ALTON - Rose Bensman is an inspiration to everyone who comes in contact with her. Rose celebrated her 98th birthday with a round of golf and a party on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Rose was born on June 23, 1923, in Alton. She has lived and worked her whole life in Alton, including at the Muny golf course.

On Thursday, she played 9 holes of golf with other ladies. She still plays golf three days a week; on Monday and Thursday she plays at Rock Spring Golf Course and at Rolling Hills on Tuesday. Rose has been inducted into the Alton Golf Hall of Fame.

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She also just renewed her driver's license, so she plans to keep playing golf as long as she can.

Rose's good friend, Fran Eagan, said: "At the beginning of this season when it was cold and rainy she didn’t show up for a couple of weeks, and when asked why, she said, 'I’m not playing the pro tour anymore, so I don’t have to play in the cold and rain!'"

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Eagan continued: "Everyone thinks of Rose as an inspiration, and when we grow up we want to be just like Rose. She told us she had trouble retiring, because as soon as she left one job someone else would call her and ask her to work for them. She can out golf most of us. She never gets in trouble on the course, and you don’t want to bet against her around the green."

Rose said the secret to her long life and playing golf, the sport she has loved for so long, is simple: "The secret has to be the good Lord. The long life has come from Him."

Rose said her mother was 98, too, before she died.

"I believe in exercise. I have been playing golf since got out of high school," Rose said. "I graduated from Marquette in 1941 and they didn't have golf at that time. I took lessons from Lou Miller, the pro at Rock Spring Golf Course in 1943 or 1944. My dad bought me a $15 set of new clubs, and I came out here to the golf course. I have never stopped. I was runner-up in the city tournament and have a hole in one on No. 7; another hole in one in Carrollton. Summertime, I play Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, nine holes."

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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