Nathan Forrestel doesn’t let his cerebral palsy get in the way of a good game of golf. In fact, he pushes possibility to the next level. He calls himself a “golf influencer.” Before Mel left for Houston, she spent some time with this inspiritng Western New Yorker who will no doubt challenge you to reconsider the limits you’ve set in your own life.
Nathan Forrestel says, “Golf has quite literally changed my life.” To say that Nathan Forrestel loves the game of golf is an understatement. To this Western New Yorker golf is everything. Nathan says, “my life is golf, if I could golf 24/7, seven days a week, I would. Nathan has cerebral palsy but he doesn’t let this limit the passion he brings to the game and he certainly doesn’t let his CP get in the way to putting in the effort to being the best golfer he can be.
Mel asked Jake Tyno, general manager of the Niagara Frontier Golf Club how people react when they see Nate on the golf course and he says, “I think they don’t know what to expect at first but then they see Nate hit a golf ball and I think it’s not what they see what they hear. I think a golfer knows when they hit a good or bad shot based on how it sounds coming off the club and Nate is right up there and as soon as he pulls that driver out and hits a bomb everybody knows it whether they are looking at him or hanging out at the clubhouse. I think they always do a double-take to see how far it went, so it’s pretty impressive. “
Mel asked Nathan when he realized he could play golf and if there was any point where you thought with cerebral palsy you couldn’t do things or do you just not let it get in your way? Nathan says, “I saw Tiger Woods play and win the 2008 U.S. Open and I said to myself this is something I like. I always thought that because of my CP, I can’t run and unless you get a hole in one, which unfortunately I never gotten one, it doesn’t involve running so that’s where I found my niche in golf.”
Nate not only found his niche in golf, but supporters. Buffalo-based, OnCore Golf provide Nate with balls and gear and Niagara Frontier Golf Club in Youngstown has welcomed him with open arms.
Nate says, “A lot of people don’t know this, but I was born dead. I died and was brought back to life and you only have one chance at this. They gave me 72 hours to live and said I would be blind, deaf and severely mentally challenged and in a wheelchair and all I got was mild CP and that is why I tell people I’m very lucky to be able to do this. No one feel sorry for me, because I am lucky, I’m lucky to be here, I’m lucky to enjoy the game of golf and golf has gotten me into so many avenues, so many little things I just love and it’s the little things right.”
You can follow Nathan Forrestel on Instagram @Nathanthegolfer.