Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)


Victor Cruz on how he got addicted to golf and the hole-in-one story Eli Manning doesn't want you to hear

February 06, 2024

Jamie Squire

The first time Victor Cruz played a real round of golf, he did so at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., a venue that's hosted countless major championships. In skiing terms, Cruz tried to start on a double black diamond when he should have been taking it slow on the bunny hill.

But Cruz wasn't going to turn down the invite from his friend, even if it meant he had to end up looking like a scrub on the brutally hard A.W. Tillinghast design.  

"You got me out here digging a new grave in this place," Cruz told his friend. "Like, this is not fun."

Despite being in the pocket a few times and even taking a few holes off, Cruz kept plugging away. And, more importantly, his friends kept dragging him out. 

"It's all about the reps," said the former New York Giants wide receiver. "Now I'm able to at least hold my own on a golf course, which is pretty cool."

Turns out, it wasn't Cruz's well-connected friend that got him into the game, though. It was Cruz's daughter, who began playing golf when she was five years old. Originally, the plan was to find an activity to tire her out so she'd go to bed when she got home. A couple years into it, Cruz decided to take her to one of her lessons, and he's been addicted ever since. 

Cruz was our guest on this week's episode of The Loop podcast, a thrill for myself and my two co-hosts Alex Myers and Stephen Hennessey, as we're all massive Giants fans who lived through Cruz's incredibly underrated career in N.Y. While we did preview a little bit of the Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas, Cruz mostly wanted to talk about golf. He'll be in Sin City this week doing a number of different things, but he's most excited for his two tee times at Shadow Creek and Summit Club.  

Please, have a listen to the full episode below: