A very important, proactive step in the college recruiting process is to schedule unofficial visits as early as possible. The days of official visits are almost over now that recruiting starts so early. Official visits aren’t allowed until first day of your senior year, if you wait until then to take visits it will be too late. They tend to just be a formality for players who have already verbally committed and are getting ready to sign their NLI.
You can always take unofficial visits until that time though. You must be assertive and take the initiative to try and set up visits early in the process. Visits will not only give you an opportunity to meet with a coach and get comfortable with the process, but they also help you begin to figure out what you want in a school. They help to motivate you to work hard in order to reach the level it takes to play at those particular schools before it is too late. It also gives you the chance to physically see what you are working for day in and day out. Many times it can seem like college is so far off in future that you don’t feel the desire to work hard, college visits are a great way to keep you excited and dedicated to your goal of playing college golf.
It can be difficult for freshmen and sophomores to set up visits since coaches can’t reply to emails or return phone calls, but with a little persistence you can make it happen. Try emailing and making phone calls to the coach, include your high school or swing coach’s contact information. A coach is allowed to call them back and use them (or someone like myself) as a third party reference. Keep in mind, if a school is a far stretch from where your resume currently stands, then it is highly unlikely a coach will go out of their way to try and arrange a visit. Be realistic when contacting coaches so you can maximize your time when taking visits. Check the team’s schedule to make sure they aren’t away at a tournament on the weekend that you plan to take a visit. Take advantage of days off from school to take visits. Be proactive and start early!