Robert Garrigus, who finished third at the recent U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, told Golf Digest that he and other golfers smoked marijuana during Nationwide Tour Events in 2002.
That included lighting up inside the ropes, if you must know.
“Oh yeah, there were plenty of guys on the Nationwide Tour who smoked in the middle of the round,” Garrigus says without blanching. “We always talked about it. You could go in the Porta John and take your drags.
“I had a very high tolerance, and I didn’t know that it wasn’t helping me,” he says. “All you’re thinking is that it feels good, so it must be good for what you’re doing. It wasn’t until I quit that I realized how stupid it was. But I don’t regret any of it because it put me on the path I’m on now.”
Garrigus says his enthusiasm for pot flourished when he got to school at Scottsdale Community College.
“It was all golf and partying,” Garrigus says. “I never did hard drugs. I never did coke or LSD. It was just smoking and drinking and hanging out with friends. It was just a change for me, but the smoking got to be habitual: five, 10, maybe 20 times a day. I didn’t keep track of how much. I constantly needed to be high. And I took it to the max. Every single day. Mostly just smoking, smoking, smoking.”
Eventually he realized that playing while impaired wasn’t helping his game.
“I played well in spurts, but I would be really inconsistent,” he says. “I had no idea what the hell I was doing. It’s hard to be consistent if your body isn’t right, but it was part of my everyday life.”
He went to rehab for his pot habit in 2003. Though Garrigus says drug use was common on the Nationwide Tour, he doesn’t name names in the article and tour executives refused to comment about his claims. The tour instituted drug-testing in 2008.
Garrigus, who memorably blew a three-stroke lead at the TPC Southwind in Memphis last June by triple-bogeying the 18th hole before eventually losing a three-man playoff to Lee Westwood, finally broke through and won his first PGA event at Disney in November.