At the tender age of 98, Louise Rose is one of the most active and celebrated women athletes in the history of Philadelphia. Proficient in a wide variety of sports, the game of golf is her main focus. She is still active, pounding the ball on the driving range as many mornings as possible. When she turned 90 in 2006, she scored in the 80’s five times and won the prestigious De Robey Tournament at Merion, partnering with her daughter, Bonnie George. At the women’s GAP annual meeting that year she was presented with the association’s highest honor, their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Louise “Bobbie” Rose has had a love affair with sports her whole life. She was born in 1916 during World War I. She grew up in far-out Cheltenham, “way outside the city limits”. A natural athlete from the get-go, she played various sports with her two big brothers which earned her nickname.
Bobbie graduated from Cheltenham High in 1934 lettering in four sports: basketball, swimming, hockey and softball. She was named “Best All-Around Female Athlete” all four years. She moved on to Temple where she won letters in five sports, adding tennis to her growing accomplishments. She also became interested in badminton and was ranked #1 in the Middle Atlantic States. There wasn’t a sport or outdoor activity in which she didn’t excel.
When she met her husband, Leon, they decided to take up golf and joined Ashbourne Country Club to learn. In the summer of 1947, Bobbie won Ashbourne’s Class D Club Championship and in ’48 with a handicap now in the single digits, won the Women’s Club Championship. Not just that year, but for the next 13 consecutive years! When the family joined Philmont C.C., she immediately won the championship there, along with Philmont’s inaugural Gold Key Invitational, a scratch event for Philly’s finest women golfers.
As to her future….”I want to make more putts and shoot my age”, Rose said. She’ll continue to play with her two fellow Hall Of Fame children: her daughter, Bonnie, in the De Robey and Mater Et Filia, which they’ve won together four times and her son, Michael, for the Grissom Cup. They’ve won that 11 times. One more would really be sweet.