A father-son first

PGA Professionals Jack (left) and John Seltzer both earned spots in the field via a PGA Sectional qualifier.

When they tee it up on Sunday, Jack and John Seltzer will make history as the first father and son to compete in the PGA Professional National Championship in the same year.

You could understand if Jack Seltzer has a tear or two in his eye when he steps to the tee on Sunday in the 45th PGA Professional National Championship at Bayonet Black Horse in Seaside, Calif. The 61-year-old PGA teaching professional from Linden, Mich., has been working for nearly two decades to earn his 16th trip to the showcase event for PGA Professionals. 

Seltzer's motivation extends further, including sharing in some Championship history.

Seltzer will compete in the same 312-player field with his son, John, the PGA head professional at The Polo Fields Golf and Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich. They are believed to be the first father-son duo to compete the same year in the PGA Professional National Championship.

"I've been dreaming about this for many years and trying like crazy, but could never quite get it done," says Jack, a member of the Kendall Academy of Golf staff in Ypsilanti, Mich. "The way that things have turned out, you couldn't have scripted it better."

The Seltzers earned their respective berths in the National Championship last August in the Section Championship at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath Township, Mich. John posted a closing 67, while Jack had a 71.

"It is a great feeling to have this opportunity to play in the same Championship with my dad," says John. "He was the one who introduced me to the game. He's someone who still helps me with swing changes, and what I need to know about the business of golf. He's my sounding board."

Jack Seltzer's National Championship ledger of performance, spanning 35 years, includes a third-place finish in 1982. His last appearance came in 1993. John tied for 58th in 2008, and has three previous appearances.

There's more to the unique Seltzer family reunion in California.

Jack will have his daughter Stacey, 29, caddying for him for the first time. John will have his fiancée, Amanda Carey, make her second straight caddie appearance for him at the National Championship. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Amanda met John five years ago as both worked at The Polo Fields. Amanda was employed in food & beverage, and John as an assistant professional.

"She did a good job last year for me at Hershey Country Club, and likes being outdoors and getting the exercise," says John. "I missed the cut by a couple shots last year, and I'm looking forward to having her back on the bag with me again this year."

On June 29, two days after the National Championship, John Seltzer will marry Amanda in a private ceremony at Rocky Point in nearby Carmel, Calif. About 20 guests have been invited.

"We have been working out the details online and by phone, and that makes it kind of tough, but also special for us," says John.

"It is a very special time for all of us, and it is really special how it all came together," says Jack Seltzer. "John has been one of the better players in the Michigan Section for some time. I've been able to play in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship six times, including last year, and also five PGA Championships and the 1976 U.S. Open. This year's trip tops all that."