From Boise to the Bend – Hunter Ostrom finds success at Notre Dame
Ryan Kolakowski | Wednesday, September 19, 2018
The blinding royal blue football turf at Boise State University might be the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Idaho athletics. While the top-flight football program with its flashy field creates the prevailing image for Idaho, Boise has also produced an ambitious talent on the golf course.
Hunter Ostrom, born in Boise two decades ago, calls Idaho home when he isn’t golfing and studying at Notre Dame. The junior took first place as an individual at the Northern Intercollegiate this past weekend, and, while his skills on the golf course were refined at Notre Dame, a solid foundation for the game was laid in his home state.
“I had a club basically in my hand since I could walk,” Ostrom, who shot 6-under-par to lead the field at the Northern Intercollegiate, said.
Ostrom’s father, Todd, played golf at Boise State and Hunter grew up two hours away in Twin Falls, Idaho. While golf was a large part of his youth, Ostrom was not limited to swinging a club growing up. In addition to a passion for golf, Ostrom’s father passed on an affinity for the outdoors.
“I loved Idaho. I’m very into the outdoors,” Ostrom said. “Me and my dad do all kinds of the same things together, hunting, fishing and golfing.”
Ostrom is the oldest of three athletic siblings. His younger sister, Hailee, played volleyball in high school before matriculating at Kansas University. His younger brother, Houston, plays lacrosse and football at Bishop Kelly, Ostrom’s alma mater.
“Golf is a family thing,” Ostrom said. “But I was the only one who took it seriously.”
Golf was always a good fit for Ostrom, and he found his passion for the sport when his family moved to Eagle, Idaho. At the time, Ostrom was 14 years old and getting ready to start his college career at Bishop Kelly.
“When I moved to Eagle, I had a big group of friends who got serious about [golf],” Ostrom said. “From eighth or ninth grade on, I realized golf was going to be my focus. I still loved other sports, but golf absolutely became my priority.”
Ostrom and his peers on the golf course practiced together and eventually began looking at colleges together. For most of his high school career, though, Ostrom did not view South Bend as a possible landing spot.
“I never planned on going to Notre Dame,” Ostrom said. “I wanted to stay on the West Coast.”
Despite his intentions to remain near his roots in Idaho, Ostrom got his first look at the Irish golf team when his childhood friend Ben Albin committed to Notre Dame. Albin’s decision to leave the West Coast and play golf in Indiana prompted Ostrom to look eastward for his college decision.
Now, Ostrom says the Notre Dame community is one of his favorite parts of the golf program.
“Everybody cares for everybody on the team,” Ostrom said. “If someone is struggling, the rest of the team is always supportive.”
Ostrom has grown close to his teammates at Notre Dame, and he loves seeing fans and alumni come out to support the program at events.
“Everywhere we go, we have people who are always so supportive. When people hear ‘Oh, Notre Dame is coming,’ they really want to go watch us and help out,” Ostrom said.
Golf helped to bring Ostrom’s family together back home in Idaho, and now the tight-knit Irish golf team has helped to make Notre Dame feel like home.
Ostrom quickly credited the role his family and his teammates play in his performance on the golf course. After his victory at the Northern Intercollegiate this weekend, Ostrom gave thanks for his role models.
“They’ve always been there for me, no matter what the situation has been,” Ostrom said of his parents and his coaches. “I feel like that was a big part of winning this past weekend.”