ATLANTA - An Atlanta man who grew up poor in Dixie Hills has now landed a spot in Georgia history as the first African American from the state to play in the PGA.
Carl Seldom is 77 years old now and has come a long way from 9th grade when he first took interest in golf at Atlanta's Turner High School.
"When I was in the 8th grade, I went into the library and I read this book, ‘The Power of Golf’ by Ben Hogan. And I read it from cover to cover learn about the grip, the stance, and all the other things,” the 77-year-old explained.
Mr. Seldon was self-taught to play golf. He started caddying at the old Lincoln Country Club, but will quickly tell you basketball was his first love.
"I thought I was better at basketball than I was at golf," he chuckled.
Mr. Seldom kept dominated the headlines in golf. First at Turner High, then Clark College, and even in the US Army.
"I was doing so well in the service playing in golf tournaments here and there. I said maybe I can pursue this as a career, but my mother wanted me to be a school teacher,” he smiled as he explained.
Mr. Seldon followed his heart, skipped the teaching career, and started playing professional golf.
As one can imagine there were challenges along the way.
"I was the first black professional golf at Bobby Jones Golf Course and when I walked in the door they would say ‘Here comes that n-----,” he said recalling the racial slurs spoken about him.
In the 1970's, Mr. Seldon joined the PGA and played for 20 years. He is the first African American Georgian to do so.
"Most endearingly. I wish I could get out there right now," Seldon said in response to being asked if he still loves the game of golf.