With his father and two older brothers having played golf for the Gamecocks, 2016 University of South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame class member David Seawell never had a doubt he would do the same.
"Is there any other choice," Seawell laughed. "I am the sixth member of my family to go to South Carolina. My dad (Jackie), who is in the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame and my two older brothers (Jay and Daniel) played golf at South Carolina. If I didn't play golf at South Carolina, it would have been tough to go home for Christmas.
"My dad won a conference championship back in the 1960s and my brothers were very accomplished at Carolina as well. My brother, Jay, is a golf coach at Alabama. He has won two national championships. Being the baby of the family, I had some good people to follow."
Seawell didn't just follow in his family's footsteps during his playing days at South Carolina from 1992-1996. A three-time All American, as well as three-time All-SEC selection for the Gamecocks, while ranking tied for first in school history with 14 top-5 finishes, Seawell led the Gamecocks to the NCAA regionals in 1993 and 1996, advancing to the NCAA championships in '96. He also qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual in 1994 and 1995. Overall, he put together a resume that would make for a fun round table discussion as to who had the best career on the links, but Seawell prefers to remain humble and is proud that he was surrounded by great coaches and teammates.
"I started out with Carl Paulson, who was a senior when I was a freshman," Seawell said. "He's now in the hall of fame. I had some great teammates. I played for Steve Liebler who is in the South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame, and later by Puggy Blackmon who is in the Golf Coaches' (Association of America) Hall of Fame. Ultimately, it's the comradery you had with your teammates that is always something you think about. I was fortunate I was with some amazing people who are lifelong friends."
Seawell began his collegiate career as South Carolina was entering the Southeastern Conference, which he said helped elevate all of the programs at the school.
"Ever since then, they have committed to having the finest athletics department in the country," Seawell said. "Watching the facilities grow, it's amazing some of the things they have now versus what we had, but what we had back then was still better than anyone else. So we've always had good facilities.
"We had a place to practice out by the football practice fields, but you had to make sure you picked up all of your golf balls when you left so one of the football players didn't' turn an ankle. You didn't want to get yelled at for that."
Everybody at the college level is driven to be great at what they do. You want to be better than you were the day before. Those are some of the things that were ingrained in me.David Seawell
Seawell's success continued after graduation on the professional tour.
"I played a total of seven years professionally," Seawell said. "My first few years out of college, I played on the Nike Tour, which is the Web.com now. In 1999, I played on the PGA Tour. I played a few more years on the mini-tours after that.
"The PGA Tour was a great experience. Getting to travel the world and play with some of the greatest golfers in the world was special. It was challenging. Each level that you get higher, you realize there are bigger, stronger, faster people out there. Carl Paulson helped me out tremendously. It was a great experience."
The 42-year-old Seawell now works in real estate development in Aiken and said his time at South Carolina prepared him well for life after college.
"With all of the mentors I had here, that really prepared me for professional golf and business," Seawell said. "Hard work is always going to go a long way. Through that you hope to achieve success. In business today, it goes back to hard work. Everybody at the college level is driven to be great at what they do. You want to be better than you were the day before. Those are some of the things that were ingrained in me."
Seawell doesn't play as much golf as he once did, but he and his wife, Ashley, enjoy chasing around his children; six year old twins Annette and Lee.
"The kids are already swinging the clubs, but I will not push them into golf," Seawell said. "I will ask them to find something that they love and work hard to try to be great at whatever they choose. If they like golf, I will enjoy that. I will enjoy whatever they select. I will absolutely have to send them to South Carolina. There won't be a lot of choices with that."