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Division 3 Men's Golf by the numbers
12 Jan 2020
by Brendan Ryan of Golf Placement Services

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- Illinois Wesleyan photo
- Illinois Wesleyan photo

By the numbers, according to Golfstat adjusted scoring averages, here are the scoring averages for NCAA Division III Men’s Golf:

#1 Illinois Wesleyan – 284.4 (or average -1 for 4 players, per round for the entire fall season)
#5 Hampden-Sydney – 290.08
#15 Babson – 292.56
#25 Averrett – 295.12

Please note that 4 teams have adjusted scoring averages under 72; Illinois Wesleyan (71.1), Emory (71.65), Claremont (71.96) and Huntingdon (71.58).

I would also like to highlight the results from the 2019 Gordon Invitational hosted by Ohio Wesleyan (where I am a former coach and very familiar with the course). At Columbus Country Club (7008 yards, slope 134), Illinois Wesleyan shot -24 (840: 285, 277, 278). During the tournament Emory also had a 278 (-10), and Drew Mathews of Huntingdon had a second round 64 and a total of -9, which was not good enough to win! That distinction goes to Rob Wuethrich of Illinois Wesleyan who fired -10.

The Recruiting Numbers

Much of what I have reported over the past 3 years is based on recruiting data. Through this research, I have been able to provide a clearer picture to prospective student athletes, coaches and teaching professionals on what a Division I player looks like. However, I have always wondered what the numbers look like for Division 3; how do these players compare?

With the help of John Sjoberg of Emory and Dan Wesley of Rochester, I was able to put together a survey and distribute it to more than 60 coaches. 38 of these coaches responded and I can report that (drum roll please) the average Division III male player that they signed had a Junior Golf Score Board ranking, in their class, of 1088.

So how does this compare? My previous data has shown that Division II players have an average NJGS class ranking of about 600, and Division I Power 5 players have an average class ranking of about 75. While 1088 for Division III is higher, the standard deviation was 300, meaning that most of the class had NJGS rankings between 700-1300 in their class.

It is also important to note that most players in the 1000-1300 range in their class have scoring differentials of about 1.5-2.0 at the time of signing. This group is going to include a lot of kids from northern climates, late developers, and late specializers who have tremendous upside. More savvy coaching at the D3 level, including many more full-time coaches, have been able to exploit these opportunities and build tremendous teams with the potential to break par often.

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