How a PGA professional helps connect college coaches with potential recruits through technology
"It's like Match.com for junior golfers and college coaches."
That's how PGA Professional Roger Knick, owner of the Golf Performance Center in Ridgefield, Conn., describes his new venture, a website called "The Junior Golf Hub."
Knick has spent years working with junior golfers, helping to hone their golf skills, while also serving as something of an advisor to parents on how to best prepare their children for golf in the college ranks.
With the Junior Golf Hub -- for players between the ages of 13-19 -- Knick's services are no longer limited to those in his local golf circle. Now, it's for everyone.
"This is a concept that I came up with a couple of years ago and we officially launched in March," Knick said. "Basically what it is, is a subscription-based service for junior golfers and their parents. For $249 annually, they can have a digital profile online that can be accessed for free by college coaches."
In that digital profile, junior golfers are able to posts videos of their swing, their tournament schedule, follow college programs they may be interested in and create a link to their profile where they can be contacted by college coaches.
Likewise, coaches can follow junior golfers and set up notifications to regularly keep tabs on what's new in the player's game.
There's a filtering system that Knick developed, where both the golfers and coaches can identify their wants and needs, which helps to narrow down potential fits.
"Instead of a coach getting inundated with emails and letters now, they can be linked up with the junior golfer that fits the perimeters of their search," Knick said.
The Junior Golf Hub is also a tool for college coaches with budgetary restrictions. They can't make it out to all the big junior tournaments they'd like to go to, but the Junior Golf Hub is a way for them to keep tabs on the progress of potential recruits.
"We're trying to connect the talent -- the junior golfer -- with the best opportunities possible," Knick said.
Also on Junior Golf Hub, Knick will be offering assistance to juniors and their parents with a roadmap on how to plan their tournament schedules, develop their game and fitness and whether or not they would benefit by taking a gap year. The goal is to ultimately land them the best fit and opportunity with a college team.
Knick said the site has every college registered in the Junior Golf Hub and has more than 300 college coaches actively using the product. He hopes that all 1,200 schools will use the tool by the end of the year.
Knick is leaning on his brethren -- fellow PGA Professionals -- to help spread the word.
"PGA professionals spend so much time with junior golfers, developing their games and trying to set them up for the future," Knick said. "I want to create a network of PGA professionals who work with juniors and see what a great tool we've got. There will be incentives for PGA professionals who want to get involved."
PGA professionals can click here to sign up for the Junior Golf Hub.