Pro Golfer Overcame Pot Problem

By Fionna Agomuoh 06/05/12

Robert Garrigus ended a hard run with alcohol and drugs to become one of golf's hardest hitters.

Garrigus is sober and swinging. Photo via

Robert Garrigus, due to take part the US Open next week, is known for being one of the hardest drivers in the golf world—but before getting clean 17 years ago, it was a hard-driving marijuana and alcohol addiction that defined him. Despite his natural athletic abilities, he says he fell in with the the "wrong crowd" as a teen and showed little interest in school. According to old friend and fellow-golfer David Crowell, "he always knew if he didn't make it in golf, he'd be in a lot of trouble. For him, it was golf or nothing." Garrigus recalls, "[It] got to be habitual—five, 10, maybe 20 times a day. I constantly needed to be high, and I took it to the max every single day." This hurt his career, and he was only able to participate in mini-tours. Then in April 2003, Garrigus saw a late night commercial for Calvary Ranch, a spiritually-based drug and alcohol recovery facility near San Diego—that night, he decided to get clean. He packed his bags, checked into rehab, and hasn't touched marijuana since. His career then took off and he made it to the major golf tours, completing the PGA Tour Qualifying School in December 2005. Today, he enjoys connecting with fans who approach him and talk about their journeys in sobriety. He says, "It's nice to hear the stories of people saying they've been sober for 10 or 15 years, because then you know it can be done."

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Fionna Agomuoh is a tech writer and product reviewer, as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fionna previously worked at several media companies, including Newsweek Media Group and Business Insider. Find her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.