*This series of articles was published the summer of 2013 at the beginning of Nextgengolf. The NCCGA (National Collegiate Club Golf Association) now hosts tournaments for more than 300 club golf teams across the country. Learn more here.
Timing of the formation of HCGC (Holy Cross Golf Club) was absolutely perfect. Right when this program launched, so did the very young organization we all know and love today, Nextgengolf (formerly College Golf Pass) which was directly in line with my goal of increasing college-level recreational golf. When I had to reach out to them to find out what they’re all about, I was more than pleased to learn that they offered discounts at the courses the club golf team typically played at, Cyprian Keyes and Pine Ridge.
To better establish a solid membership base, I decided to use CGP as a membership tool to form our club team. Because we were required to charge a membership fee as one of our agreements with the student government (if we wanted to get funding from Uncle Sam, we had to abide by his rules), I decided that anyone who joins our club would receive a College Golf Pass. This was a huge incentive for them since members would be able to take advantage of free golf along with unlimited discounts even whenever the club team wasn’t playing.
Within the next couple weeks, we recruited around 50 members ranging from 1st timers to those who could easily play for the team, but just didn’t have the time to do so. To be able to accommodate the various levels of golfers, we had weekly outings that included driving range instruction days and scrimmages with other schools for the more experienced. Even for those rainy, snowy or cold days, we had golf movie nights with all the wings and pizza those food-deprived college students could possibly eat.
Learn more about starting a club golf team
College Golf Pass made it even easier to locate other nearby colleges who wanted to compete on non-varsity level. They made attending these matches more attractive by being able to provide prizes and tee giveaways.
My goal to increase golf’s presence at a non-varsity level at Holy Cross’ campus proved to be quite successful. The club not only continues to provide entry-level instructions and games for the first-timers, but they now also belong to the New England region of the NCCGA (National Collegiate Club Golf Association), an organization that helps connect various club golf teams across the nation to arrange tournament schedules and matches.
The NCCGA works with more than 300 schools across the country, running more than 50 tournaments each semester for non-varsity club golfers.
**Harry Chiu is a former NCCGA participant and founder of the Holy Cross Club Golf team. Contact him on Twitter @golferboyhc