News & ToursJuly 2, 2009

Collegegolf.com put me in my place

Got to do a rare thing for me yesterday: actually play a round of golf.

It was only my third 18-hole round of the year, which means President Obama has played more golf than I have in 2009. I'm not sure if that says more about his ability to juggle his schedule and make time to play the game, or my inability to do the same. At any rate ...

I have a 12.7 handicap index, so my 92 at New Haven CC was not a horrible score, but certainly not my best effort. Suffice it to say, if I was a junior golfer and had aspirations to play Division I college golf, I'd best be trying to get in more practice ... or making alternative plans.

If I didn't know this already, I had it confirmed when I tried to see how my scores would hold up if I was playing in a Division I tournament by plugging in some numbers at www.collegegolf.com.

The site is the brainchild of __Dean Frischknecht__with the help of Mark Laesch of Golfstat. Frischknecht has been the author of the Ping American College Golf Guide for more than two decades, and his tireless efforts to help junior golfers find a place for them to play at the collegiate level has been a tremendous service.

Going to the website, I entered my average score and the average length course I play on. The website then converts my stats into "adjusted" college scores for any number of individual tournaments. If the average scoring in a certain round at a certain tournament is higher than normal (perhaps due to weather), the conversion takes that into account (along with the yardage the tournament was played at), allowing you to get a fair assessment of how you would stand if you too had played in that college event.

Being a University of Michigan graduate, I decided to first see how I would have done if I were playing for the Big Ten title last May at Penn State's Blue Course. The numbers obviously weren't all that surprising: I would have been dead last, shooting rounds of 92-93-93-94 for a 372, 31 shots worse than the actual last-place finisher and 61 back of the second-to-last-place finisher. (Ugh)

Fooling around a little bit, the same outcome happened at the ACC Championship ... and the SEC ... and the Pac-10 ... and well you get where I'm going. I even tried a fewer lower-profile D-I conferences. Suffice it to say, I saw I was out of my league at the Division I level.

So I tried D-II, D-III, NAIA, NJCAA to see if I might fare any better. Every now and then I'd finish a few places better than last, but never close to contention.

Again, I didn't have any real delusions that my golf game was scholarship worthy, but the website was a pretty simple way for me to see how I stack up in the big picture of college golf. More importantly, it's a great tool for junior golfers who are starting to explore potentially playing at the college level and want a realistic idea of how their game might compare.

If you're a junior golfer who hasn't given collegegolf.com a look, you're missing out.

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