By Martin Cleary
Life was good for Lise Jubinville in Winnipeg as she made her way from childhood to being a teenager and then into adulthood.
A common thread through all those years was her dedicated attachment to sports – team sports. And she didn’t miss many. There was softball in the summer and ringette, hockey and broomball in the winter.
If she wasn’t part of a winning Canadian championship team in three sports, she at least found her way to a national tournament in another sport.
A talented, all-around infielder and outfielder, Jubinville helped the Winnipeg Lightning win the Canadian women’s softball title in 1998. Her softball career also took her to the Canadian women’s junior team and the national women’s squad, which won the silver medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba.
She celebrated winning national women’s broomball titles in 1996 with the Manitoba Storm and the MacMillan Sand and Gravel team of Pakenham in 2001.
When she put on her skates, she found herself winning a Canadian age-group ringette gold medal. When she switched to hockey, she played for the University of Manitoba Alumni team and skated in several Hockey Canada women’s championships.
While Jubinville, who worked 21 years in various roles with Softball Canada before retiring, enjoyed all aspects of team sports, there was another sport slowly percolating for a long time in the background.
At about age seven, her parents registered her for a junior golf program, which had equal amounts of skill development and social fun. During summer vacations, her family would have various golf days.
Golf, however, was a backburner sport for Jubinville as it lacked the team component. But when she moved to Ottawa in 1998 to work for Softball Canada, she made connections with the hockey and broomball communities, but golf quickly moved to the front burner of her athletic life.
In the past 19 years, Jubinville has been the Ottawa Valley Golf Association’s most dominant women’s player, winning 37 regional tournaments and earning the past five consecutive season-long Order of Merit point-ranking titles.
By winning her second straight OVGA Cup championship earlier this month at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club with a 78, Jubinville collected her fifth Order of Merit honour.
For her 2023 season, Jubinville was a five-time tournament winner – the OVGA city and district match-play championship, the OVGA Cup, the OVGA four-ball championship, the OVGA mixed alternate shot championship and the Ottawa Sun Scramble.
Jubinville won a long-driving contest at the Ottawa Golf and Travel Show in 2003 and earned a membership to the Canadian Golf and Country Club.
She slowly started her return to golf, playing twice a week. If she wasn’t playing nine holes with friends in a women’s league at The Meadows, she was part of a Nine and Dine group for another nine holes.
When she decided to play her first-ever tournament, she wasn’t even sure why she registered for the Golf Quebec mid-index championship. It probably had something to do with the competitiveness from her team sports days. In the end, she won the tournament for players with 10+ handicaps, much to her surprise, and revisited that winning feeling she previously enjoyed with her Winnipeg teammates.
She moved to the Carleton Golf and Yacht Club in 2005 because of its strong group of women golfers. She not only continued to develop her game, but also initiated a Player Development Program so other women could improve their competitive games for tournament play.
“Golf is different,” said Jubinville, who now represents the Hylands Golf Club in tournament play. “It’s an individual sport and you have to rely on yourself for your score.
“I was always a team player … but having an individual sport is great – the social aspect of being out with three friends and playing in the sunshine. When I entered my first competition (2003), I wasn’t sure why I entered it. But I got the bug.”
A notable strong hitter in her softball days, Jubinville carried that contact skill over to golf and is a long hitter off the tee. During her rounds of golf, she also is a picture of calmness. A few lessons over the years have allowed her to improve various aspects of her game.
Jubinville also likes to be fully prepared entering a tournament. She wants to preview the course and take notes before playing her round.
Players like Susan Pearl, Diane Dolan, Teri De Luis and Bonnie Wolff have meant a lot to her in her career and have inspired her development. At this year’s OVGA city and district match-play championship, she wanted to defend her title because the trophy was named after Wolff.
“I’ve taken so much from other people, watching to see what they do and analyze that,” said Jubinville, who also has strengthened her game using her coach-athlete development skills from Softball Canada and her exercise physiology background from the University of Manitoba. “It’s a joy to watch people play well and take information into my own game.
“I like to challenge myself. I’m not saying I’m driven by winning, but I’m driven by competing.”
Here’s the list of Lise Jubinville’s championship career wins, courtesy of Ottawa golf researcher and historian Joe McLean:
· OVGA city and district medal championship – 2005, 2011, 2017, 2018, 2021;
· OVGA city and district match-play championship – 2017, 2018, 2019, 2023;
· OVGA Cup, women – 2022, 2023;
· OVGA Order of Merit (individual point ranking) – 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023;
· OVGA city and district medal championship, senior – 2022;
· OVGA Tournament of Champions – 2012, 2013, 2015;
· OVGA Tournament of Champions, senior – 2021;
· OVGA four-ball – 2006, 2010, 2015, 2018, 2023;
· OVGA mixed alternate shot – 2023;
· OVGA Ryder Cup – 2018;
· Ottawa Sun Scramble – 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023;
· Ottawa Citizen – 2010.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @martincleary.
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