Women’s College Golf: Rankings, Recruiting and More
Playing golf at the college level is exhilarating and will present you with amazing opportunities to learn, travel and meet lifelong friends. Your days may be filled with early morning workouts, classes and golf practice; perhaps you get a team dinner afterwards and then join a study group with your friends. There are no restrictions on how you want your college experience to look.
Imagine working hard alongside your team to bring home a national title. Those weekends spent qualifying for tournaments and then traveling for them will become some of your best memories on the road to your championship year.
Just because you’ve decided to pursue college golf doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your education or social life. College is a wonderful experience where everything important to you combines and produces an unforgettable chapter in your life.
Which Women’s Golf Program is Right for Me?
The women’s college golf recruiting process begins with your vision of where you see yourself thriving for four to five years. With approximately 1,000 women’s golf programs, you have the opportunity to build your future just as you envision it, even as a freshman in high school.
Before you sign your National Letter of Intent (NLI), it’s important to answer a few key questions, many of which we’ve listed out in our College Golf Recruiting Guide. Considerations like location, school size, academic interests and career goals are all crucial to figuring out which college is best for you.
Women’s College Golf Rankings
One piece of advice we tell all golfers is that NCAA women’s golf rankings, and really all golf rankings, aren’t everything. Just because a school is ranked in the top 10 doesn’t mean that school is right for you; conversely, a school with a lower ranking shouldn’t be discounted because it may have an excellent program for your major.
Women’s college golf rankings, however, do serve as a good indicator as to how competitive a school is, both in a recruitment and scholarship context. The more highly ranked the women’s college team is, the more women who typically want to play there. Top-ranked colleges usually have more funding for scholarships as well, though those may be equally difficult to earn.
Women’s Golf Scholarships
Finding colleges with women’s golf scholarships is high on many players’ lists. We detail the girls’ golf scholarship opportunities at each level in our Golf Scholarships Guide, though we’ll pepper in some fun facts here as well.
Women’s golf scholarships can be found at every level of college golf except Division 3. There are other ways to supplement, or “stack,” scholarships, including academic scholarships, grants and financial aid, especially at D3 colleges. Each school has certain regulations on the number of scholarships you can use to cover tuition costs.
The NCAA has also named golf an equivalency sport, which means each team has a capped number of scholarships and coaches then divide that scholarship money amongst their roster; full-ride scholarships are possible but extremely rare with this method.
Every College with a Women’s Golf Program
With 996 colleges with women’s golf teams among five divisions, there are plenty of opportunities to play at the next level. We go through the top-ranked schools in each division, and we also have lists of schools in every division so you can find the best colleges for women’s golf without having to focus on rankings.
Women’s NCAA Division 1 Golf Programs
The current top 10 Women’s NCAA golf rankings for Division 1 teams are the following (as of May 2023):
- Stanford University
- Wake Forest University
- University of South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- Texas A&M
- Auburn University
- San Jose State University
- Florida State University
- Southern California
Women’s NCAA Division 2 Golf Programs
NCAA Division 2 women’s golf schools are not much different than Division 1 schools, though there is a higher probability of earning more scholarship money at this level. Playing-wise, the scoring average is also slightly higher.
The current top 10 Women’s NCAA golf rankings for Division 2 teams are the following (as of May 2023):
- Lynn University
- Dallas Baptist University
- Nova Southeastern University
- University of Findlay
- Anderson University (SC)
- Henderson State University
- West Texas A&M
- Cal State San Marcos
- University of Tampa
Women’s NCAA Division 3 Golf Programs
NCAA Division 3 women’s golf schools offer plenty of playing opportunities, especially at colleges with excellent academic programs. While golf scholarships are not available at this level, you may be able to cover more of your tuition costs at this level with academic scholarships and grants than you would with a golf scholarship at a D1 or D2 school.
The current top 10 Women’s NCAA golf rankings for Division 3 teams are the following (as of May 2023):
- University of Redlands
- Emory University
- Washington U in St. Louis
- George Fox University
- Carnegie Mellon
- St. Catherine University
- Claremont Mudd Scripps
- Washington & Lee University
- Methodist University
Women’s NAIA Golf Programs
Women’s NAIA golf schools are usually smaller schools, but don’t let the fewer number of programs deceive you – there are plenty of women’s golf scholarships available at this level. Plus, the scoring average equates to that at the NCAA Division 2 level.
Women’s NAIA golf teams are also a great place for high school seniors to play if they had decided to join the recruiting process later than their peers. Since most golf scholarships are awarded to recruits by junior year, these schools give seniors a chance to still play at the next level with a scholarship.
The current top 10 Women’s NAIA golf team rankings are the following (as of May 2023):
- British Columbia
- Dalton State
- Keiser University
- Oklahoma City University
- William Carey University
- Southeastern University
- University of Cumberlands
- Indiana Wesleyan University
- Milligan University
Women’s NJCAA Golf Programs
Women’s NJCAA golf schools include community and junior colleges and provide the opportunity to train at a collegiate level with a higher chance of earning a golf scholarship before transferring to a larger, more competitive school. Because these teams are also smaller, you have a higher chance of competing and traveling more with your team.
The current top 10 Women’s NJCAA golf team rankings are the following (as of May 2023):
- Seminole State – FL
- Daytona State College
- Odessa College
- Eastern Florida State
- Western Texas CC
- McLennan CC
- Barton County CC
- Redlands CC
- Mesa CC
- Tyler Junior College
No matter where you see yourself at college, there is likely a fitting women’s golf program there for you. Explore all the options and begin your list of dream schools.