One of the most common questions I receive from recreational sports departments, and students, that have never heard of the National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) is: "How is this different than intramural golf?". It's an interesting question with a simple answer. However, since the question continues to pop-up I wanted to show the five biggest ways club golf through the NCCGA is different than intramural golf on college campuses.
1) Level of Competition - The biggest difference between intramural golf and club golf is the competition level. Intramural sports take place within a certain school's student body, so for the most part you will only be competing against other students at your school. Club golf is a competition against students at other schools, often on a regional and national level. This results in an increased level of competition. Similar to any other club sports, such as club baseball or club hockey.
2) More Students - Since club sports take place on a regional and national level, it means you will have the opportunity to meet and compete against more students. One of the benefits of golf is the camaraderie, and playing club golf allows you to branch out and meet students from different parts of the country.
3) Team-Format - While the format of intramural golf events can very school-to-school, for the most part they are individual, or pair, based. The winner is more determined by the single best golfer than team-play. In the NCCGA, a tournament's top golfer doesn't always result in a regional victory of the team. That requires 5 (or more) golfers playing well and picking each other up.
4) National Championship - Each semester the NCCGA holds a National Championship for the top club golf teams from around the country. These tournaments take place at some of the premier golf courses across the country, including Sea Island, Firestone, Dancing Rabbit, and TPC San Antonio.
5) Swag - Students that compete in club golf tournaments have the ability to purchase discounted golf balls, polos, t-shirts, hats, clubs, and also receive discounts at local golf courses. There's perks in being involved with the NCCGA.
We are huge fans of intramural golf, and are always happy to see schools offering any golf outlet for non-varsity students. It's much better than the alternative, which is no golf whatsoever if you are not on varsity (or the school doesn't field a varsity team). We are more than happy helping a school plan an upcoming recreational golf tournament, including prizes, trophies, scoring, etc.
The NCCGA is here to support any students and schools looking to take their golf to the next level and create a club golf team to compete regionally and nationally.
**Travis Richardson is a Zone Manager for the NCCGA, supporting club golf teams all across the country. Reach him via e-mail email@example.com.