You think you've got troubles? How would you like a crack at a 200-plus duckpin game and pick up one pin on your last ball?
It happened to Ginger Whitlock. But it shouldn't have happened.
Whitlock, a supervisor at McCrory's in Glen Burnie, lives in Severn and bowls in the Monday Morning Rolling Fours League at Fair Lane Southwest. She carries a 108 average and uses her dad's old bowling ball.
"I used to bowl tenpins," Whitlock said. "But duckpins is more fun, and I really enjoy the game."
On May 20, using Howard Pindell's old bowling balls, Whitlock had her best series, a nice 421 set that was built on the 198 game that should have been a 200.
Whitlock had a triple-header early in the game and then filled the last frame with a double. Without her fill ball she had a 197, and anything over three pins was a 200 game.
As she released that ball someone in the crowd hollered. She pulled the ball and took out one pin.
A 198 game, especially when it's 90 pins over average, is great. But a 200 game is something special. To lose it because someone breaks one of the cardinal rules of bowling is heart-breaking.
Remember, folks, rule one is to respect the approach and delivery of your fellow bowlers by being quiet.
While we're at it, let's remember some otherrules that are too-often broken:
* After the ball is rolled, walkstraight back on the approach. Do not remain standing at or near thefoul line.
* Do not delay the game. Maintain a pace and finish the game promptly in the scheduled time.
* During and after delivery, confine the "body English" to your own approach area.
* Leave your bad temper outside. Good sportsmanship is every bowler's obligation.
Ray Pfeiffer of Elkridge never picked up a bowling ball until last summer, but this summer he's going to be bowling for the Bowler of the Year and a chance for a trip to Hawaii.
How's that for a fast learner?
Pfeiffer works for the Department of Defense and bowls in the Sunday Sociables League at Bowl America Glen Burnie. He never thought of bowling until his fiancee, Bernadette, enticed him tobowl last summer.
"Well, I guess you're never too old to start bowling," he said. "I'm over 50 and I just enjoy the heck out of the game. When I started, I was averaging about 120 and having a tough timegetting it any higher until Craig Smith started working with me."
Craig Smith, assistant to Chuck Kelly, the manager at Bowl America Glen Burnie, is a certified tenpin instructor. He worked with Pfeifferon his approach and release and changed him to a fingertip grip.
"As soon as Craig started working with me, my average started to climb," Pfeiffer said. "Now I have a 137, and I'm starting to shoot 190s and 200s."
And he threw a game that was 133 pins over his average to qualify for the Bowler of the Year finalsthis Sunday at Springfield, Va. That give him a chance for the trip to Hawaii.
If you would like to have Smith help you with your game, I've got a great deal for you.
Starting June 15, instructional classes will start at Bowl America Glen Burnie. It's approximately two hours each day for six weeks, one hour of classroom instructions and one hour of on-the-lane bowling instructions.
Classes will be available at noon Saturdays and at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays. Cost is $8 per week, and that includes a Columbia White Dot bowling ball. And they'll drill the ball for you at no cost.
It's summer, but things are hummin' at Bowl America Glen Burnie.
The Maryland 600 Club Inc. will have a tournament at 7 p.m., June 15, with four games scratch for the women who are active members of the 600 Club.
The tournament, sponsored by the Imprinted Sportswear Co., will have bowlers of the caliber of Carol Richardson, who threw games of 181, 299, 144 for a nice 624 series in the Bill Brown's Singles League; Margie Cook-Bowers, who has the high set for the season with an awesome 738 set and Barb Blevins, who since October has thrown 32 sets of 600.
Information: Bonnie Nash, 667-0321.
Greenway Bowl Glen Burnie has a great special. During June and July it's $1 per game from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday throughFriday.Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.