PGA Tour player Ben Griffin is an alumnus of UNC-Chapel Hill as is H&B Co-Founder Alex Holderness. Ben played college golf for the Tar Heels before turning pro. We’re excited to work with him given the Carolina connection, and because he is an all-around great guy.
Ben's journey from the Korn Ferry to the PGA Tour is an incredible one. After a short hiatus from competitive golf working as a mortgage broker, Ben returned to the game in spectacular fashion earning three second place finishes on the Korn Ferry Tour in just nine months. This comeback earned him enough points to secure his PGA Tour card. We are honored to outfit him on tour and enjoyed catching up with him recently.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? Specifically, where did you grow up, start to play, and how did you get into competitive golf?
I got into the game basically the moment I took my first steps. It’s fun to go back and look at baby pictures where my parents were essentially forcing me to stand upright and swing. My dad got me into the game and his dad helped spark his interest. Some of my best young golf memories are with my dad and grandpa playing in Hickory, NC.
I started consistently playing competitively at 11 years old and was fortunate to compete at the highest level of AJGA events, which helped shape me into the golfer I am today
You’ve been playing tournament golf a long time. How have you evolved over the years?
I played at a regional and state level in the Carolinas from 11-13 and started competing at a national level thereafter. I’ve always been a gamer and never much of a range rat. Competing is where I generate most of my love for the game. Being able to play in some of the best events in junior golf was instrumental in preparing me for my transition into college golf. From there, going into the professional ranks felt easy.
There are always bumps along the journey, however, and playing professionally is much different from junior/college golf. It becomes a profession and when things weren’t going my way in 2021, I decided to take a step away from the game to work in banking.
Was there a moment or tournament that really built your confidence and made you realize golf was your sport?
The individual aspect of the game was the most attractive to me. After playing in the junior club championship at Chapel Hill Country Club when I was 11, I knew golf was my sport.
Additionally, playing in the US Kids Teen World Championships from 13-15 with my dad on the bag was a really cool experience and gave me the confidence to compete against some of the best players around the world in my age division.
What was your all-time favorite day of golf? Describe the day.
Winning on the Canadian PGA Tour with my dad surprising me on the back 9 was a pretty special moment. However, I’ve had some more recent days that probably top that.
Although I lost a playoff at the Korn Ferry’s BMW Championship this summer, I locked up my PGA Tour card that week and had a lot of friends/family there on 18. I thought that moment wouldn’t be topped this summer. However, I holed out from the fairway from 155 yards with a 9 iron on the last hole at Sea Island’s Plantation Course to shoot a 59. That was the most surreal experience of my life on a golf course and my heart rate didn’t come back down from it for weeks.
Favorite time of day to play and why? Favorite course and why?
Sunset for sure. A twilight 9 at Sea Island’s Seaside course is hard to beat, and I’ve yet to see a better sunset anywhere other than the 14th tee.