Even though Tim “TJ” Tjernlund graduated from Corvallis High School in Oregon, he considers Kalispell, Montana and Glacier National Park as his true home. It was there that he spent every summer from ages 10 through 20 while his father, a school teacher, worked at the park. He considers that experience life defining, as it was there that he learned to make and keep friends, live on his own and accept responsibilities; 40 years later, he still keeps in touch with over 30 friends he made during that period at the park.
After graduating from Corvallis High, TJ attended Oregon State and later Montana State University. TJ was on the baseball, basketball and swim teams in high school and played several intramural sports in college. He then worked for a ski resort in Montana for three years before becoming an entrepreneur. TJ says that those years at the resort were the greatest job ever for a single young man!
After leaving the resort, TJ opened his first business, a shoe and boot repair and leather goods shop. He then did an about face and became a realtor, running his own Century 21 agency. After 20 plus years in Montana, TJ decided to sell out and move to California and become a golf pro (he’d played golf since he was seven years old and wanted to be someplace where he could play all year ‘round). He earned a business degree in Golf Club Management at the Professional Golfers Career College in Temecula. Then his second (or third?) career began.
TJ worked at nine different courses in three states (Arizona, California and Nevada) over the years. He earned his PGA membership in 1999 and has filled nearly all positions in golf course management including head pro and assistant head pro. He was a teaching pro for many years and also ran the clubs’ full operations at several courses. His last position before retiring was at the nearby Ahwatukee Lakes course.
In addition to playing golf and Sun Lakes softball, where TJ is a left-handed power-hitting first baseman-outfielder, he does have time for other interests. He’s an admitted music junkie. Over the years he’s played in four classic rock bands, owns and plays eight guitars and two keyboards and collects old LPs and ‘45s. Plus he’s a music trivia buff.
Another interest is cooking. TJ does most of the grocery shopping and enjoys putting together meals from scratch. He and Karen also enjoy eating out at a wide variety of restaurants and have even tried those recommended on the TV show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives!
Karen and TJ like to travel too. They enjoy visiting the grandkids in Dallas and Richmond, Virginia and do a lot of day trips throughout the state. They’re going to Alaska this summer with friends from guess where? Yes, friends from the good old days at Glacier National Park! TJ really did learn to make and keep friends!