by Taylor McCutcheon
How the Relationship Formed
During his 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, Ben Griffin began to explore on-the-course clothing options. Looking for pieces with a measured fit and an even better feel, Ben connected with the Holderness & Bourne product line at Sea Island, where he lives and trains. As he began to wear the clothing on tour, his results got better and better. Finishing second in back-to-back events, it must have been the shirt! Alex Holderness noticed the success and recognized that Ben was wearing H&B, of course. He decided to reach out to Griffin via Instagram, and the two began to build a relationship. Connecting over their love of golf and shared alma mater of UNC Chapel Hill, Ben became an official Holderness & Bourne ambassador in 2022, and he hasn’t looked back.
2023 Season and Highlights
As a PGA Tour rookie last season, Ben Griffin showed tremendous consistency. Across the 37 events Griffin entered, he made 25 cuts and finished inside of the top-10 three times. Throughout his first-year campaign, the 27-year-old displayed his ability to compete at the biggest tournaments on tour. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, Griffin finished T14 and T35 respectively. He also made his first two major appearances with starts at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill and the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. These strong showings culminated in Ben making his FedEx Cup Playoffs debut as a PGA Tour rookie. Reminder: the top-70 players of the season earn spots into the playoffs. However, the best finish was yet to come once the fall series kicked off. Entering the final round at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi, Griffin held the 54-hole lead and looked poised to capture his first PGA Tour victory. Coming up just short in a five-man playoff, Griffin finished tied for second place. His first year on tour saw him finishing 53rd on the FedEx Cup and qualifying for the first two signature events. But in the long view, Ben gained confidence and valuable experience playing against the best players in the world week in and week out.
Connecting with Ben in North Carolina
Last August, Alex Holderness and John Bourne met up with Ben in Greensboro, North Carolina, before the Wyndham Championship. Alex grew up playing Greensboro Country Club, so the opportunity to connect with Ben here offered an ideal homecoming. Together, the trio played the par-5 fifth hole on the Irving Park course. With John on the bag, Alex and Ben walked down the fairway and talked about Ben’s first year on the PGA Tour. He spoke about growing comfortable with each new week, shared his highlights of his season, and reflected on his journey thus far. From junior golf in North Carolina to Open Championships in Scotland, Ben has steadily progressed and quickly learned the lay of the land. While he was competing as a junior, he played against high-level opponents regularly, plenty of whom went on to play college golf at schools such as Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC Chapel Hill. Without a doubt, this lofty standard of competition in the amateur ranks has translated to his abilities at the highest level. We’d be remiss if we did not mention how Ben dissected the par-5 fifth with ease. After striping a drive down the middle of the fairway, he hit a pitching wedge from 143 yards to six feet from the pin. The putt dropped, and Alex quickly noted “Easy game.”
Ben Visits H&B in New York
This past December, Ben visited the new Holderness & Bourne headquarters in Armonk, New York, gaining a firsthand glimpse into the product. John led him through the facility, covering each step of the process from the fabrics to new clothing options on display in their showcase room. Throughout their conversations, one theme rang true: The tiny details matter. To Holderness & Bourne, the technicality of building a great shirt requires more work than one might realize. For Ben, the same meticulousness goes into sharpening his golf swing. To communicate this detailed-oriented work, John showed Ben through the design rooms. They discussed the drawings and embroidery that go into each item and talked about opportunities for Ben to compete in customized apparel on tour. For example, Ben wore a pineapple/HB icon logo on the right sleeve of his Hughes Shirt for the Sony Open on Oahu, and he’ll wear the Ward Sweaters at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. At the end of their day, John and Ben played a 3-hole competition on the simulator, so Ben could put the clothing into play one swing at a time. Seeing the operations for himself, Ben shared an appreciation for the hard work that goes into the product and a sense of gratitude for the continued partnership.
Looking Forward to 2024
After a strong rookie season on the PGA Tour, Griffin spent well-earned time off in December with his family, friends, and sponsors. Taking time away from the golf course allows Ben to mentally reset and return feeling refreshed. The first two starts of the season saw Griffin continue the consistency of the previous year. Carding a 62 during the second round, Ben finished tied for 30th at the Sony Open, complementing his strong finish at Waialae last season. At the American Express the following week, he earned his first top-10 of the year with a T9 finish. As he begins his sophomore campaign, Griffin will be hoping to earn his first PGA Tour victory. He spent much of last year learning to adapt with the best players in the world, but now he believes it is time to take the next step. Ben’s beginning just where he left off, trending in the right direction as the 2024 PGA Tour schedule gets under way!