There are titles that come along with greatness on the pool table; champion, house pro, even an appropriate nickname. Linda Carter has all of these. The one they call Wonder Woman started honing her skills in college
“The guys would drag me down to the student union just to have somebody to beat up on, but then you know I was beating up on all the guys,” said Carter. “I just had that natural hand/eye coordination.”
“She was picking the game up in a hurry, a lot faster than I ever did,” said Carter’s friend, Mike Graham. “I’d played 20 years before that. You could tell that she really enjoyed the game. She’s very competitive, didn’t like losing, which a winner doesn’t.”
Spending countless hours teaching herself the game, Carter eventually developed into one of the top billiards players on the women’s circuit. It was an unexpected outcome for someone from such humble beginnings.
“I was adopted from an orphanage when I was two from Korea,” said Carter.
She ended up in Southern Oregon in the ’50s where she bounced from home to home, never establishing a consistenst support system.
“Life got really tough for me, but between the ages of birth to ten, I actually had eight different sets of parents,” said Carter.
However, Carter was able to learn from her tough upbringing.
“I learned early on that if I’m going to do something, it’s got to be on my own,” said Carter. “I have to make it happen. So that’s probably why I was attracted to individualistic sports because it’s all me. My failures are my own. I have to own them, and any success that I have is due to what I’m doing.”
The individualism and self-control were just two factors that drew her to the pool tables.
“One thing about pool is it can be enjoyed at any level, and that’s really what attracted me: the sound, the clicking of the balls, the beautiful colors rolling along, the geometry and the physics,” said Carter.
“Some people just like to shoot pool as a social thing, but there was more to it then that,” said Graham. “You could tell that there was a real severe interest, and she was going to be a good player.”
Pool is more than just a social activity to Carter. Not only does she compete at the highest level, she raised two kids while working full time and she also teaches the sport.
“Easy to learn, difficult to master,” said Carter.
Forty years after the casual games at the student union, that’s a lesson she knows well.
For information on lessons from Linda, contact email@example.com.