Aug. 2, 2006
NEW YORK, NY--As part of its second annual College Golf Guide, Golf Digest ranked the NCAA's best colleges for golf and thanks in part to its success in the 2006 season, high academic standards and the new on campus practice facility, the Loyola Marymount men's golf program is among the top-10.
The rankings and College Golf Guide (in its September issue on newsstands August 8) package provides a blueprint for high school students with dreams of playing golf in college and professionally ("Golf First" ranking), as well as students focused on education who still desire to play competitive golf ("Academics First" ranking).
LMU, who won their first conference championship, advanced to their first NCAA regional and first NCAA championship in 2006, are ranked 10th in the Academics First ranking. The Lions ranked in the top 20 percent in three of the five categories, including academics, climate and coaches/facilities. The Lions high ranking in the facilities category was enhanced this year thanks the new Thomas Higgins Short Game Center, which opened this past year.
The full college rankings, including every Division I, Division II and Division III school in the U.S. with a golf program, can be viewed now at GolfDigest.com. The extensive College Golf Guide package--with tips for identifying the best campuses and a revealing survey of 200 college golf coaches on the student-evaluation and recruiting process--can also be viewed online.
"Our purpose with the College Golf Guide is to promote the idea of playing golf during the college years," said Jerry Tarde, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Golf Digest. "Technology today has given students the ability to have complete control over the college search process, and for the 225,000 boys and girls playing high school golf, our guide offers a crash course in getting started."
Five criteria form the basis of the rankings: a college golf team's adjusted scoring average, player growth while on the team, academics, climate and coaches/facilities.
This year's academics numbers come courtesy of U.S. News & World Report's respected "America's Best Colleges" guidebook. The climate numbers were provided by Longitudes Group and measure each school's 30-year average of playable days from September 1 to May 31.
The player-growth category is a refinement to Golf Digest's rankings this year and is based on two measurements: the number of players on the roster during the last four seasons who lowered their adjusted scoring average on a year-over-year basis, as well as the team's combined improvement or decline.
In establishing the rankings, Golf Digest rated 772 NCAA men's programs and 500 women's programs in the five categories mentioned above, grading each category on a 100-point scale to determine overall scores: