Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bowling and golf not so easy

Playing the role of a kegler is not easy as it looks. Kegler is defined in Webster’s dictionary, new revised edition, simply as (n), a bowler. Well, that’s a little debatable, as far as I’m concerned.

Just going out and rolling a bowling ball down a lane hopefully between two gutters is not a simple task. I used to write a weekly bowling column and someone asked me why and how did I get involved in writing about it. Well, I said, my bowling scores and golf scores were getting closer and closer together, so I decided it would be easier to just write about keglers, rather than be one. The same can be said for linkster, if you get my drift. Scores of something like a 130 in either sport aren’t acceptable on the links, nor in the bowling alley, or as I quickly learned, the bowling ‘center.’ A true-to-life kegler doesn’t appreciate his or her place of business/pleasure being referred to as an ‘alley’. Sorta bad for the image, I guess.

I started early on as a junior bowler, joining the league at Lucky Lanes in Poteau. My mother was a bowler, too, and even won a couple of trophies. I continued bowling in college at a four-lane bowling center in the student union, and in the military, the bowling center was right across the street from my house and I bowled enough for green stamps that I was able got get a record player. Plus, my team was lucky enough to win a league title in California . Also, in the military, I worked part-time at night in a bowling center on base … as someone who cleaned the lanes, but still it gave me plenty of time to practice, because it was late at night and nobody was there but me. So, I practiced and practiced and practiced, but I wasn’t dedicated, so I never really improved. The same thing can be said for becoming a golfer, too. I wasn’t totally dedicated, so I really never improved.

Anyway, I joined a Friday morning bowling league in my civilian life, and I was lucky enough to get on a good team, though we never won a trophy. I did enjoy bowling so much that I decided if I was ever going to get any better, I needed to invest in some equipment, like a bowling ball, a bag and some bowling shoes. I asked the proprietor once about buying a ball and shoes. He said he would make me a deal; if I would stick with it, he would give me a ball. Course, since I wrote something weekly in the newspaper, he was looking at it as an investment, too. He was getting plenty of free publicity out of it and he wanted to make sure he kept me around. Funny I never thought about it, until now, the owner of the golf course gave me a set of clubs and let me come out and play anytime I wanted, for free. You know, I-scratch your-back, and-you-scratch-mine sort of thing. He wanted to keep me around, too, for the publicity. Oh, well, not having to pay for green fees was nice while it lasted. I eventually gave my clubs away, so I would never be tempted to play again. The lack of dedication thing is all that held me back, from being an avid bowler and golfer, I’m certain


At January 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM , Blogger Bill Hinds said...

Hey John, My golfing and bowling experiences were mostly in the military also. When I was teaching at the Radar School in Ft. Monmouth, N.J. I joined the Bowling League and had a lot of fun. I think I may have had at least one 300 game. I don't know how that could have happened because by the end of the night most of us were lucky to be able to keep out of the gutters - lottsa beer!

We golfed a lot when I was in the Philipines. I even played on sand greens. But those golf courses all had beer stands every 3 or 4 holes. Mercy!

It does take committment and lots of practice to get any good at either one. Needless to say I never improved much either. :)

At January 18, 2009 at 12:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the same way, John. I bowled some and played golf some, but never dedicated myself enough in either one to get very good. I still bowl every once in awhile, but I too got rid of my golf clubs several years ago. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "golf is a good walk spoiled." Or was it Mark Twain, or Harry Truman. Well, somebody said it, and it fits for me. Instead of having fun playing golf, I just got frustrated. - Jim Patterson

At January 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

As the old prophet said, "Golf spelled backwards is FLOG!"


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