SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) – A star golfer for Walter Johnson high school, next year, Jake Griffin will play college golf at Penn State on a full scholarship.
For Griffin, it’s a long way from his humble beginnings.
“His face would light up when he was playing and he had early success,” one of Griffin’s coaches, who is the Director of Instruction at Northwest Golf Course said. “Started to really work on his swing as he grew up.”
That swing, is pretty darn good today.
“He really rips it,” Walter Johnson golf head coach Tom Wheeler said. “And over the years he’s gotten more and more accurate and now all of his game is in sync.”
Griffin has had his fair share of accomplishments during his high school career. At 16-years-old, Griffin was selected to play in the Pure Insurance Open at Pebble Beach Golf Course in California, an official PGA Tour Champions event where he was paired with a professional golfer. He also has a 2019 state championship on his resume.
“I had come pretty close the first two years,” Griffin said. “So it felt so good to just finally win.”
At first during the pandemic, Griffin couldn’t even go to his local golf course.
“I didn’t play golf for two, two and a half months,” Griffin said. “We had a net up in our backyard, so I was able to hit balls, I was lucky enough and then I mean that’s about all I did.”
With the high school golf season being moved from the fall to the spring, it became a condensed three match season, with no postseason. Griffin tells WDVM that even though he couldn’t compete for a second straight state championship, it was still worth it to come out for one last ride with Walter Johnson.
“I’ve played all of the first three years and as a senior, I wanted to end off my high school career on a high note,” Griffin said. “So I decided to play and have fun, I mean, what’s better than playing golf? So I couldn’t say no.”
With college on the horizon, where he’ll compete on the course with the Nittany Lions and major in business, Griffin is working towards a professional career as well.
“It’s really motivating knowing that I just have to keep working hard and hopefully some day I’ll get there,” Griffin said.