New NCAA D1 Golf Recruiting Rules

Posted April 19, 2018 by

Starting with the 2018-19 school year, most prospective student-athletes will follow a recruiting model that resembles the schedule other students follow when choosing where to go to college. The Division I Council made the decision when it met  April 17-18, 2018, in Indianapolis.

The new recruiting model allows potential student-athletes more time to make thoughtful decisions about their next steps after high school. The shift was supported by the national Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

The changes will affect several aspects of the recruiting model. For student-athletes in sports other than football and basketball, official visits now can begin Sept. 1 of a prospect’s junior year in high school instead of the first day of classes for senior year.

Additionally, athletics departments can’t participate in a recruit’s unofficial visit until Sept. 1 of the recruit’s junior year in high school, and recruiting conversations during a school’s camp or clinic can’t happen before Sept. 1 of the junior year. Both rules apply to all sports but football and basketball, which have their own rules.

Brief Summary of Changes:

  1. Unofficial Visits are not allowed until September 1 of the start of your junior year in High School.
  2. Official Visits are now allowed beginning September 1 of the start of your junior year in High School
  3. Recruiting Conversations cannot take place at a camp or clinic hosted by a school until September 1 of your junior year in High School.


What Is still Permissible:

  1. A Prospective Student-Athlete of any age can still directly call a college golf coach and communicate with him/her.
  2. A Prospective Student-Athlete can still send communications TO a coach prior to September 1 of their junior year in High School. The coach can’t respond until September 1 of junior year.
  3. A PSA, prior to September 1 of junior year, can take a tour of campus with the coach while attending a camp/clinic.
  4. A college coach is allowed to have phone conversations with a high school coach/instructor about a PSA PRIOR to September 1 of the Junior Year.
  5. PSAs can still take visits to schools before September 1 of their junior year but can’t meet or talk with coaches or anyone in the Athletic Department while on those visits

What this means:

  1. The whole recruiting timeline just became shorter for most PSAs.
  2. Verbal offers to PSAs will now be made over the phone prior to September 1 of the start of the PSAs junior year in High School instead of on an unofficial visit, but only if the PSA has initiated the call.
  3. Some players may feel pressure into making verbal commitments before they have had a chance to really make visits to an appropriate list of schools and meet coaches and players. So some bad decisions will be made. I’m afraid more junior golfers may end up backing out of their initial verbal commitments.
  4. September 1st of the junior year is an important date on the recruiting calendar. This is the day college coaches can first have written communications with you. And host unofficial/official visits. So a highly ranked PSA can expect a flood of communications that day.
  5. Your coach/instructor just became more important. They better know the recruiting rules, better know the college coaches and how the process works and how to take advantage of the new rules. Because the recruiting process and timeline just changed.
  6. Camps/Clinics just became more important. College coaches will send out many more invites to these events to PSAs in the freshman and sophomore classes.
  7. Selecting an appropriate list of potential coaches/schools to contact and talk with PRIOR to the start of your junior year just became WAY more important.
For additional questions on what these new rules mean to you, for help with your game, or for help navigating the college recruiting process, please contact Play Golf In College, “The College Recruiting Experts”.