NCCGA Frequently Asked Questions

Basics

What is club golf?

Club golf is competitive non-varsity golf in college. Similar to other club sports, such as club baseball or club Quidditch, club golf teams compete regionally against other colleges under the direction of a national organization.

What is the NCCGA?

The NCCGA is the National Collegiate Club Golf Association, the governing body for non-varsity college golf in the United States.

How do the tournaments work?

The NCCGA operates two tournaments each semester in every NCCGA region. The two tournaments are 36-hole team stroke play events (18-holes Saturday, 18-holes Sunday).

Each team brings 5-8 players, and the top 5 scores from each day compose the team score. At the end of both rounds, the top teams and individuals are awarded trophies for their performances.

The students play in foursomes. Two students from one team, and two students from another team. This is to ensure accurate score keeping, as well as allow teammates to play with each other.

Find more details here.

Where are the tournaments located?

The country is divided into 29 regions, based on geography. For example, all the club golf teams in Louisiana play in the “Gulf Region”. Each region hosts two tournaments each semester, and the tournaments are run by student Regional Coordinators.

Regions are designed to minimize travel as much as possible for club teams, with tournaments placed in central locations as much as possible: Which region would your school play?

The regions are also how NCCGA National Championship bids are awarded: One team from each region is given an automatic bid.

What is the scoring range for NCCGA tournaments?

Scores range from 70-110. The medalist at the Spring 2016 NCCGA National Championship shot rounds of 76-66 to finish 2-under for the tournament (won by three strokes). The last place finisher shot rounds of 103-98.

Involved Colleges

How many schools have club golf teams?

Over 300 colleges have active club golf teams competing in the NCCGA, and 200 more schools have clubs in formation. To see if your school has a club golf team, check out the full list here.

If your school has a club golf team, you can request to join the club on the team’s Nextgengolf homepage. We will introduce you to the Club President to learn more specifics about the club on campus. Find your school’s team page by searching here.

What if a school doesn't have a club golf team?

If a school doesn’t have a club golf team, there are two choices: The first is to work with the NCCGA and the school’s club sports department to start a team. The second is to compete as an individual.

Starting a club golf team is now easier than ever. Nextgengolf and the NCCGA have helped start hundreds of teams over the past two years, and are happy to help any student get started. Let us know you’re interested by completing this form!

What is the process to start a club golf team?

The process can take as little as two weeks, or in some cases a full semester to start a club golf team. A club team does NOT need to be officially recognized by the school, so the basics are gathering a group of 5-8 players and paying the NCCGA entry fees.

For brand new clubs, we recommend a few items to begin:

  • Write an official club constitution
  • Lay out a sample budget
  • Apply to club/rec sports for official recognition
  • Begin recruiting on campus via campus events, fair day’s, flyers, social media, etc.
  • Organize an interest meeting to determine club activities, funding, dues structure, tryout activities, etc.

Who Can Play

Who is eligible to play in NCCGA tournaments?

To be eligible for NCCGA tournaments, a student must be currently enrolled full-time at their college (as defined by their school). Students must have amateur status, and cannot have played NCAA varsity golf at any point during the current NCCGA season.

Undergraduate, graduate, community college, PGM, and law school students are all eligible to play (provided they meet the other eligibility requirements).

What is the min/max age to compete in the NCCGA?

The NCCGA does not discriminate based on age. Anyone that meets the requirements of an enrolled, full-time, college students can compete. We have seen students as young as 16 and as old at 50+ participate.

What are the academic requirements to play club golf?

The NCCGA does not have any rules/restrictions on GPA. The only academic-related rule the NCCGA has is that all students participating in regional tournaments MUST be currently enrolled full-time (as defined by their school).

Note: Some school club/rec sports departments impose minimum GPAs on their club teams.

Can students use club golf to make the varsity team?

Yes. For students that don’t make the varsity team in college, joining the club golf team and competing in the NCCGA provides them the opportunity to continue furthering their golf game in a competitive atmosphere. Several NCCGA students have gone on to join their school’s varsity team after successful stints playing club golf.

Costs and Benefits

What is the cost to play in the NCCGA?

The cost to compete in the NCCGA for one semester is a $300 team due, and then the per person tournament fees (which range from $70-$110). Those are the only costs charged by the NCCGA. This means a club golf team that sends 8 people to a tournament would pay $1400-$1900 (or $175-$240 a person)

A student playing as an individual would pay a $60 due, and then the per person tournament fees.

The majority of club teams receive funding assistance through the school, as well as institute a dues structure for the club. This means a student might not pay anything, or might pay a $100 due to join the club and that covers all their expenses.

Other costs clubs must consider: lodging, travel, team gear (if applicable), practice time, etc. The NCCGA usually recommends club teams set a budget of $1,500-$2,000 for a semester to be safe. This provides extra money for travel expenses, and leaves room for team polos (for example).

What benefits does a team/student receive?

Club golf teams and all individual students that are members of the NCCGA receive the opportunity to play in competitive golf tournaments, discounts at local golf courses, discounts on equipment and apparel, job/internship opportunities, network events, as well as golf swag at each tournament.

What do I get with the NCCGA tournament fee?

The tournament fee includes 36-holes of tournament golf, range balls (if course has a range), golf cart (if tournament is a riding event), a sleeve of Srixon golf balls, Chef’s cut jerky, tees, ball markers, stickers, and more!

Does the NCCGA help with fundraising?

Yes! Nextgengolf has its own fundraising platform (think: Kickstarter) for NCCGA teams that allows friends, family, alumni, etc. to contribute directly to the team. Our sponsors have even stepped up to provide products the contributors can choose to receive: Learn more information about the platform here.

In addition we have additional resources if your club would like additional ideas or help running their own fundraising event. These include: bake sales, silent auctions, profit-share with local restaurant, and more.

Commitment

What is the commitment of playing club golf?

One of the largest benefits of playing club golf is the low level of commitment. The NCCGA runs two regional  tournaments each semester, and then a National Championship for qualifying teams. Each tournament is a Saturday-Sunday event, meaning almost all competing teams miss 0 class time.

The weekly schedule for a club team differs from club-to-club, but most clubs do not have mandatory practices or events on a weekly basis. Many club teams will simply have 2-3 times available for anyone who wants to practice/play. This provides flexibility for each individual student to juggle other priorities with golf.

When/Where do club golf teams practice?

Most club golf teams have a home course relationship set-up with a local golf course. These relationships vary from school-to-school, but typically involve either playing for free, or paying a nominal daily/semesterly fee to use the course at certain times.

For some schools that don’t have access to a course, the members of the club will travel to the closest course that will help them, or rely on paying out of pocket to play.

The practice schedules are differ from team-to-team. Some teams hold optional practices daily, some once a week, and some rely on students to practice on their own before tournaments.

Can a student participate in other sports/activities?

Yes. One of the benefits of club golf is the low commitment, and this means the students can do other activities outside of it. The NCCGA has had varsity baseball, hockey, and football players also play club golf. We have also seen students be members of multiple clubs, as well as also be the President of their Fraternity/Sorority while still playing club golf.

Does the NCCGA run summer events?

The NCCGA does not run any summer events. However, our sister tour the “City Tour” is a summer tour for 18-34 year olds in cities across the country. Similar to the NCCGA, the “City Tour” is team-based and hosts weekend tournaments throughout the summer: Learn more about the City Tour.

Getting Involved

How do I sign-up?

Fill out a prospective team form and our leadership team will explain how we can help you start a club golf team on campus!

What if I am a recreational golfer?

Recreational golfers are still welcome to play in our events, as well as join their school’s club golf team. Many club teams offer a recreational component, such as scramble events or time at the driving range.

If you are interested in improving your game, the Golf Channel Academy can provide affordable golf lessons in your area. Find the closest academy here: https://golfchannelacademy.com/.

How can a student/parent learn more about a specific school's club golf team?

To learn more about the club golf team at a certain school, it is best to contact that team’s club president via email and setup a time to either speak on the phone, meet on campus, or exchange questions via email. The club president’s contact info can be found either by contacting the NCCGA (info@nccga.org), or through the school’s club sports department.

Team Composition

How many students are on a club golf team?

A club golf team at any given school can have anywhere from 5-100+ members. Similar to any other club (such as Spanish Club), there’s no limit. However, the club team will select a smaller number of players to represent the club at competitive NCCGA tournaments.

How many students does a team send to a NCCGA tournament?

The NCCGA operates regional tournaments on a “Play 8 Count Five” format. Therefore club teams can send a minimum of 5, maximum of 8 players to represent the club at a regional tournament. Top top 5 scores each day compose the team score.

Note: Clubs can elect to bring an “A” and “B” team as well to competitions. This allows the club to send up to 16 players to an event, but the two teams compete against each other on the leaderboard.

How do club teams determine the students that represent them at tournaments?

For some schools, it is simply asking who is available and taking the first 8 people. Other teams hold 1, 2, or 3 rounds of tryouts to determine their competitive roster. It all depends on how large the club is, and how the Club President operates it.

Do men and women play on the same team?

Men and women are allowed to compete on the same team in NCCGA competition. Women would play from the more forward tees, but would still compete on the same leaderboard as the other competitors.

Schools have the option to create gender-specific teams, but only if both genders are represented. (Ex-Wake Forest fields a men’s club golf team AND a women’s club golf team). In this case, the women’s team would all play from the shorter tees, but still play directly against the other teams (there is no all-women’s division or leaderboard).

Do club golf teams play in any non-NCCGA events?

Some clubs will hold their own intrasquad tournaments amongst club members, in an effort to involve even their recreational golfers. These tournaments are operated independently of the NCCGA and don’t affect qualifying for the NCCGA National Championship.

National Championship

How does the National Championship work?

Similar to the regional tournaments, the National Championship is a 2-day, 36-hole team stroke play event (18 holes both days). Top 5 scores from a team each day compose the team score. Top three teams earn awards, and the Top 16 individuals make the All-Tournament team.

When is the National Championship?

The spring NCCGA National Championship occurs in late April, and the fall National Championship occurs in early November. The best teams and individuals across the country qualify each semester: Qualifying procedure.

How does a team qualify for Nationals?

At the end of each regional tournament, the winning team receives 6 “qualifying points”, second place receives 3, and third place receives 1. The team with the most qualifying points at the end of both regional tournaments receives the region’s automatic bid to the NCCGA National Championship.

Do only teams that win their region qualify for the National Championship?

No. The NCCGA extends a variable number of wildcard bids each semester until the field is full. The number of bids varies due to some regions failing to meet the minimum number of teams, or certain regions not being able to accept their bids.

How are wildcard bids to Nationals awarded?

Once all of the regional tournaments are complete, the NCCGA ranks all club teams based on average differential by round (using a formula developed by the USGA to take into account course slope/rating). The top teams on the rankings that did not qualify automatically are then given wildcard invitations. If a team declines their bid, the next highest ranked team is then invited, and so on until the field is full.

How do individuals qualify for Nationals?

The NCCGA selects 16 individuals to compete in the National Championships. These 16 individuals include students whose school does not have a club golf team, as well as students whose teams did not qualify. Similar to the wildcard bid process, all individuals are ranked by average differential by round, and then the first 16 are invited, and the invitations continue until the field is full.

An individual MUST have played in both regional tournaments to be eligible for nationals, and their team must NOT be qualified. Ex) If a Florida club golfers finished the year as the #1 ranked individual, they would not be invited to Nationals if their club team qualified via winning the region or wildcard. This takes into account the overwhelming evidence that the team would select that golfer to be on the nationals team.

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Any additional questions?

Contact: Travis Richardson
NCCGA Director
316-208-5276
travis@nccga.org