Toronto-born and raised golf pro, Seema Sadekar, is using her passions to blaze a whole new genre within the worlds of golf and fashion. After a childhood spent hitting golfballs and perfecting her swing, she earned a full scholarship at the University of Las Vegas Nevada before going on to compete in the LPGA, all while keeping an eye on the need for more female clothing options within the golf community. Now, a vetted golfer with multiple tours under her belt, Sadekar is using her knowledge, experience, and flare for fashion to encourage other women and girls to pursue golf and “sparkle” while doing it. A self-proclaimed golf fashionista, she is on a mission to positively influence others, including through her attendance at the Joe Carter Classic in support of the Children’s Aid Foundation. Joining other sports stars on the Eagle’s Nest Golf course for a fun-filled day of friendly competition, we caught-up with Sadekar to discuss how access to the great game of golf influenced her childhood and is now inspiring her to giveback.
Children’s Aid Foundation: How did you get started golfing?
Seema Sadekar: I learned golf in Toronto, Canada where I was born and raised. My father was always a fan of the sport and saw an opportunity for both me and my sister, Nisha. We would spend many days after school during winter at an indoor facility hitting golf balls off mats and into nets. Because we began at a young age, we were always trying to understand what all the hype and excitement was about with the game; it was so natural to us. In the summer season, we would go to our home course — Emerald Hills Golf Club — and finally spend the days out of school, hitting balls off grass, playing 9 or 18, and hanging out with all the other junior members. We always made new friends and then began to understand golf beyond just the game. My parents quickly saw talent and opportunity from me and my sister. A year after starting the game, we began our junior careers at the IMG Sports Academy. IMG gave us a solid foundation while preparing and competing amongst the best juniors and athletes all over the world. After a strong junior career, I received a full scholarship at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) where I spent four amazing years competing in the most sparkly city.
CAF: What did sports, in particular golf, mean to you throughout your childhood?
SS: As a child I never really understood the opportunities that were given to me. Growing-up, I just went with the flow and trusted that my parents were guiding me in the right direction. As I look back at my childhood now, I realize the crazy reality of where golf has really taken me. I have had the opportunity to travel the world, meet amazing people, be outdoors, be inside the ropes, teach children, be a leader, be a role-model, be a fashion inspiration… and it goes on and on. I want to be the best that I can be for the game of golf, so that I can continue to inspire and grow the game the way I believe it can be grown.
“I’ve made the most of my opportunities, and while it hasn’t been easy, I have had guidance and understand how important those people have been to me. I would consider those particular individuals to have been my light, and there is no better reward than to be a light to a brighter future.”
CAF: You recently attended the Joe Carter Classic. What was that experience like?
SS: This has been my second year attending the Joe Carter Classic and it truly is an honour to be able to support Joe Carter and the Children’s Aid Foundation. Joe has been a hero to me from a young age. The Blue Jays were, and remain, a family experience for the Sadekars; we would always go and watch and cheer on the Jays. We would bond and love every moment — those are memories that I will cherish forever and to have Joe Carter invite me and my sister each year is an honour. I support Joe and I am thankful for the opportunities that his event and The Children’s Aid Foundation provide.
CAF: What is a “golf fashionista”?
SS: I remember growing-up playing golf, and my dad would starch my long IZOD shorts and oversized golf shirts and I used to feel a bit boyish. When I was little, I loved dressing-up. I used to wear my mom’s jewelry and make-up and talk to myself in the mirror (I know…). Basically, I was always a “girly girl”. When I started getting good at golf, I figured I would be able to embrace my style and really tell me people who I am through my fashions and styles. I love thinking outside the box with fashion and with golf and coined myself “The Golf Fashionista”. My fashion really gives me an approach to “being me on the course”. I think that’s so important for me and for every other female who wants to play the game.
CAF: How have sports impacted your self-image and confidence?
SS: You really find out who you are and a lot about yourself through sports and competition. Being involved with sports and honing my talents into golf at such a young age has taught me more than just how to be “competitive” and “focused”. Throughout my years of playing I got to learn about myself. Golf is an independent sport, you make your own hours. A lot of my time on tour I spent with myself, from travel to dinners, I learned and taught myself about being confident, loving, believing and supporting myself. I was lucky to have my sister on the bag to keep me company, but she has responsibilities to the business. We would spend so much time together and so much time apart, but we were always a team. I think the most important thing I have learned is that you have to be your own best friend.
CAF: Why are sports, particularly golf, important for girls? How do they promote success in life?
SS: I believe that getting into sports as a young girl is so important. You quickly learn quickly about core values like respect, honesty and responsibility in a fun way. As a young girl, golf gives you the ability and confidence to be social, engage and communicate with people. It’s one of the few places you are asked to put your phone away and enjoy the company of your friends, playing partners, members, and family. I started a Golf & Glam School for young girls in Las Vegas, NV. During the school we spend half the time outdoors leaning the fundamentals of the game and half the rest of the time indoors where we spend time together getting to learn about one another, going through core values, and sifting through golf fashion books that I have created to inspire them to have fun, be themselves, and enjoy the game. It’s really special and at the end of the day, the goal is for each young girl to walk away feeling confident, empowered, and wanting to learn more about the game of golf!
CAF: Why is it important to support vulnerable people, including children, in our local communities?
SS: Everyone is given an opportunity, but not everyone is given the same amount of opportunities. My goal is to be a leader and share my experiences and inspire those who seek direction. I want to be an example for the youth in my surrounding communities. I know that many youth are in search of positive influence and direction, and if I can offer that and help, it is a blessing to me. I’ve made the most of my opportunities, and while it hasn’t been easy, I have had guidance and understand how important those people have been to me. I would consider those particular individuals to have been my light, and there is no better reward than to be a light to a brighter future.