Meet the Board: Meet Jeanne Lambson

Pacific Grove Golf Course.jpg

"The lesson I’ve learned from education, job experience, or life in general, is: learn whatever you can, whenever you can, about everything you can. But, be flexible in your goals and targets."

-Jeanne Lambson.

Meet Jeanne Lambson

By Alejandra Duffy

As you can see, we're starting a new series on our blog to help you get to know our Board members. Maybe you already know some of them, but hopefully you'll understand why they give so much time and love to the Pacific Women's Golf Association after reading each of their stories. 

Today, we're interviewing Jeanne Lambson, the PWGA Sacramento Area Director.

How I started my golf journey

I played casual golf since I was in my 30s. By casual, I mean I had clubs and could hit the ball in random directions, and had no idea that there was a rule book. My brother was a scratch golfer: Gary Rawlings, from the Yolo Fliers Club; and was 46th on the NCGA 2007 Top 50 Points List. But, we did not live in the same state, so I did not benefit from his knowledge or experience in my younger years. I really got involved when I moved back to California in 2006 to a neighborhood with a nine-hole course and a Ladies Golf Club. The move also put me closer to my brother. I ended up being tournament chairman for that Ladies Club for several years, and for the neighborhood mixed Golf Club, with the help of a knowledgeable neighbor. How I got involved in PWGA is a funny story that I plan to share at the Workshop this year.   

Why I play golf

I play golf because I like the challenge of the game and the principles behind it. Golf is a game of honor. It is a game you can play by yourself, or enjoy the companionship of those who also love the game. In the past 12 years, I have made a significant effort to learn about the history and rules of the game. Not done learning yet.

Where I belong

I currently belong to Turkey Creek Ladies Golf Club and Whitney Oaks Women’s Golf Association (WOWGA). Belonging to two clubs provides variety of course and playing partners, not to mention that Whitney Oaks is a challenge I just can’t resist. My favorite courses are The Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma Resort—who doesn’t want to hit a ball off the cliff-, and Pacific Grove in Monterey (the poor man’s Pebble Beach). My favorite round of golf was playing with Karen Garcia, who is the 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Champion. She entered and played with us at one of our Sacramento Area Play Days last year. I was stunned when I received her entry form in the mail. She is a champion in every way, not just golf, but an all-around great gal. What a joy it was to play a round with her.

Jeanne Lambson, PWGA Sacramento Area Director, in Tevis Cup.

Jeanne Lambson, PWGA Sacramento Area Director, in Tevis Cup.

A change of plans

I was widowed in 1997 and retired in 1998. I attended college at UC Davis with a Chemistry Major and Math minor. I always wanted to be a large animal vet, but in those days they discouraged or didn’t allow women to enter that program. They thought women belonged in the small animal vet program. In the end, my final and longest career with Motorola Government Electronics Division in Scottsdale, Arizona, had absolutely nothing to do with my original plan or education. I ended up with that career by accidentally showing up at the wrong address for an interview (another funny story). I worked 27 years for Motorola, with most of that time spent as an International Contract Manager and Program Manager for Classified Government Munitions Programs, and development programs. My team developed the first Motorola GPS receiver, and in 1997, I received a Certificate of Achievement for execution of the Washington State Department of Transportation joint project with Motorola which established the commercial viability of GPS based Automatic Vehicle Location Systems. We’ve come a long way from those days. The world is now being tracked by GPS, and I am wearing a GPS on my wrist to golf! I never imagined that outcome of the GPS research. My 27 years with Motorola were, without a doubt, my favorite job, although I had other interesting experiences, like working for the Vacaville Medical Facility (men’s prison) and the U.S. Army NCO and EM clubs in Germany (after getting lost and ending up in the wrong country on my way to Germany).

My family

I have one daughter and two grandchildren, both of whom are in college now in Utah. They also own and ride horses. My daughter was once Arizona and World Rodeo Queen. She now works for Harley, and rides a Harley. Both my daughter and grandson have also worked at golf courses. I have a “significant other” who bred, rode, owned as many as eighteen horses at one time and now golfs. Most of my daily activities now are related to golf and gardening, although I still have two retired horses. Besides being the PWGA Sacramento Area Director and Tournament Chair, I am still Tournament Chair for our neighborhood golf club: Auburn Lake Trails Golf Club.

My passions

In terms of hobbies, I’ve been a surfer, scuba diver, snow skier, water skier, fisherman, hunter, raced Corvettes in Southern California, owned and rode motorcycles, completed the 100 miles in 24-hour Tevis Cup endurance ride twice, was on a high speed rodeo drill team for 15 years, belong to a fox hunting club in Phoenix and Flagstaff (horseback), and fox hunted in England and Ireland. I’ve owned and rode horses for over 40 years and once raised my own beef. 

Ready for anything

The lesson I’ve learned from education, job experience, or life in general, is: learn whatever you can, whenever you can, about everything you can. But, be flexible in your goals and targets. Life can end up a joy because of accidents, mistakes, wrong directions, or phone numbers on bathroom walls. I try to just go with the flow, wherever it takes me.