Day and night, yin and yang, peanut butter and jelly – some things just go together. College sport and the USA? Yep, that’s one too. Indeed, it seems like the US has associated with sporting prowess for as long as time itself. As a matter of fact, it’s only been a couple hundred years. The sheer dominance of the connotation however, remains deep-rooted in the birth of American culture nonetheless. Unashamedly competitive, encouraged and in many respects worshipped – a love of college sport in the US is unlike anything else.
The first organised college sports club was formed in 1843 by Yale University in the creation of their boat team, with Harvard University following suit. Undoubtedly, the formation of these two clubs set the pace for competitive, intercollegiate sporting events and the first known event of this type took place on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, 1852. Perhaps unwittingly, Yale and Harvard began to pave the way for universities and colleges across America and a legion of sporting teams; to ignite a passion among a community and its sporting successes.
Golf Support decided to analyse the data available for college sports in the US. These statistics reveal the top 10 college sports in the USA.
Why Is college sport so popular in the US?
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Long before the creation of the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), college sport gave Americans events to take note of. Notoriously popular, each competing event encouraged individuals to support their team and in this sense, schools became the birthplace of US sporting spirit. Although national teams have now surpassed humble college sports in reputation and popularity – you cannot take away from the fact that college sports are seemingly immovable and infallible in American society and the way sports are to be showcased and celebrated.
It’s true to say that America is a mobile society and melting pot – with college sports representing a community spirit that is open to everyone. Certainly, individuals who attend a particular college will be connected to that college – and its sport team – for life. Many Americans will go on to wear their college sports merchandise with pride long after they’ve graduated, as their sense of school spirit remains entrenched in their everyday life.
Comparably, locals and newcomers will be exposed to college sport at one time or another. In many respects, from the outside, the keenness and notoriety of college sports can look scary – somewhat inaccessible and unfamiliar. However, exposure can lead to intrigue and curiosity; enabling everyone to share in the excitement of their local team – should they wish to partake. In this way, college sports unlock an in-built community that allows everybody the opportunity to participate; whether on the pitch, in the pool, or standing in the bleachers.
Think about America as a whole; it’s huge. So huge that many individuals across the country may not live near to a large city that plays home to a major professional sports team. So, what are they to do? Well, support their local college team of course!
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What can a college sport scholarship offer?
Sport scholarships in America continue to produce some of the best sporting talent the world has seen. In fact, champions like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, along with many other talented athletes, progressed through the US scholarship college system. In fact, as it stands, a great 67% of golfers have attended or graduated college at some stage.
Fascinatingly, three of the highest earning golf champions of all time took advantage of a college golf scholarship. These being the legendary Arnold Palmer (one of, if not the greatest golfer of all time), Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods – along with many other talented athletes.
What can a sport scholarship offer an individual? Well, with facilities that include coaching, support networks, sports science classes, nutrition, physiotherapy, sports psychology, fitness training and counselling – all of which are top class – what isn’t there to gain?
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Well-rounded sporting opportunities aside, a scholarship can also offer an individual the opportunity to travel through competing in events across the US. Academically, scholarships offer the chance to study at a first class school such as Stanford, where one can effectively combine a top level sport together with a degree. Many schools can even provide personal tutors and additional classes for athletes, should they need a little extra guidance.
In fact, many serious and committed athletes choose not to pursue higher education because they feel they will ultimately lose crucial contact with their chosen sport, and so scholarships provide an essential platform for those who wish to combine both – and why shouldn’t they?
Certainly, many corporate sponsorships, along with extensive media and television coverage, remains a vital part of the system – as each college and university scholarship is reliant on funding. However, the opportunity for young athletes to exercise their potential in every sense of the word remains invaluable – something that the US is supremely aware of.
How much is your dream golf state worth?
New research conducted by golfsupport.com/ has found golf to be the 7th most popular sport in US universities and colleges, tucked in-between cross country and tennis, making it one of the most sponsored college sports there is. Sourced from research showcasing the number of schools sponsoring varsity programs for individual sports, further findings discovered that 1,328 accredited, 4-year colleges in the US – out of a possible 2,618 – offer some form of golf programme for prospective students to take advantage of. Altogether amassing an impressive 18,930 varsity golf athletes.
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Golf Support also identified the recommended ‘Top 10′ US universities and colleges, in which to play golf – at scholarship level or otherwise. Certainly, playing golf can contribute to creating thousands of connections a day by providing players with an excellent opportunity to discuss business and to network. In this way, playing golf in college will prepare athletes for the business world and if you can secure a place at one of these top 10 schools, the level of play and the sheer quality of connections you will make is second to none.
But, will your dream school state match its quality to its worth? Further research found just how much each of these prospective ‘top university’ states contribute to the US economy. Fittingly, results found that the top two states in which to study golf – being California and Georgia, with not just one but two top ten golf universities each – were among the top three highest earners for the economy, contributing $13.1 billion and 5.1 billion respectively; with Texas coming second at $7.4 billion.
Certainly these results bring to light just how much your dream golf state really is worth – to you and to the US – in much bigger and broader terms than simply academics.