Golson has gone from No. 4 to No. 1 in a matter of a year, ascending up the depth chart and winning the top job for the first game of the 2012 season.
Coach Brian Kelly made the announcement after practice Thursday evening, confirming reports earlier in the day that said he would name a starter.
"How did you know?" Kelly rhetorically asked a reporter.
The 6-foot, 185-pound Golson was a member of the Irish's scout team last season as a freshman while three other quarterbacks saw meaningful game action. Golson beat out one of those returning signal-callers, redshirt sophomore Andrew Hendrix, in what was essentially a two-man battle throughout fall camp.
Junior Tommy Rees, who started 12 of 13 games last season, had been suspended for the Sept. 1 opener after pleading guilty to two misdemeanors following his spring arrest at an off-campus party.
A dual-threat standout at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High School two years ago, Golson finished his prep career with 151 touchdown passes, sixth most in national high school history. His strong arm and quick feet make him an ideal fit to run Kelly's spread offense.
The spotlight will be on Golson come next Saturday in Notre Dame's opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.
Starting cornerback Lo Wood had surgery Wednesday to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and is expected to miss the season. He was injured in practice Monday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.