Griffin’s journey from Wildcat to Nittany Lion

Elijah Kasten

More stories from Elijah Kasten


Photo courtesy of Jake Griffin

Jake Griffin follows through on a swing during the state championship last year. He looks to continue his success at Penn State and even the pros.

Senior Jake Griffin started to craft his golf game at the age of four, and has since then established a dominant high school career, looking to carry on his success at the collegiate level and even the pros.

Before Griffin knew that he wanted to fully pursue golf and try to play in college, he was a multi-sport athlete as a pitcher in baseball. Along with his Koa baseball travel team, Griffin began competing in youth golf tournaments when he was 10. He was able to gain a lot from both golf, a single person sport, and baseball, a team sport, benefiting from the differences.

“Growing up I enjoyed both baseball and golf, and learned a lot from both sports. When I was on the golf course, it was usually just me and a few other people with a very quiet background. When I was playing baseball, it was fun being with my teammates in a rowdy dugout,” Griffin said.

In eighth grade, he made the decision to drop baseball and commit his athletic career to golf. Griffin understood that he was turning into a talented golfer and had a better chance of finding opportunities to pursue the sport in college.

“Leading up to high school, I wanted to devote all my attention and time to golf so I had the best chances to succeed,¨ Griffin added.

It didn’t take long for Griffin to establish himself as one of the best golfers in Montgomery County, even as an underclassman. Although he came up short of winning states in his freshman and sophomore years, Griffin was happy with what he had done, but knew the ultimate goal of winning a state championship was soon to come.

“My first two years of golfing for WJ were memorable, even though I didn’t win. I enjoyed practicing with my teammates and being able to golf for my high school,” Griffin said.
Griffin reached the ultimate feat in his junior season. He was able to win states and started receiving heavy interests from colleges.

He had offers from Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland and Loyola University Maryland, and began talking to other schools as well. He was able to take an in-person visit to Penn State, which gave him a great look at what it’s like to be a collegiate golfer.

“Once I took my visit to Penn State, I had a great feeling about it. The coaching staff, campus and academics all felt right to me. I also thought Penn State would help me a lot with my chances to play professional as well. As soon as I got back from the visit, I knew I was going to commit,” Griffin said.

With dreams of playing in the PGA Tour, and growing up admiring the game of the all time great Tiger Woods, Griffin is already on a path for a bright future, and will go down as one of the best golfers to come out of Montgomery County, Maryland.