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Golf champ remembers championship run

Kristi Ingram was the first African American female to win the state championship in golf in Forsyth County history.

Golf champ remembers championship run
June 13
00:30 2019

Almost a decade later, Kristi Ingram still remembers the golf state championship she won for Mount Tabor very vividly. What makes her championship even more memorable was the fact she was the first African American female to do so in Forsyth County.

Ingram won her title for the Spartans back in 2010. She has been an avid golfer for her entire life, growing up around the sport due to her father being into the sport. Her father would take Ingram and her brother to hit golf  balls when they were very young and the love of the game never left her.

“I was very active growing up and played a ton of sports and golf was one of the ones that I started early on,” she said. “My dad was the one that really inspired me to play and taught me the game.”

A few years after picking up the sport, Ingram began to enter golf competitions as well as going to golf camps. Once she entered middle school, she began to realize the opportunities that the sport presented.

“Going into high school I was focused on getting a scholarship in golf and that’s when I started to solely focus on the sport,” Ingram said. “Over time I stopped playing the other sports that I was involved with.”

One of the goals for Ingram going into high school was to progressively get better each year. “My freshman year I finished top 50 in the state, the next year I wanted to finish top 20, then top 10, then by my senior year I wanted to compete for the championship,” she continued.

“I worked hard over that last year. I worked with my dad, I worked with my coach at Tabor, as well as working with my private instructor. I felt confident going into my senior year.”

That state championship win is something Ingram and her family still talk about to this day, she said. Ingram felt she had a great chance of winning that day, but had to wait for all the competitors to finish their rounds.

“I started off early in the day, so when I finished there were still people competing behind me,” said Ingram. “I tried to stay levelheaded and not get too excited, because I knew there were a ton of people that could end up finishing ahead of me. I just stayed calm for the next hour or two until everyone finished, but once I won, it was a great moment to share with my coach, my family, and it goes to show that hard work pays off. It was probably one of the best moments of my life.”

Being one of – if not the only – African American on the course most often, Ingram said she did not feel any extra pressure to perform, because it had been that way on the course for most of her life.

“Because I had been in that space and was typically the only African American playing, I was kind of used to that environment,” she said. “I didn’t necessarily feel any more pressure from others, I definitely wanted to be the first African American woman to win the state championship, so the pressure was more so from me to go out there and show that it could be done.”

Being able to look back on her accomplishment, Ingram hopes to be an inspiration to other African Americans to possibly pick up some golf clubs and give the sport a try. Her hope is to one day have her own golf organization that brings more minorities to golf, because many do not have access to it.

 

 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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