BY BETTE ADDINGTON Bowling columnist
How many times do you see or hear of league bowlers who would like to consider getting a new bowling ball but have no idea what ball is right for them?
They drop by their local Pro Shop only to see a bunch of other bowlers in there either getting supplies or getting their balls worked on and they decide to come back another time to talk one-on-one with the Pro Shop to see what they suggest.
It's frustrating. If you are a league bowler in this predicament and bowl at AMF Southwest Lanes, here's a special event just made for you.
Since last summer's Brunswick Clinic was such a success, Brunswick decided to offer it again for summer league bowlers at AMF Southwest Lanes (3610 Wible Road) targeting the bowlers in Robb's Ball league. This clinic will take place this Thursday night from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (just before Robb's Ball league hits the floor). Again, this clinic is free and is put on for the purpose of helping league bowlers analyze their current bowling equipment, watch these bowlers bowl some, and offer suggestions on what type of ball is best suited for their style of bowling.
Brunswick's Nick Smith will be assisted by our very own Carlie Medina III/Brunswick Advisory Staffer and Robb White, owner of Robb's Pro Shop at AMF Southwest Lanes. Medina is excited that this clinic is being offered as "this year we have a lot of new bowlers and that's what we are targeting."
When a bowling ball is a prize fund it'll bring new bowlers and I'll do my best to help in any way I can. I donate my time for free lessons for anyone who bowls in Robb's Ball league. I'm there every Thursday at 5:30pm for that." Medina is also donating his Secretary fees back to the league's Sweepers which is $900.
We caught up with Nick Smith from Brunswick who is the Product Specialist for the Northwest region to find out more about Brunswick and their vision for offering these free clinics to league bowlers. He said they do these clinics two or three times a year in eleven different states during the summer league season. Their intent is to get new and recreational bowlers informed and help them advance their skills to become league bowlers. Smith's strong suit is helping bowlers pick out the correct ball. And, why wouldn't this be his area of expertise as he comes from a background that started a bowling Pro Shop in 2003 and then went on to own two shops from 2008-2010 before he started working for Brunswick in 2010.
Smith was drawn to work for Brunswick, which, by the way, is one of the oldest corporations in America founded in 1845.
Besides that, Brunswick had the first bowling ball in 1911 and chances are the next time you look around in a bowling center you will see that everything you see is Brunswick-made that is in the center! But Smith also wanted to work for Brunswick because "their whole mission is to provide innovative products, have a service touch, and they really care and are not a huge corporation."
To make that point a little stronger, when I asked if this Clinic would be showcasing any new balls coming out on the market, Smith replied, "Not at this clinic. This is geared towards coaching and individual products and help pick out the best ball for a bowler."
He added, "This clinic works for all levels of bowlers as there is no 'one size fits all'!" They will analyze skill level of each bowler and find out what the bowlers are asking for in a ball. Smith did say the hot new ball on the market for Brunswick right now is the "Fortera Exile."
He also shared that Brunswick "makes a variety of products that work" so if the latest ball isn't the right ball for you, possibly you can enhance your range of performance with the popular DV8 or Radical brands. So if looking for your new bowling ball is foreign to you, here's your chance to get up close and personal with three guys who know the Brunswick line of balls and are more than happy to take the time to help you become a better bowler for this upcoming fall season! No appointment necessary, just remember this is put on exclusively for AMF Southwest summer league bowlers.
For more information on Brunswick products, go to www.BowlwithBrunswick.com.
Youth State Tournament Scorekeepers Needed
Local adult bowlers if you are interested in helping out these next two weekends, step up. CUSBC Youth State tournament is here in Bakersfield these next two weekends--July 19-20 and July 26-27. The Team event is being held at AMF Southwest Lanes and the Singles and Doubles at Regency Lanes.
Here's a schedule listing of the squads scheduled to date: AMF Southwest on Sat., July 19 -- 12 noon & 3:30 p.m.; Sun., July 20 -- 9 a.m. & 12 noon. Regency on Sat., July 19 -- 9 a.m., & 12 noon & 3:30p.m.; Sun., July 20 -- 9 a.m. & 12 noon. For the weekend of July 26-27, AMF Southwest on Sat., July 26 -- 12 noon & 3:30 p.m.; Sun., July 27 -- nothing. Regency on Sat., July 26 -- nothing; Sun., July 27 -- 9 a.m., 12 noon and 3:30 p.m.
Anyone interested in helping, please sign up at either of the bowling centers as soon as possible. Please include your name, the date(s) you can work and your phone number.
How about a shout-out to our local youth bowlers here in Bakersfield? Come on out, let's support our local youth bowlers as they compete in this tournament here in Bakersfield!
Summer Sport Shot League challenges bowlers
There are bowlers who are content with bowling a house shot pattern in their weekly leagues but then when the opportunity arises for bowlers to test their skills at adjusting to different patterns, they can join a Sport league.
AMF Southwest Lanes offered the Sport Shot league this summer that bowls on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. This is a Doubles league and offers a new Sport pattern every three weeks so bowlers will be trying out five different Sport patterns this summer.
I interviewed three of this league's members, Buck Jackson, Brian Maurseth and Allen Hall, and, for all three, this is their first experience bowling in a Sport league.
When asked why they decided to bowl in this league, Jackson said "To see how the different patterns were like to bowl on." Hall, who just this past week bowled a 286 game for his first-time ever on the Cheetah pattern, said, "To gain experience and learn how to adjust to different lane conditions."
And, Maurseth said he, "wanted to challenge myself to try and do better."
Challenge is the key word here as all three are seeing they have good games and they have not-so-good games to contend with on any given night. All three are seeing that the average they carry on this league is a good 20+ pins below what they would bowl in a regular league, but this is expected.
When asked what this league has done for their game of bowling, Jackson said, "made me focus on my form, release and accuracy." Hall added, "taught me how to adjust and read lane conditions earlier than I used to." And Maurseth said, "Helping me be a little more accurate, be patient with the lanes and learning how to read lanes."
Regarding what bowling ball they are throwing in this league, Jackson said, "it has heightened my awareness to when I need to change (balls) and it has also forced me to learn my equipment." Hall said, "It has changed the bowling ball I am going to get next and the layout." Maurseth, who started bowling at age 8 and recently just started back to the sport after taking 20 years off, said he's learning thanks to the help of Diz Francisco who is "pointing out things I don't know."
When asked how they think bowling in this league will affect their bowling this upcoming season, Jackson said, "I will be better for sure!" Allen Hall said he "hoped it will raise my average" and Maurseth added he "anticipates a higher average, continue to challenge myself and be a little more accurate."
To sum up bowling in this special league, Jackson said it "Needs more people. I recommend it for everyone." Hall remarked, "If you want to see what you're made of, bowl in a Sport league." And Maurseth concluded that he "enjoys the camaraderie; everyone is encouraging everyone else."
To join a sport league, bowlers must purchase a USBC Sport membership card which costs $17 in addition to your USBC sanction card. Fees for this league are just $10 per week to cover lineage. As this summer's Sport Shot league is half-way through it is too late to join in for this session, but you can come out and watch the bowlers bowl on the various patterns any Tuesday night starting at 7 p.m. and consider this league come the summer of 2015.
Rick Bowman & Jerry Barker Medal at US Police & Fire Game Championships
Congratulations to both local bowlers Rick Bowman and Jerry Barker who competed in the annual US Police & Fire Games held June 25-27 at Kearny Mesa Bowl in San Diego. Bowman came home with five medals (one Gold, two Silver and two Bronze) and Barker won three (one Gold and two Silver).
Barker won his Gold in Doubles (A Division) and one Silver in Team and the other in All-Events.
Bowman, bowling in the Scratch division, won a Gold in All-Events, one Silver in the 50 and over age category and the other in the PBA-style Roll-Off and one Bronze in the Team and one in the Doubles event.
About 72 bowlers competed in the bowling portion of the championships. Bowman also added that his Gold won him a VIP invitation to the 2015 World Police & Fire Games which will be held in Fairfax, VA, June 30-July 2, 2015.
Remembering Agnes Hughett
Sincere condolences to the family of Agnes Hughett who passed away on June 28 at the age of 81. Hughett was part of the BWBA (Bakersfield Women's Bowling Association) board and served as a Director and Treasurer, the Bakersfield 600 Club, and bowled for years in Bakersfield up until 2004. She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 for Meritorious Service.
Weekly Super Scores
-- GEUSBC Hall of Famer Glenn Yeoman shows why he was inducted into our Hall of Fame back in 1998 for Superior Performance as he bowled another career 300 on July 2 bowling in the Oldies But Goodies league at AMF Southwest Lanes.
-- Chris Gregory came so close to the 800 barrier on July 3 bowling in Robb's Ball league at AMF Southwest Lanes putting together games of 268-245-279 for a nice 792 series.