Tennis Industry magazine


Tennis advocate of the Year: Robert Walsh

By Kent Oswald

If any individual can blow up the stereotype of the “workaholic,” that would be Robert Walsh, Tennis Industry’s Tennis Advocate of the Year. Maybe “advocate” isn’t a strong enough word?

“My wife says tennis is my first love and she’s the second. But it’s not true,” Walsh insists. He confesses to being a “voluntaholic” after retirement in 1988 from corporate finance and computers, when he decided to play a little more tennis. “There were some needs there, and I just fell in love with all the things I was doing,” he says.

A few highlights: Walsh has served on numerous USTA Northern California committees; served as a league coordinator for seniors for over 20 years; was a liaison to USTA adult league staff; and created league and tournament opportunities for men and women who wish to compete in their 70s and 80s. For 10-plus years he was president of the Napa Valley Tennis Association, a tenure that included providing financial support to local juniors and working with the Parks & Rec and school district to create 11 new courts, then raising $125,000 to support them.

At age 88, and still consulting for small businesses, he tries to play at least once a week, although a horseback riding accident has caught up with him. But, he admits, “There’s something about the game. It’s good for mental health and it keeps people much fitter than if they just sit around.”

As if that was something he really had to worry about. — Kent Oswald

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About the Author

Kent Oswald  is a contributor to, producer at the and a former editor of Tennis Week magazine.



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