The SCGA caught up with Rose Bowl Legend Archie Griffin earlier this week, who was in town not only to attend the 2013 Rose Bowl game, but also to participate in the Rose Bowl Golf Classic, an event held last Saturday at Industry Hills GC to raise money for renovations to the storied Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena. The stadium is a special one for Griffin, who was the first player ever to start in four Rose Bowls, a feat he accomplished as running back for The Ohio State University. Griffin is also college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy winner. He went on to play seven seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.
1) When did you get started in golf?
I started playing golf after I got through playing professional football. I wish I had started earlier, I really do, because I love the game. Growing up, it was available to me in my neighborhood. I kept getting inviting to golf outings and celebrity golf tournaments and I kept saying no so eventually I made up my mind that I would try it. So I really learned golf by playing in scramble events and just fell in love with it. So now, any time I get the chance to play, I do.
2) How would you describe your game?
It needs a lot of work! But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun for me. I really enjoy playing and being with people out on the course for four hours. You get to know people really well and you get to have a good time.
3) Why do you think so many professional athletes take up golf?
For a guy like me, it was something I didn’t get to do as a kid because of financial reasons. But it’s really something I was always intrigued by watching on television. It looked easy! Came to realize it’s not. It’s frustrating at times but that just means it’s a challenge. And that’s the thing athletes really like about it.
4) What is your greatest Rose Bowl memory?
As a player, it was the 1974 Rose Bowl, when we beat USC 42-21. It was my greatest memory because the year before they had beaten us 42-17, so revenge is always nice. They basically had the same group of guys on their team, so it was a really nice moment for our team. That was also a year we tied for the Big 10 Championship with Michigan, had an actual tie in the final game of the season with Michigan, so the Athletic Directors had to vote and decide which team would actually be sent to the Rose Bowl. They selected us because I think they thought we had a better chance of winning. So to get that vote of confidence from the conference and go out and win the game, that was really something special.