How do teams qualify for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Championships?

NCAA Regional tournaments determine the NCAA Championship fields.


It’s that time of year and the college golf postseason is upon us. The month of May means “championship season” for the college golf world. All the hard work from the fall season, winter off-season, spring tournaments and conference championships culminate with the NCAA Regional tournaments and the respective NCAA Championships. If you’re an aspiring college golfer, you’ll want to follow these tournaments to learn more about the college golf post-season events.

The NCAA DI Women’s Championship field will be determined by four 54-hole NCAA Regional competitions (May 7-9). Each region will host 18 teams and six individuals not otherwise on those qualifying teams. The low six teams and three individuals (not on a qualifying team) will advance to the NCAA Championships from each of the four regions. The Women’s Regional Championships will be filled by twenty-eight conference champions as well as 44 teams and 24 individuals (that are not on those teams playing in the four regional championships) selected “at-large” based on various selection criteria (e.g. NCAA/Golfstat ranking, head-to-head results, head-to-head stroke differential, results versus common opponents, overall won-lost record, adjusted scoring average and strength of schedule).

In Division I Men’s golf, the road to the finals begins with six NCAA Regional Championships (May 13-16), with the top 5 teams and the low individual not on those advancing teams from each regional qualifying advancing to the national championship (three regions will have 13 teams and three regions will have 14 teams). Thirty-one teams will receive automatic bids to NCAA Regionals by virtue of winning their conference championship and an additional 50 teams will be selected “at large” by various selection criteria (e.g. NCAA/Golfstat ranking, head-to-head results, stroke differential, results versus common opponents, overall won-lost record and strength of schedule). There will also be 45 individuals that are otherwise not on a participating team that will be selected to compete at the Regional Championships.

The NCAA DI Women’s and Men’s Championships will take place in back-to-back weeks at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, OK with the women competing May 18-23 and the men May 25-30. Both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships will have 132 players in each field. All participants will play 54 holes of stroke play with the top 15 teams and nine individuals (not on a qualifying team) advancing for an additional 18 holes of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for match-play and the 72-hole NCAA Individual stroke-play champions. The top eight teams will be seeded and then placed into a bracket. In the match play format, each match will consist of five individual matches (lineup is determined by each respective coach) with each 18-hole match worth one point (no ties). Once a team has won three individual matches, that team will move on to the next round of match play until a team champion is crowned.

This match play format has created a great following for college golf fans and both the Division I Men’s and Women’s National Championships are annually aired on the Golf Channel. For any player interested in college golf, this is must see TV! In addition to the Division I Championships, there are also National Championships for Division II and III as well as the NAIA. The following is a complete listing of all the college golf National Championships in Division I, II, III and NAIA:

  • May 8-11 Division III Women’s National Championship @ Mission Hills Resort GC - Howey-in-the-Hills, FL
  • May 15-18 Division III Men’s National Championship @ Grandover Resort - Greensboro, NC
  • May 15-18 NAIA Men’s Championships @ TPC Deere Run - Silvis, IL
  • May 16-19 Division II Women’s National Championship @ Bay Oaks CC - Houston, TX
  • May 18-23 Division I Women’s National Championship @ Karsten Creek - Stillwater, OK
  • May 21-25 Division II Men’s National Championship @ The Shoals Golf Club - Muscle, AL
  • May 22-25 NAIA Women’s Championship @ PGA National - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • May 25-30 Division I Men’s National Championship @ Karsten Creek - Stillwater, OK

In addition to watching the Division I Men’s and Women’s Championships on the Golf Channel, you can follow all of the various championship results live at Golfstat.

Enjoy the championship college golf season!

Keep swinging!

Ted Gleason
Road to College Golf

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Parents and Junior Golfers New to Going to College? Start Here!

Are You Prepared to Pursue College Golf?

Coaches Finding & Evaluating Players

    What Should I Say When Calling a Coach to Decline a College Offer?
    How Do Coaches View Junior Golf Recruits Who Play Other Sports?
    When is the Best Time to Communicate with Coaches? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    When Should Junior Golf Prospects Expect to Receive Offers from College Coaches?
    Should I Communicate a Poor Performance to a College Coach?
    Are You Waiting for Tournament Success Before Contacting College Golf Coaches?
    Who Should Speak When Meeting with Coaches – Parents or the Student-Athlete?
    Do College Coaches Use Swing Videos To Evaluate Recruits?
    Do Coaches Really Care About Academics?
    Do You Have the Game to Play College Golf?
    How Do College Coaches Work Junior Tournaments?
    How Do College Golf Coaches Discover Talent?

Finding the Right School - Your "Best Fit"

    Are There Golf Opportunities in the NAIA?
    What Can You Learn from College Golf’s Post-Season Championships?
    How Do College Golf Scores Compare to Junior Golf Scores?
    How Do I Know Which Schools Are “Best Fits” for Me?
    How Do I Remain Proactive in Identifying My “Best Fit”? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    Is a Walk-On Opportunity the “Best Fit” for Me?
    What Are the Real Keys to a Successful College Golf Recruiting Experience?
    What Useful Information Can I Research on a Golf Team's Website?
    When Should Junior Golfers Begin Visiting and Researching Colleges? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    What’s the Story on Division II and Division III Golf Programs?
    Are Unofficial Visits to College Campuses Necessary? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules

    Should Junior Golfers Attend Collegiate Tournaments?
    Just How Big is College Golf?
    What questions should I ask a college coach during a campus visit? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    Where Should I Attend College to Study and Play Golf?

Playing in College

    How do teams qualify for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I Championships?
    How Do College Coaches Determine Who Makes the Traveling Squad: Qualifying Rounds, Coach’s Selection, or a Combination of Both?
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part Two
    Repeating a Grade in High School or Pursuing a Post-Grad Year – Part One
    Are College Golfers Expected to Take Part in a Conditioning Program?
    What’s the Story on Club Golf?
    What Is Your Ideal Time Commitment for Playing Golf in College?
    What Can You Expect From a College Golf Tournament?
    Are You Practicing to Play the Odds?
    Am I good enough to play Division I golf?
    What does it mean to Redshirt?
    How Do I Prepare for my Freshman Year in College?
    How Important Is Time Management for Student-Athletes at the Collegiate Level?
    What Is a Typical Week Like in the Life of a College Golfer?
    Is College Golf an Individual Sport?
    What are the main differences between junior golf and college golf?
    What Commitment Level is Necessary for Junior Golfers to Become Successful Collegiate Student-Athletes?

Playing Junior Golf

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    Do You Know the Rules of Amateur Status?
    What Academic Habits Are Essential for a High School Student-Athlete?
    Are There Benefits to Playing on a High School Golf Team?
    Is playing a practice round important?
    Is There More to Golf Than a Score?
    You Have Completed the College Placement Process—Now What?
    Is It a Good Idea To Withdraw After a Poor Round?
    How Can a Junior Golfer Improve Practice Sessions?

Promoting Yourself – Being Visible

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    What Should Junior Golfers Do Before Their High School Years To Start Pursuing College Golf? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
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    When and How Should I Initiate a Phone Call to a College Coach?
    Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?
    What Information Should Prospects Send to College Golf Coaches?
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    What Should Recruits Say When Coaches Call Them?
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 2 Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    College Recruitment Timeline - Part 1 Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules

Recruiting & Scholarships

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    How Should I Respond When a Coach Makes an Offer?
    How Do the NCAA’s Recent Rules Changes Affect You?
    Is the College Recruiting Process Putting Too Much Pressure on You?
    When Should I Apply to Colleges?
    What is the Purpose of the NCAA Eligibility Center?
    What Is a Parent’s Role During a Campus Visit?
    What Should I Do if I Didn’t Sign a National Letter of Intent in the Early Signing Period?
    What Questions Should I Be Prepared to Answer During a Campus Visit? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    What Are the Most Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Scholarships?
    How do I know if a School is Really Interested in Recruiting Me?
    How do Players Verbally Commit to Schools so Early in the Process? Based on updated NCAA Recruiting Rules
    As a Rising Senior Is It Too Late To Be Recruited?
    What is a Parent's Role in the Recruiting Process?
    When Should Junior Golfers Sign the NLI?
    What is a Full Scholarship?