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 puburban lne 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 CRuUVH, wKLFK GULIfin EOLVWHUHG IRU D 3S-hole total of T-under-par, his 133 total a new tourney record.
GULIfin, wKR uS WR WKDW SRLnW KDG D career-low of ST on the same West CRuUVH, SRVWHG D finDO-URunG 65 Ln winning 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 sumPHU, EuW GULIfin LV UHDGy IRU WKH less-hectic 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. vou 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.
ptill, no one is more critical of Griffin WKDn KH LV Rn KLPVHOI, KDYLnJ WDVWHG success and knowing he wants more of it.
“lverall, 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.”
GULIfin WRRN uS WKH JDPH because he enjoyed it. As he was improving, it was fun. Now, he has advanced to a level where much is expected of every round he plays and the local and national tournaments he has entered in come with much additional pressure. All high school athletes feel the pressure of playing for a potential college scholarship.
6WLOO, GULIfin KDV nRW ORVW sight of the fun side of the sport, the idea of just going out and playing a round, and the people one meets on the golf course.
“That’s the awesome part of playing golf to me,” Griffin VDLG.
7KLV yHDU, GULIfin KDV not only been playing in tournaments and playing for WURSKLHV RU WRS finLVKHV, WKH 1S-year-old is playing for a cause. A family friend of the GULIfin IDPLOy LV D 7-yHDUold boy stricken with epilepsy. Through the AJGA and WKH 86G$, GULIfin KDV EHHn raising money for CUoE Epilepsy (Citizens United for oesearch in EpilepsyF. His goal is $5,000. po far, he is a little over halfway there.
“I always wanted to do something to give back VRPHWKLnJ,” GULIfin VDLG. “, always had that idea in my head. I never knew what to do.”
The AJGA (American Junior Golf AssociationF has a program called Leadership Links, where players can UDLVH PRnHy RnOLnH. GULIfin receives 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,” VDLG GULIfin, wKR KDV 58 such birdies. “That’s a huge motivation thing for me. At Merion (in the ChristmanF, 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.”
7KH ELUGLHV GULIfin PDNHV in high school matches will not count toward his charity, but that will not stop him from trying to make as many as he can. He wants to lead the Trojans to a puburban lne American Conference championship, something he has yet to achieve but wants badly.
And he still has other tournaments in which he will play this fall, ones where birdies will count on his scorecard and toward his other goal, as well.
For more information on -DOHn GULIfin’V IunGUDLVLnJ for epilepsy, go to the following linkW
httpsWLLwww.ajga.orgL PIFLHomePagesLindex2. asp?UID=12103S#
Jalen Griffin at the Montco Amateur Junior Golf tournament at the Plymouth Country Club.