Lynne Rolley flew back and forth from San Francisco to Palm Springs so often during the last two years, she was on a first-name basis with airport gate agents.
A part-time Palm Desert resident from the Berkeley area, she decided to make a full-time move and found her home away from home.
Since December, she has been the director of tennis at the La Quinta Resort and Club. Maybe her job-life redo was kismet: Rolley actually stayed at the sprawling Waldorf Astoria property while her family was looking for a vacation retreat in the desert.
“When we bought a house a few years ago, the whole idea was for it to be for family vacation in warmer weather,” said Rolley.
“My husband came down here and really never went back, and that’s when we started looking for opportunities to stay here. I was thrilled when this came up and I’m very appreciative and fortunate, eager to contribute to the community and will try to make La Quinta the No. 1 resort in the country.”
Rolley, a teacher certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association, has more than 40 years of experience. She assumed her new role from former U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gorman, who retired to Sun Valley, Idaho. She’s responsible for all tennis operations, including instruction, clinics, tennis camps, and all educational and social programs for the 776-room resort as well as members of The Citrus Club at La Quinta Resort.
Before joining La Quinta, she served as director of tennis at Berkeley Tennis Club for 10 years. Other posts included tournament director for the Girls’, Seniors’ and Family National Championships, Fed Cup and national team coach, and director of women’s tennis for the USTA. She also was program director for USTA Player Development.
“I want to pick up where Tom [Gorman] left off because what he had in place was great,” said Rolley, the former coach for WTA stars Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati. She’s a member of the ITF International Coaches Commission, and was inducted into the Northern California Tennis Hall of Fame.
“What I would like to capitalize on is for players to stay at the hotel, have weeklong camps, with access to our new fitness area, have great food, and concentrate on the overall wellness of the player. For so many years I’ve wanted to have an adult camp with tennis all day, use the entire facility. There’s so many things in place, you just have to tie it all together.”
La Quinta Managing Director Paul Cherrett says: “She brings a fresh, strategic approach to our world-class facility and will ensure both members and guests receive top-flight instruction and services.”
Rolley says her goal is for the all-inclusive tennis experience using the beautiful Coachella Valley backdrop and hospitality.
“People like to get away to a spa and combine fitness,” she says. “Here you can go on a hike in the morning, do a little stretching, then play some tennis, go to the spa and have some great food. Everyone can’t move here, but you can come to visit and take advantage of what we have to offer. “
Lynne Rolley’s Tips to
Start a Tennis Routine
• Be in reasonably good shape. Stretch and practice flexibility exercises regularly.
• Build a strong core to support your back and arms.
• Ensure sure your equipment is up to date, and fits you and your style of play.
• Buy good shoes.
• Approach tennis as an activity to learn, and enjoy.
• Make friends on court to build a network and ensure a supply of playing partners.
• Use a ball machine to improve your skills.