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Tuesday, September 10, 2013




I am a pretty decent bowler.  I have been bowling since I was seven years old.  I should be a decent bowler; I’ve been doing it for sixty years.  I average around 180 in a league where 180 is only slightly above average. 

One thing that hurts my average is I always have trouble hitting the 10 pin.  The ten pin is right hand side pin in the last row, right next to the gutter.  I throw the ball with a pretty good hook.  You cannot hook at the 10 pin or the ball is in the gutter before it has a chance to bend. (Bored yet?) 

In order to hit the 10 pin you have to throw the ball straight, not always easy for a once a-week bowler. (Bear with me now)  To hit the 10 pin without changing the way you throw the ball, many bowlers use a plastic ball which slips in the oil and will not hook very much. (And you thought the game was simple.)


This season I broke down and bought a plastic coated ball.  Ninety bucks, just to use for hitting the 10 pin, and only the 10 pin.

Why is this post called pressure?

Years ago the great Mexican golfer Lee Trevino was asked about the pressure in having to make a putt for $100,000.  (That would be 1 million dollars today.)  Trevino who grew up poor and in his younger years often gambled on the golf course just to put groceries on the table answered.

“Putting for $100,000 is not pressure; pressure is putting to win a $10 bet when you only have $5 in your pocket”

This week I learned a new definition of pressure.

Pressure is trying to hit a 10 pin with a brand new $90 ball which you bought for the express purpose to hit that damn pin, and only that pin.
Everyone on your team knows you bought the new ball just to hit this pin, a pin which in the past you hit only 50% of the time.  If you still can’t hit the pin with this new ball which you paid $90 just to hit this one damn pin you are going to look stupid…big time stupid.

My first chance to fire at the 10 pin I was nervous, knee shaking nervous.  I threw the ball with too much spin.  My other ball would have dug into the oil on the lane, grabbed the floor and hooked well past the 10 pin.  My new plastic ball kept sliding, just like it is supposed to do, right into the 10 pin for a spare.

I had five more chances to hit the 10 pin this night.  The new ball did not let me down.  I went six for six on the night at hitting my nemesis pin.

It should be even easier next week. 

The pressure is off.


  1. oh, you go with your bad bowling self! :)

  2. Haven't thought of Lee Trevino in eons… having lived in Dallas on and off for 20 years, he was a very popular person. haven't heard that quote. love it.

    Tried bowling. not my thing. Fortunately, being female, it was not necessary in my youth to be good at sports… good thing. It was a challenge though to try and make the ball hit the middle pin.

    My best friend for most of my childhood years was always a step behind me. I was the worst but Jeanie was worser. that can't be right. hmmm … she was worse than I… whatever. We were the two worst whatevers at whatever we endeavored to take on.

    I did gutter balls… and I am NOT kidding when I tell you that she did not understand why her ball wasn't rolling toward the pins… uh, Jeanie? you let go of the ball too soon… it went behind her to the galley.

    This was our tryout for a girls' league.

  3. I bought a bowling ball many years ago, hoping I could improve my game. Nope. I remained a horrible bowler (probably because I rarely went to the bowling alley). Therefore, I finally sold off the bowling ball. Now the pressure's off for me, too.

  4. I have a bowling ball around here... somewhere

  5. Wow! I've learned something new today.

    I see what they mean when they say that "He who has the best toys wins."

    So, are any of the team who have been holding out (don't have one yet) going to get one, too?

    Nice that you have a lifelong sport to enjoy.

  6. I used to be an avid bowler, and at one time, bowled on three leagues every week. Two were ladies' daytime leagues, one of which was a scratch league, (my favorite!) and the other was a Friday night mixed league with my hubby. The best I ever rolled was a 261, which went beautifully until the last frame, when I totally blew it with a big split. It'd be nice to give bowling a try again someday. We still have our shoes and multiple balls, although I can't say that I ever bought a ball specifically to pick up the ten-pin. I'm glad it worked out so well for you.

    (Didja ever bowl duckpins? That's a lot of fun, too.)

  7. I used to bowl quite a bit, and my wife and I were in a league years ago. I was so-so. 180 is a super average. I do have a silly question. Why do you keep leaving the 10 pin?

  8. I don't even know where the nearest bowling alley is! They used to be everywhere.

  9. At the risk of sounding highly politically incorrect, have you ever tried midget bowling? Not that I have....I just wanted to see if you or anyone else would admit to it. ;)

    What kind of ball does it take to make a 7-10 split?


  10. My husband has been bowling in a league for more than 20 years, and his average is still 140. I'm not sure he really bowls. He might just be sitting there drinking beer and eating pizza and playing dollar bill serial number poker.

  11. I am so proud of you......for many reasons. Great that you are still blowling and obviously love it. I used to bowl.....was never very good but had a ball trying. Hmmm, that may be the only sport I could still manage.
    At least now I wouldn't have to keep apologizing to the pin boy.......


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