Study: How Much is a Full Golf Scholarship Worth?
10 Sep 2018
by Brendan Ryan of Golf Placement Services

A deluxe indoor practice facility is one of<br>the perks of playing golf at Notre Dame<br>(TruGolf photo)
A deluxe indoor practice facility is one of
the perks of playing golf at Notre Dame
(TruGolf photo)

The NCAA defines a full scholarship as tuition, fees, room/board, and course-related textbooks. At a school like Notre Dame, the cost of such a scholarship would be worth $69,395 per year ($277,580 for 4 years). That’s some serious money. However, college golfers not only receive a scholarship to school but a smorgasbord of other benefits including free golf membership, equipment, coaching, and travel for competition and practice trips.

So, what’s all that worth? With the help of John Handrigan, men’s coach at the University of Notre Dame, we sought to find out.

Before discussing the value of being a member of the golf team, it is important to recognize the value of a degree from Notre Dame which is currently ranked #18 in best Universities by US News & World Report and features the #1 business school in the country. According to the website Pay Scale, a graduate of Notre Dame can expect to make an average salary of $64,800 early in their career, with an average mid salary of $133,800. This is a degree that has value and young people should covet.

Education: $69,395

Maybe the most impressive day for incoming freshman is when golf team members first walk into the team locker room and see the uniform for the year. Upon returning to school, Notre Dame players will be treated to 4 pairs of golf shoes, 4 pairs of workout shoes, 6 pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of pants, 15 golf shirts, 6 pull overs, 5 jackets, rain gear, 2 golf bags, travel bags, 12 dozen balls, 3 dozen gloves, 4 pairs of workout shorts, 6 workout shirts, 4 sets of sweats, a ½ dozen hats, and a club fitting by their company of choice.

Gear: $1500 ($70,895 total)

The Warren Course at Notre Dame
The Warren Course at Notre Dame
Beyond the “stuff”, players at Notre Dame are full members and have unlimited golf privileges at the Warren Golf Course. The course, located on campus and less than a 10-minute walk from the dorms, is home to the 2019 U.S. Senior Open and features 4 sets of tees: 7020, 6743, 6346 and 5302 yards, respectively. The championship tees have a course rating of 74.6 and slope of 136.

Golf Membership: $2000 ($72,895 total)

The Rolfs Family Golf Facility at Notre Dame
The Rolfs Family Golf Facility at Notre Dame
Beyond access to a US Open level venue, the players have access to Rolfs Family Golf Facility, a 10,333 square foot center that features a locker room, 2 hitting bays and an indoor short game area. The center cost 2.1 million dollars to build and is available only to the members of the Notre Dame Men’s and Women’s Golf teams. The team also has access to several other courses in the area.

Under the NCAA rules, Division One Golf Teams are allowed 24 days of competition. In 2018-2019, the University of Notre Dame men's golf team will play a schedule that will cover 15,038 miles (round trip) and feature trips to University of Wisconsin, Rich Harvest Farms, Wake Forest, Quail Valley in Vero Beach, The Prestige at PGA National, the University of North Carolina, Augusta State (where they will also watch the practice round at the Masters), Purdue, the ACC Championship at Old North State Golf Club and then the postseason for NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championship. For serious golfers, you will notice a trend; some amazing courses!

When calculating the value, it gets a little tricky because some of these courses are private (Quail Valley, Rich Harvest Farms and Old North State) and so assuming you can get an invite, the average green fee is $205 per round. If you played a 54-hole tournament and a practice round at each, the cost for just golf would be $2460. However, for this article was are going to underestimate and assign a tournament entry fee of $500 per tournament for the 11 events.

Entry Fees: $5500 ($78,395 total)

To prepare for upcoming tournaments the Notre Dame men's golf team is fortunate enough to take several practice trips throughout the year. Last year they included a weekend at Augusta National, West Palm Beach to play McArthur / PGA National, Kiawah Island to play rounds at the Ocean Course, back to West Palm to play Seminole and finally to Miami to play Doral. Let’s assume $1000 per weekend trip for 5 trips.

Weekend Trips: $5000 ($83,395 total)

For travel, the team is likely going to fly 10 times and drive 3 times. For each flight let’s assume $400 dollars (including baggage fees) and for each drive let’s assume $250.

Travel: $4750 ($88,145 total)

For each of the tournaments, you need to not only get there but also secure accommodations. Keeping in mind that at each of these tournaments, players are staying in at least 3.5-star hotels (often nicer) at an average nightly rate of $75 per player for 33 nights (11 tournaments for 3 nights each):

Accommodation: $2475 ($90,620 total)

Throughout the process players are supported by a full-time strength coach, academic mentors and a coaching staff which features the 2015 National Assistant coach of the year, and now head coach John Handrigan, and his assistant coach, former PGA Tour player Scott Gump. Let’s assume this is worth $10,000.

Coaching: $10,000 ($100,620 grand total)

Based on these numbers a college golfer at Notre Dame can expect to receive at least $30,000 in golf-related benefits from being a member of the golf team, including a membership to a world class course, tons of gear, a new set of clubs and the opportunity to play a lot of competitive golf under the guidance of 2 world class coaches. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

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