HUDSON — Many high school golfers yearn to continue competing in college. However, getting an athletic scholarship is difficult.
The challenge is to get noticed, then recruited by a college coach. Golf academies and junior tournaments are a possibility, but to participate costs several thousands of dollars.
Ray Cisbani, the golf pro at The Links Golf Club and the former golf coach at Saint Leo University, has developed a unique recruiting approach.
Cisbani gathers information about a high school player’s skills, academics and personality. He packages the information into an electronic résumé and distributes it to college coaches.
“The whole idea behind this is to give the (college) coach information about the player,” Cisbani said. “Coaches are looking for a specific athlete. I have that information in a database.”
According to Cisbani, some coaches just want to coach and not wish to instruct. They want independent, self-sufficient players on their team. Other coaches like to groom players and develop their skills.
Cisbani spends four to five hours evaluating each player’s skills. On the driving range, he has them hit hundreds of balls, then takes them on the course to observe their course management, etiquette and understanding of the rules. He also makes a video so the prospective coach can view a player’s swing.
The second component includes providing the player’s high school academic record and extra-curricular activities. Finally, Cisbani conducts a personality evaluation.
“A coach doesn’t want 10 captains on his team, because of egos involved,” Cisbani said. “The personality section helps determine if the player is a leader (captain) or a team player. A team’s chemistry can be changed by one new player.”
To get the word out, Cisbani is sending information packets to all high school golf coaches in the Tampa Bay area.
For more information, go to [email protected] or call (727) 514-0985.