Johnson & Wales in North Miami, Florida under the legendary coach Dave Adamonis, Sr.

He was an old school kind of coach. He was tough but fair, and he knew how to push buttons at just the right time to get the most out of his players. I spent 4 great years playing college golf, getting my degree, and learning a lot about college golf.

Since my graduation from Johnson & Wales, I have spent time as a professional golfer, Head College Golf Coach, and now I am a Golf Performance Coach at KOHR Golf Academy. I have often thought about where I would have ended up, had I known everything that I know now. Fortunately, I don’t think I could have found a better school, for myself, to learn as a student-athlete.

My experiences as a junior player being recruited, as well as college coach looking to add quality student-athletes to a successful program has taught me about the entire process from both sides of the table. Choosing the right college is very important but it is also a daunting experience.  Just like the game of golf, having a game plan is critical to getting started on the right track.

HERE ARE 7 IMPORTANT STEPS TO PLAYING COLLEGE GOLF:

Step 1: STOP STRESSING!


Step 2: Work hard in school.
“How are your grades?”   Without fail, this will be one of the first questions asked by any college coach. Yes, tournament scoring average is important, but coaches won’t waste their time talking to you if your grades aren’t up to par. In order to compete at the next level, you’ll need to take care of business in the classroom first. Being a student-athlete at the next level is a huge responsibility, and in my opinion, any coach worth playing for will hold this as their top priority.


Step 3: Surround yourself with a positive supporting cast
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Golf instructors/coaches, fitness coaches, mentors are all irreplaceable. Parents, don’t worry, you play an important part as well!


Step 4: Build an organized game plan
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Sit down with your supporting cast to map out efficient practice plans, workout routines, and develop a thoughtful tournament schedule. Play in local events, compete on regional golf tours and mix in a few at the national level. Not every event on your schedule needs to the most expensive or a big-time national event. Compete in as many events as you can and start developing that tournament resume!

Step 5: Play with better players.
One of the best pieces of advice I received before going off to college was to seek out the best players and emulate their approach. Observe how they practice.  Ask questions.  Annoy them. Play with them.


Step 6: Manage your expectations.
Set attainable goals. Make mistakes, but learn from every one of them. You’re not going to win every tournament you play, you’re not even going to play great in every tournament.  Ultimately, your ability to respond to setbacks will determine your success.


Step 7: Have fun.

Golf is not a job; it’s just a game!!! It is disappointing when you see players and parents treating it like a job. If you are willing to work as hard as you can and have fun with what you’re doing, everything else will take care of itself.

 

Stay tuned for my next blog. In a few weeks, I will address even more steps to becoming a successful collegiate golfer.

 

by Coach Chris Hawley