By Fran Kinnunen
Fairfield Glade, Tennessee attracts people from all over this great country and they come here for various reasons — wonderful weather, beautiful scenery, lakes for fishing and boating, tremendous tennis facilities, walking trails, good people, but Jean Roise moved here four and a half years ago for a change, for her family and for the golf.
Jean was very fortunate growing up in North Dakota in a sports-minded family. Her parents, Bob and Dorothy Roise, would take the kids to the lake every weekend the weather permitted. There they would enjoy the family days in their boat or fishing or swimming or water skiing (Jean’s favorite) . . . just enjoying the moment. This went on for several years until they sold the boat and bought golf clubs instead! Hence, the beginning of Jean’s golfing career.
Being only 10 or so years old, this became Jean’s new idea of fun. Her sister, Rhonda, showed Jean the fun of the game. You know how it goes. Hit into the sand trap, throw the ball out and proceed to the next hole. Life’s too short to mess with the sand in life! The course was about 30 miles away from their home, but their parents would be sure to get them out and play! In fact, Jean says she remembers the course had nine holes and the greens were sand. No wonder she’s such a great golfer!
Throughout Jean’s working career she has always been extremely sports minded coaching Basketball at Grand Forks Red River High School, Grand Forks Central High School as well as two colleges. This obviously left open plenty of time to play golf in the summer. And golf she did!
Nine years ago, while Jean was activities director of Grand Forks Central High School, her parents decided to move to Fairfield Glade and Jean, of course, came for a visit or two. Falling in love with this place was easy for Jean and she moved here permanently four and a half years ago in the spring of 2008. And thus began her next career, more golf! While in North Dakota she did work on and received her Tennessee State Teaching Certificate because, at the time, she thought she’d continue teaching and coaching, however, golf beckoned and so did the Wellness Center here in Fairfield.
Jean joined three golf groups, the Chicks with Sticks, the Women’s 18-Hole League and the Lady Bugs. Those kept her busy and she was able to meet many great golfers. Then work beckoned and Jean began her career at the Wellness Center and two years ago she was promoted to afternoon manager/team leader. The Wellness Center has been wonderful in supporting Jean in all of her travel and participation in big golf tournaments, and for this she is very grateful.
And, now on to the “honors department” of this story. Jean Roise was just named the 2012 Tennessee Women’s Senior Player of the Year. That’s a fitting honor for such a dedicated, honest, hardworking and all around terrific lady!
Tennessee women players 50 years of age or older are eligible for the award and earn points throughout the calendar year in various state and national events (including the TGA Women’s Amateur, the Southern, the Trans, the Western, the North-South, the USGA Women’s Open, the USGA Women’s Amateur, the USGA Mid-Am, the Public Links, the USGA Women’s Senior, the TGA Women’s Open, the TGA Women’s Senior, the Southern Senior, and the TGA Women’s Four-Ball).
Based on the points system, Jean earned points in the Tennessee Women’s Amateur for qualifying for the championship flight, winning the Tennessee Women’s Four-Ball with her partner Carole Fuller, and claiming the Tennessee Women’s Senior Amateur crown. This is Jean’s first Senior Player of the Year award. Congratulations, Jean.
The world of golf has always been a struggle for Jean. In North Dakota there were plenty of tournaments for the men to enter, but not so many for the women. But after moving to Tennessee, Jean found golf on an even footing for both men and women. And she plans to keep on going and teaching and enjoying this wonderful game.
This past year has been a difficult one for Jean as she lost her dear sister, Rhonda, too soon. She did finally get to move here to Tennessee, but too late. She spent her last few weeks here with her family and Jean and her parents are grateful for that time they had together.
Jean truly feels the receiving of the amazing award/honor is a reflection on the wonderful community of Fairfield Glade. This entire community is just that . . . a community . . . here to support their friends and holding us all up when we need it. As Jean says, “The golf courses are challenging as is life . . . especially from the white tees, but God is gracious and good.”