As part of its third annual College Golf Guide, which is designed to help high school students find the right school for their needs, Golf Digest ranked the country's best colleges with NCAA men's and women's golf teams. Claremont McKenna was the top ranked Division III school in two of the three rankings in the guide. The three rankings that comprise the Guide are: Balanced ranking, for students who place equal emphasis on school and sports; Golf First ranking, for students with dreams of playing golf professionally; Academics First ranking, for students who are focused on education but still desire to play competitive golf. The "Balanced" ranking is the best indicator for the majority of young men and women heading off to college. CMC was sixth overall in the Academics First ranking and 16th overall in the Balanced ranking and the first Division III school in both.
Complete rankings can be found at:
Five criteria formed the basis of the rankings: a college golf team's adjusted scoring average, player growth while on the team, academics, climate and facilities/coaches. These rankings differ from playing polls in four distinct ways:
The Golf Digest rankings examine the entire school and the
opportunity it affords a student-athlete;
They measure beyond an individual season;
They are designed to make student-athletes better aware of the choices available when researching schools;
They place all three NCAA divisions on equal footing because most students research colleges in multiple divisions.
In establishing the rankings, Golf Digest rated almost 800 NCAA men's colleges and more than 500 women's colleges in the five categories mentioned above, grading each category on a 100-point scale to determine overall scores:
Team Adjusted Scoring Average: (Balanced: 24.5%; Golf First:
40%; Academics First: 15%). Spans last four seasons and applies the
formula used by NCAA committees to select postseason teams.
Player Growth: (Balanced: 12.5%; Golf First: 19.5%; Academics First: 7%). Determines the percentage of players on the roster during the last four seasons who improved their adjusted scoring averages over the previous season, as well as the combined improvement or decline of players who met a minimum number of rounds. (Source: golfstat.com).
Academics: (Balanced: 36.5%; Golf First: 14%; Academics First: 58%). Utilizes statistics from U.S. News & World Report's 2007 guidebook America's Best Colleges. In order to equally evaluate schools in the NCAA's three divisions, the metric does not include peer assessment, alumni giving rank or other calculations made by U.S. News & World Report within its ten college groupings.
Climate: (Balanced: 12%; Golf First: 12%; Academics First: 10%). A 30-year average of number of playable days between September 1-May 31. Allows for play in poor weather but not in extreme, dangerous or snow-covered conditions. (Source: Longitudes Group).
Facilities/Coaches: (Balanced: 14.5%; Golf First: 14.5%; Academics First: 10%). Measures quality, difficulty and proximity of campus-affiliated courses used for non-tournament practice rounds; quality of up to seven additional courses used by a team; practice facilities at home courses and stand-alone facilities on or near campus; other resources; coaches' experience and past performance. (Sources: Golf Digest's Coaches' Survey; collegegolf.com; individual colleges; America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses, as ranked by Golf Digest).