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NCAA Handicap

Starting this year, I have partnered with the Northern California to provide junior golfers, their families and golf professionals more data about junior golf development and the college search process. For our first article, we are going to examine the question: How good are the #1 players at Division 1, Division 2, NAIA and Junior College Men’s Golf? With the help of Jim Cowan, director of course rating and handicapping for the Northern California Golf Association, I set out to examine the tournament handicaps of each of these players from their results in the 2017 fall season and answer this question!

According to GolfStat.com, the best Division I golfer in the fall of 2017 was Justin Suh of the University of Southern California. Justin was the best player at any level with an adjusted scoring average of 68.5 for 12 rounds. The best player for Division II golf was Jacob Huizinga of the University of West Florida. For 12 rounds Jacob averaged 69.4. The best NAIA player was Rowan Lester from Texas Wesleyan University. For 11 rounds Rowan averaged 70.27. The best Junior College player was Mathias Lorentzen from McLennan CC. For 7 rounds Mathias averaged 69.71. After identifying the players, I build a spread sheet for each player with each of their rounds, the yardage and the course rating. Weather was not taken into consideration. Yardage was also based on the numbers listed on tournament results and may not be absolute, however they are close enough to provide a baseline.

Player Name Score Ratings Diff Course
Justin Suh 70 76.6/150 -5.0 Olympia Fields
69 76.6/150 -5.7 Olympia Fields
Ave Differential: -6.175 71 76.6/150 -4.2 Olympia Fields
Upper half: -7.35 67 76.0/134 -7.6 Trinity Forest
(6 of 12) 69 76.0/134 -5.9 Trinity Forest
67 76.0/134 -7.6 Trinity Forest
67 75.4/143 -6.6 Pumpkin Ridge
71 75.4/143 -3.5 Pumpkin Ridge
63 75.4/143 -9.8 Pumpkin Ridge
67 74.4/144 -5.8 Poppy Hills
66 74.4/144 -6.6 Poppy Hills
67 74.4/144 -5.8 Poppy Hills
Rowan Lester 69 74.1/137 -4.2 Hawks Creek
67 74.1/137 -5.9 Hawks Creek
Ave Differential:   -2.673 78 74.1/137 +3.2 Hawks Creek
Upper half: -4.4 69 72.7/137 -3.1 Salishan
(5 of 11) 67 72.7/137 -4.7 Salishan
69 72.7/137 -3.1 Salishan
71 72.4/142 -1.1 Straits Course
70 72.4/142 -1.9 Straits Course
73 74.5/136 -1.2 Guilardia
70 74.5/136 -3.7 Guilardia
70 74.5/136 -3.7 Guilardia
 

 

 

 

Jacob Huizinga

69 74.0/134 -4.2 Streamsong Blue
63 74.0/134 -9.3 Streamsong Blue
Ave Differential:   -3.608 70 74.0/134 -3.4 Streamsong Blue
Upper half: -5.5 68 74.6/147 -5.1 PGA Ntl – Champion
71 74.6/147 -2.7 PGA Ntl – Champion
71 74.6/147 -2.7 PGA Ntl – Champion
75 75.9/142 -0.7 Innisbrook – Copperhead
70 75.9/142 -4.7 Innisbrook – Copperhead
71 75.9/142 -3.9 Innisbrook – Copperhead
73 71.3/135 +1.4 Trump Ntl – Red Tiger
69 71.3/135 -1.9 Trump Ntl – Red Tiger
64 71.3/135 -6.1 Trump Ntl – Red Tiger
Mathias Lorentzen 68 70.2/118 -2.1 Andrews CC
70 70.2/118 -0.2 Andrews CC
Ave Differential:   -2.186 75 74.0/126 +0.1 Twin Rivers
Upper half: -4.233 66 74.0/126 -7.2 Twin Rivers
(3 of 7) 71 71.9/129 -0.8 Rawls Course
68 71.9/129 -3.4 Rawls Course
70 71.9/129 -1.7 Rawls Course

In the data we have listed both the average differential, as well as the upper half. The average differential is the handicap based on all the rounds the individual played in the fall. The upper half is their tournament handicap; it only considers a certain percentage of the best rounds.

When reviewing the data, please keep in mind that the yardages for the tournaments have not been verified and it is likely that they could have played a shorter distance at least one of the rounds. Weather was also not factored in or score vs field.

Regardless of these factor, this article highlights the skills of these tremendous young players, who are playing exceptional golf on difficult courses. In the follow up article, we are going to examine the importance of breaking par for the junior player, as well as highlight tips to help you!

I hope you have enjoyed the data. Should you have any questions, comments or ideas for future articles, please do not hesitate to contact me at brendan@golfplacementservices.com. Happy golfing.

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