College Golf Experience continues growth in 2024

Home » College Golf Experience continues growth in 2024

College Golf Experience(CGX), the leading competitive junior golf camp company connecting juniors and families with college coaches, marked several milestones in 2023 and is preparing for a ramped-up schedule of camps in 2024 including events at four to six international locations. In 2023, in just its second year of operation, CGX saw 90 percent year-over-year growth in number of events and 140 percent year-over-year growth in number of attendees and coach participation through its various camps conducted across the country.

Last year, CGX welcomed more than 1,500 competitive junior golfers and their parents, and 185 coaches from Division I, II, III, and NAIA colleges and universities, with participants from 40 states and four countries. CGX camps have created a platform for coaches to educate parents on life as a college golfer, the recruiting process, and how to find their program fit.

CGX’s three camp products: Exposure Camps, Tournament Preview Camps, and Prospect Camps all bring a unique value proposition to competitive players, parents, and coaches.

In partnership with 15 junior golf tours and events, CGX will establish 40 to 50 Tournament Preview Campsin 2024. These camps, held the day before junior golf tournaments, help players improve their tournament preparation, performance, and course management and strategy while playing their practice round with college coaches. These camps also help players improve by building confidence in front of coaches, who help them learn how to hit different shots under pressure and under a variety of on-course situations. College coaches say the biggest area for improvement in a player’s game is course management and strategy.  The engagement and exchange of information both on and off the course is second to none in that department.

Junior golfer Michael Tyler Polca describes his Tournament Preview Camp experience:

“I definitely think this camp gives me a competitive edge in tournaments. Having the coaches there with you on the golf course during a practice round, not to critique you but to help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses, helps you learn how to manage the course bringing out your best opportunity for a high result.”

In 2023, more than 60 percent of Prospect Camps had a player sign with that program. Prospect Camps, which connect small groups of players (12 to 16) and parents with a single program, provide a glimpse into what college golf at that institution is all about and include a campus tour with college coaches, experiencing a team’s practice facility, and college golf and recruiting seminars. CGX will manage 70 to 80 Prospect Camps in 2024.

Exposure Camps, two-day events with six to 12 coaches, educate families about college golf, the recruiting process and where to start the process of finding a fit in college golf. They include 36 holes of golf with coaches along with a college golf practice session. Exposure Camps bring coaches together in a specific geographic region, conference, division, or ranking. Examples include: CGX Top25 Camps, Ivy Golf Institute Camps, DIII Camps, West Coast Camps, and beginning in 2024, International Camps with CGX’s first international camp scheduled this summer in London from July 17-18 just following the European Team Championships. CGX will expand to four other countries in 2024 and is in exploratory talks to host camps in New Zealand, China, Mexico, Canada and Colombia.

“Being able to talk to the coaches, have them interact with you and your child, and the information that you get from a panel of coaches is just super valuable,” said a mother of a recent camp attendee. “Going through this process, there’s nobody to guide you. To have access to the coaches and to hear the information that’s important to them was amazing. One thing that I learned about the recruiting process that I didn’t know was that coaches like to hear from the potential students, not the parents. Students should be emailing the coaches and updating them on their tournaments and just telling them about themselves. I thought that was super valuable.”

Bruce Heppler, Men’s Head Golf Coach at Georgia Tech, says connecting players with highly successful coaches at CGX camps reveals priceless insights, “It might range from learning to take care of your business off the course – handling your academics, keeping a practice journal, or just learning to do laundry before you leave for college – but, as coaches, we embrace being asked ‘What can I do now to get myself ready?’ because it shows us that person is invested. Kids learn a lot at these camps – how to look at things, how to practice, how to deal with expectations, and how to prepare for college. That’s as valuable as any golf lesson you’ll ever get.”

Coaches are just as energized by the momentum of CGX Camps as junior golfers and their parents have become. “Camps are a valuable part of finding your college golf fit,” said University of Maryland Women’s Head Golf Coach Kelly Hovland. “You obviously can’t replace competition with just practice in a camp, but it’s a great opportunity for coaches to see players and get to know players in a more intimate setting than just on the golf course. Also, the special thing about camps is they merge both of those things, so we can actually work together on the golf course, see what they’re doing technically and mechanically. They we also get to know them personally and integrate both of those in a more competitive setting. I would encourage juniors to set their tournament and camp calendars early to supplement the tournament schedule to find the camps that are going to not only help you with skill development, but that also help you inform you with recruiting education.”