Deciding on an Investment in Recruiting Publicity

With 7% of high school athletes making it to the NCAA level, athletes and their parents can use all the help they can get. Recruiting publicity services are athletic profile websites available for free or for a fee. But how do you know which one will best serve you?

Is there an advantage in paying for a publicity service? 

Per the NCAA, a recruiting/scouting service is "any individual, organization, entity or segment of an entity that is primarily involved in providing information about prospective student-athletes." We call these "recruiting publicity services," given that is their product.

While some paid recruiting services are smaller and sport specific, others are huge companies. There plenty of options with varying degrees of value depending on the athlete. That said, the fact is most qualified athletes can find a spot on a college roster without a recruiting publicity service.

Sparks Consulting is not a recruiting service; we do not contact college coaches with your information. As former college coaches, we know publicity services serve as a second-tier resource. 

Students who take the initiative to contact coaches directly are almost always more successful in the process. This is particularly true with selective universities. We live in a world where much occurs with the click of a smart phone. College coaches want to know whether recruits are mature enough to take the initiative and have the ability to invest in the process.

About Recruiting Publicity Services

Sports fall into two categories in their primary mode of talent identification: objective and subjective.

(You probably already know golf is objectively evaluated)

When talent is identified objectively, (metrics like speed, etc.) athletes do not require publicity services. Sports that identify athletes subjectively may benefit from added exposure provided by recruiting services.

Junior golf tournaments provide college coaches with the opportunity to evaluate players.

Building a successful junior golf schedule can be complex process but necessary. Most college golf coaches consistently recruit from certain tournaments. These include the Junior Golf Association National Junior Golf Tours, various independent junior golf tournaments, and the United States Golf Association (USGA) Championships.

Your average score is the most important metric. As such, we class the primary recruiting mode for golf as objective.

Golf athletes do not need a recruiting service. If you're interested in gathering intelligence you could consider a free service like That said, they share user data with other services - including NCSA Sports, which sells aggressively. We've broken down some options below.

Frankly, golf families' money is better spent on school visits. There are also a number of college counseling services specifically for golfers. We include ourselves.

We provide college counseling for athletes seeking admission at selective universities. Our clients succeed in the recruiting process while going beyond it to find the best college fit for the rest of their lives.

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