For Sarah Seo ’02, Yale’s women’s golf captain and undoubtedly one of the team’s most talented players, life has always been on course.
“I don’t really remember not knowing how to swing a golf club,” she said.
It is to Seo’s credit that she has kept swinging. As she graduates from Yale this year, she can look back on helping the Bulldogs win two Ivy championships, captaining the team her junior and senior years, and becoming the first female Ivy golfer to earn All-Ivy honors for four straight years this spring.
“She’s achieved a lot as a player,” women’s golf head coach Mary Moan said.
Seo, a native of Lima, Ohio, said she took up golf at an early age with encouragement from her father — a golf “fanatic,” in her words, who tried to get the whole family involved. In high school, she played several sports. But when the time came to look at colleges, she said, she thought she had “more of a future” in golf — she knew she was talented enough to play golf at the college level, and additionally, she thought the sport had greater longevity.
“You can play golf until you’re 80, you know?” she said.
Seo may get that far. She said she has no plans to stop playing after college, and hopes to spend some leisure time on golf next year.
“I’ll definitely always play,” she said. “I can’t stay away from it for too long.”
But even though golf has almost always been a part of her life, Seo said she looked at colleges knowing she wanted a life beyond the golf team. She said Yale’s program attracted her in part because players “seemed to have their separate lives.”
“[They seemed to be] a great mix of people who love their sport but enjoy college life just as much,” she said.
Moan admired Seo for taking advantage of opportunities off the golf course as well as on it.
“[Sarah’s] a very well rounded individual,” Moan said. “She seems to have done a lot of things at Yale and seems to have done them well.”
Moan also complimented Seo for being a “tremendous leader” as a captain. And Seo said she will miss playing with a team. She recalled her teammates’ support and camaraderie at a tournament. At the event, she could find only neon-colored bandages to protect stitches she had in her chin. Seo, then a sophomore, had to play for three days with her chin decked out in less-than-subtle hues. Her teammates showed their true colors on the last day.
“When I walked up to the putting green, the whole team had put bandages on their chins,” she said.
Good times with the team and the lessons she learned playing on it will stick with her the most, she said.
“I think as great as [earning All-Ivy honors for four years] is, it’s really just a secondary result of enjoying my time here,” she said. “I don’t measure [my accomplishments] in terms of an award or a record.”