Ouimet Alumnus Peter Grant is a first-generation immigrant from Ireland, a retired Secret Service Special Agent for the United States, a husband, and a father, but above all, he is thankful. He dedicated 41 years working for the government, traveling around the world where no day was ever the same, and living out his dream job all because of his first job caddying at Winchester Country Club.
“The Ouimet Fund helped me get a job that I truly loved, and I’m so grateful for what it did for me and continues to do for young men and women,” Peter Grant said.
At age nine, Peter was deemed old enough to work by his mother, and the Medford, Massachusetts native was dropped off at Winchester Country Club and instructed to get a job caddying. Decades later, Peter reflects on that experience as his first exposure to the game and his future.
“I was given the opportunity to meet some wonderful people who were successful in their own right and were willing to give me a chance to be successful in my life, too,” Grant said. “I have the greatest respect for the people I met there and how much golf meant to them.”
From age nine to fifteen, Peter either took the bus or found a ride to Winchester, where he’d make between eight and nine dollars per loop carrying two bags. The friendships he formed and time spent on the golf course are memories he fondly looks back on, especially when he approached the ninth green to stop by the snack bar.
Peter learned how to play golf at Winchester on the day set aside for caddies and loved every minute of being out on the course.
“I got to play with great people and enjoyed just being outside in the nature,” Grant said. “Why wouldn’t you like being on a golf course enjoying everything?”
While working at Winchester, he caddied for former Massachusetts Governors John Furcolo and John Volpe. Years later, while on the job, Peter was standing on the steps of the Vatican listening to former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger give a mid-Easter peace talk when Governor Furcolo approached Peter, saying he looked familiar.
“I said, ‘I should look familiar; I was your caddie!’ and we had a great talk about Winchester and golf, and that was always a special memory of mine,” Grant recalled.
Peter can also recall the membership at Winchester looking out for the caddies and serving as mentors. It was from members there that Peter learned about The Fund and applied.
“The support from Ouimet helped my family and me significantly,” Grant said. “Ouimet helped me go to college and find out what I wanted to do in life and do it.”
Peter went to St. Anselm College around the time of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which inspired him to pursue federal law enforcement. After graduating from school in 1967, he started his career in Philadelphia, working for the DNDD (now named the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives), but going into the Secret Service was always his goal.
“I had so many interviews over the years to try and get the job, and when I finally did, I was so happy my dream was coming true,” Grant said. “It was such an honor to represent my country, and I got to work with some of the finest humans I’ve ever met.”
Similar to being in the military, Peter’s job transferred him every few years, along with his wife and two daughters. From 1970 to 1999, Peter worked as an agent, traveling the world, and credits his family for their unwavering support over the years. After 1999, he spent another 12 years working as a special investigator before retiring to where he started: golf.
“I had a chance to see a lot and do a lot with the finest people you could find,” Grant said. “You can’t beat a life like that; they had to pry my fingers off the doorway when I finally retired.”
Retirement for Peter consisted of working at The Golf Club at Turner Hill as the golf starter, where he happily chatted with anyone sporting a matching Ouimet Bag Tag. At Turner Hill, Peter got to know member and Ouimet Chairman Eddie Krovitz, a longtime supporter of The Fund.
“I feel like I owe something to The Fund for giving me the chance to follow my dreams and have a tremendous life,” Grant said. “The lessons I learned as a caddie guided me and showed me what’s important in life.”
Of all his achievements throughout his endured career, family means the most to Peter, similar to Francis, who Peter was thrilled to meet years back at a function.
“I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Ouimet and was very impressed by him and all the young people I met through The Fund,” Grant said. “He made you want to be a good person, and in the end, I got a great marriage and great girls, and that’s what matters most.”