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Boston College High alum turned to golf for direction and meaning through hardship

How golf helped keep Nate Ingram on course
How golf helped keep Nate Ingram on course 04:10

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. - University of Rhode Island student and Boston College High School alum Nate Ingram said golf has always been his passion, calling it his "north star" when he was struggling through life's hardships.

"If I wasn't playing golf, I was thinking about it," said the 23-year-old URI senior. "If I wasn't think about it, I was playing it."

Golf has also, at critical times, given Ingram's life direction and meaning.

"I was born into chaos"

Ingram's parents never married and split up when he was 7 years old. "I was born into chaos," he said.   

He lived with his mother but she had her demons.

"My mom obviously struggled with alcohol, drug abuse," said Ingram.

Ingram's father John had to fight through some legal issues but Ingram moved in with him when he was 9 years old.

"My dad made it a huge effort to try and keep things as normal as possible for me," said Ingram.

Ingram thrived at BC High academically and on the golf course. He was the 2016 Boston Globe Player of the Year and helped lead the Eagles to the 2018 Division I state title.

"Attending BC High not only gave me a great education but it taught me responsibility, consequences and most importantly, integrity."

World turned upside down again

But Ingram's world was, again, turned upside down in high school when his father was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of his junior year.

"It was very graphic cancer," said Ingram. "It was an exterior growth, it was very troublesome for him, just like from a visual perspective."

John Ingram died on Oct. 12, 2019.

"Obviously flipped my world upside down. At that point, he was the guy who I had through everything. He was my biggest supporter, my best friend," said Ingram.

Without hesitation, Ingram's stepbrother Ryan and his wife Alyssa took him into their home in Plymouth.

"My brother was a massive support system for me during that time. Same thing with Alyssa," said Ingram.

Golf brings new opportunities

Besides playing golf, Ingram began working at courses his sophomore year in high school. In 2019, he caddied at the Boston Golf Club. It was there he was introduced to the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund.

"I needed some serious help and assistance to go to college and through the connections of Boston Golf Club, I decided to apply to it and then ultimately got the scholarship that allowed me to pursue a college education and play college golf," said Ingram.

The Ouimet Scholarship Fund is named after Francis Ouimet, an amateur golfer from Brookline who stunned the world by winning the 1913 U.S. Open at the Country Club. The fund awards college scholarships to young men and women who worked at Massachusetts golf courses. Ingram was then able to attend URI and play for their golf team.

"Having that assistance kind of opened the doors to my entire world," said Ingram. "I met some amazing people through playing college golf and just at school in general. And I've developed relationships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life."

Ingram will graduate from URI in May with a degree in finance. He has secured a job with Bellevue Asset Management in Newport. At the Ouimet Scholarship Fund banquet last month, he was a student-athlete speaker and called himself "incredibly lucky."

"I hope that kids understand that you're not defined by your current situation. You always have a choice," said Ingram. "I hope that kids out there or someone will hear this and decide that they want to make the choice for themselves and they don't want to listen to or be defined by what's going on around them."

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