Griffin’s taking his game to a new level
It may seem like there is plenty of summer left, but believe it or not, the fall high school golf season is already upon us.
7KH fiUVW PDWFKHV IRU VRPH ORFDO school teams will come on Monday.
In this area last fall, there was no better high school player than WissaKLFNRn’V -DOHn GULIfin.
AV D VRSKRPRUH, GULIfin wRn WKH Suburban One American Conference LnGLYLGuDO WLWOH, TuDOLfiHG IRU GLVWULFWV, regionals and the state championship, wKHUH KH KDG D WRS-20 finLVK.
This summer, his game and his character have only risen to new heights. Last month, he set a new tournament record at the Christman Cup, a Golf Association of Philadelphia junior event played on Merion’s West Course, wKLFK GULIfin EOLVWHUHG IRU D 36-KROH total of 7-under-par, his 133 total a new tourney record.
GULIfin, wKR uS WR WKDW SRLnW KDG D FDUHHU-ORw RI 67 Rn WKH VDPH WHVW CRuUVH, SRVWHG D finDO-URunG 65 Ln wLnning the Christman.
He was one of four juniors to represent the GAP at the prestigious Williamson Cup, where the GAP team SODFHG IRuUWK DnG GULIfin wDV VHFRnG individually among top junior players from 10 different regional golf associations.
Along the way, he has been attending golf camps and tournaments across the country, and taking an early look at some possible college destinations.
All in all, it has been a good summer, EuW GULIfin LV UHDGy IRU WKH OHVV-KHFWLF pace of his junior year at Wissahickon and playing for the Trojans golf team.
“This comes at a great time for me after playing in all these tournaments,” GULIfin VDLG RI WKH KLJK VFKRRO VHDVRn, “to come out and play nine holes of golf with a bunch of guys you’ve known for many years, and with your teammates who you see every day. You get to have fun with your team. “I really like this time of the year.” GULIfin LV nRw 16 DnG DW 5-IRRW-5 and 110 pounds soaking wet, will not be mistaken for a linebacker on the football team any time soon. But he can sure hit a golf ball, not the longest player off the tee, but often the most accurate and more often than not earning honors for hitting off the next tee.
Still, no one is more critical of Griffin WKDn KH LV Rn KLPVHOI, KDYLnJ WDVWHG success and knowing he wants more of it.
“Overall, I’m harder on myself now,” said the Talamore CC member. “I know what I’ve been able to shoot and I know I should be able to go out
there and shoot a good number. If I shoot a bad number, I’m really disappointed because I believe I can do what the kids at the top are doing.
“I try to look back on good rounds I’ve shot and know I can come back.”
7KLs yHDU, GULIfin KDs nRW only been playing in tournaments and playing for WURSKLHs RU WRS finLsKHs, the 16-year-old is playing for a cause. A family IULHnG RI WKH GULIfin IDPLly is a 7-year-old boy stricken with epilepsy. Through the AJGA and the USGA, Griffin KDs EHHn UDLsLnJ PRnHy IRU C85E ESLlHSsy (CLWLzens United for Research in Epilepsy). His goal is $5,000. So far, he is a little over halfway there.
7KH $-G$ ($PHULFDn -unior Golf Association) has a program called Leadership Links, where players can raise PRnHy RnlLnH. GULIfin UHFHLvHs either one-time donations or monetary sponsors based on the number of birdies he has in sponsored tournaments.
“I am getting almost $10 for every birdie I make in a national tournament,” said GULIfin, wKR KDs 58 suFK ELUGies. “That’s a huge motivation WKLnJ IRU PH. $W 0HULRn (Ln the Christman), I was able to give a huge boost for them.
“It’s a great feeling to go out and make a birdie and know you’re doing something for someone else by doing that. It’s in your head, you just raised $10 to help families with epilepsy.”
For more information on -DlHn GULIfin’s IunGUDLsLnJ for epilepsy, go to the following link:
ht t ps : / / www. a j ga. org/ PIF/HomePages/index2. asp?UID=121036#
Jalen Griffin at the Montco Amateur Junior Golf tournament at the Plymouth Country Club.