by Tom Cade, Editor
Golf has been in her blood since childhood.
While growing up, Trudi’s father, Bob Tindall, was the longtime PGA head pro at Jackson Park Municipal Golf Course on the north end of Seattle. (Bob would later coach the men’s golf team at the University of Washington for six years in the 1970s.)
“I basically grew up at Jackson,” Trudi says. “I probably started while in Kindergarten. Us kids walked to the course from our house, and I shagged balls on the range, worked in the golf shop and spent the afternoons playing the club’s par-3 course. It was my second home. I sold lemonade on the 13th tee with my sister.”
Trudi’s brother, Bill Tindall, taught by his father, would win the Seattle City Amateur at age 15 and also win the 1960 U.S. Junior Amateur, and become one of the region’s most respected PGA head professionals at its most acclaimed clubs, such as Longview, Broadmoor and Aldarra. Bill would be inducted into the Pacific Northwest Section PGA Hall of Fame in 2000.
She attended Seattle’s Ingraham High School, where there was no girls’ golf team. “The coach of the boys’ team asked me to try out, but I decided not to. My brothers played in high school.”
It was while in high school that Trudi met Jay Inslee. She would go on to study political science at Washington State, while Jay studied economics at University of Washington. They married in 1972.
In 1976, Jay and Trudi moved to Selah in eastern Washington, just across the river from Yakima, where they raised their three boys and alfalfa on four acres surrounded by apple orchards.
While in Selah, she joined the women’s leagues at Suntides and Elks golf courses, and played in several Yakima city tournaments during the 1980s. “Jay has always been supportive of me playing and was the reason I picked up a club again after our first two sons were born,” Trudi says.
It was also while in Selah that Jay and Trudi got involved in a campaign to build a new high school, which inspired Jay to run for the state legislature to help protect funding for rural schools. The family moved back to western Washington in 1995 and have resided in Kitsap County ever since, belonging to Wing Point G&CC on Bainbridge Island for many years.
As Jay’s political career gathered momentum – serving in the House on a state level in the early 1990s, and then in the U.S. House from 1999-2012, and taking office as Governor in January 2013 – Trudi’s political involvement kept in stride, volunteering over the years with local nonprofits such as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Mothers Against Violence in America.
Now as First Lady, she continues to focus on social service programs and organizations that provide services for women and children who are victims of sexual assault, homelessness, and hunger while also supporting early learning programs.
“My dad passed along his love for the game. He played and lived by the rules – specifically, the Golden Rule. Golf is such a great game. Programs such as The First Tee really teach what the game is supposed to be about.”
She is also a big fan of superintendents. “The way they care for the courses, the way they protect the environment with their skill, everyone is really doing their best for the game.”
Time to get back on the course? Jay has played (after a few tips from Trudi’s brother Bill) in the Governor’s Cup the past few years, and recently attended a First Tee of South Puget Sound clinic at Chambers Bay.
“I love the peacefulness of a golf course in the early evening. Jay suggested recently we try to play more this year. Now, maybe it’s time for me to get back on the course with our grandkids.”