For the record, Lanto Griffin is 30 years old and he has never eaten red meat.
Well, he did have some pepperoni on a pizza at his hotel in Las Vegas during the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last year. But that was the only thing on the menu.
Griffin has never chowed down on a hamburger or eaten a crispy piece of bacon, though. And as for savoring a thick, juicy ribeye steak, cooked perfectly medium rare? Nope.
He’s been tempted, to be sure.
“That’s why I went for pepperoni,” Griffin admits. “It looks so good on pizza. But a burger and a steak? A filet looks appetizing, but a burger, to my eye, I'm sure it tastes amazing but it doesn't do a whole lot for me.
“I did eat one bite of steak on New Year’s one year and it was fine. So I might down the road go for a filet or something. But the problem is then I might start wanting it all the time.
“So maybe it's better just to hold off.”
Griffin’s brother and sister, Mitra and Allian, don’t eat red meat, either. Their parents, Julie and Michael, were “big hippies and very healthy,” he explains. His father, who died when Griffin was 12, ran a health food store and his mom tended to her organic garden.
“I wouldn't call her a tree-hugger but she's very conscious of the recycling and growing the garden and all that stuff,” he says.
Griffin, who recently completed his rookie year on the PGA TOUR, remembers his mom adding chicken and fish to his diet when he was 12 or 13. So what did Griffin eat before he became a teenager?
“Tofu and a bunch of stuff nobody would want to eat,” Griffin said, chuckling. “We ate a lot out of my mom's garden. So at least I was lucky to learn that from a young age and now I know what is healthy and what's not healthy. But I've started to cheat a little bit once I got to make my own decisions.”
Griffin says one of his mother’s specialties was Mexican pizzas -- tortillas with refried beans, cheese, pineapple, black olives and hot sauce.
“I still make that now,” he says. “That was really good. We'd eat a lot of salad. We were fine. It wasn't like we were malnourished or anything. We just stayed away from the red meat.”
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When he’s home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Griffin likes to cook salmon, tuna and buffalo chicken, the spicier the better -- “hot sauce on everything,” he says. But as a kid who didn’t eat meat, now that was a source of amazement to his buddies.
“My best friend growing up would always be eating cheeseburger, and say, hey man, it's really good, you should have a bite of it,” Griffin recalls. “But it you've never eaten something you don't really miss it.
“Just like smoking a cigarette. I've never smoked a cigarette so if you've never done it, you don't really know what it’s like so you can't miss it.”
Griffin was born in California but moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, when he was 4-years old. He learned to play golf at a 2,700-yard nine hole course called “The Hill” where he used to play 45 holes a day for just $9.
“It definitely wasn't the country club kid growing up with wealthy parents but I wouldn't change it for the world,” says Griffin, who played collegiately at Virginia Commonwealth.
He says he always knew his parents were a little different from his friends’ folks – and it wasn’t just because they were so health conscious. They also meditated and practiced muscle testing, or applied kinesiology, that is based on the belief that muscles are linked to different organs and glands in the body.
“Personality wise, they're not different,” Griffin says. “It's more their beliefs. So all my friends were welcome. They always had a great time. They loved us to death so we had a great childhood.
“It wasn't like we were going out on the weekends and meditating in the woods. We were playing soccer, baseball -- I got to do everything I wanted to do. It's just when they came to the house we weren't eating cheeseburgers and soda. We were eating popcorn and lemonade.”
Of course, then there’s also the matter of his name. Griffin was named after Lord Lanto, who is an ancient ascended spiritual master.
“My dad was meditating when it came to him,” Griffin says. “Lord Lanto for some reason, I have no idea, maybe he read something? I know. It's crazy I've never heard of anybody named it, first or last name.
“They were just very, I guess, spiritual. We weren't super-religious growing up. It was more of a spiritual, you know, live off the earth-type, harmony. It's hard to explain. They're just good people.”
Who didn’t happen to eat red meat.