Curtis Ludwig has been bowling for about 40 years, and he's living proof that you've never been bowling too long to improve your game.
The 47-year-old Woodlawn resident and his wife, Donna, both work at Brunswick Normandy and are pretty fair bowlers: Donna, who works at the control counter, carries a 174 average; Curt, pin-chaser and operator of the pro shop, carried a 190 average in the fall/winter season.
"I've been really working on my game lately," said Curt. "Nothing major, just the minor adjustments that are so important to the game."
He is bowling in one league this summer "just to keep in shape."
How are the "minor adjustments" working? On June 9 in the Tuesday Men's Scratch Trip league, Curt threw games of 182, 201 and 277 for a league-leading 660 series. His summer average is now 209.
A Fourth of July bash will take place at Brunswick Normandy. From 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., you can bowl for $8 per person. That's three hours of bowling and it still leaves time to attend the afternoon barbecue.
Today Normandy starts its Junior Friendship summer youth league. It's for very small youngsters (who may still need bumpers) to teen-agers.
The league begins at 11 a.m. every Wednesday. For $6 the youth bowlers receive three games, free rental shoes, a slice of pizza and a soda. Hmmmmm -- I wonder just how young you have be to get into this thing?
If you'd like to make some adjustments in your game, you can join the Learn To Do It Better League at Normandy. It meets every at 7 p.m. every Thursday and offers four weeks of instruction and eight weeks of league play for only $7.25 a week.
At Brunswick Columbia, the 55 Up Your Average league meets at 12:15 p.m. every Tuesday. It's an instructional league for seniors, and, as its name implies, will "up" your average.
"You bet it works," said Laurel resident Joe Harris. Since joining the league, Harris said he's thrown the highest game of his career, a 240.
It figures. The instructor for the league is Mike Sainek, assistant manager at Columbia since September. Mike's been bowling and teaching the sport most of his life. A member of the nationally ranked University of Maryland bowling team, he later coached that team from 1988 until last year, when he joined the Brunswick organization.
"I've attended the Don Johnson professional bowling camp, and I learned a lot from Fred Borden, coach of the Team USA," said Sainek. "Coaching seniors [consists of] primarily teaching a good arm swing, a consistent follow-through and a system for shooting spares."
Here's a chance to beat the summer heat and improve your game. Call Mike or Barbara Deming at Columbia, 381-7750.
You say it's a little early to worry about New Year's Eve? Not at Columbia Lanes. The New Year's Eve party has been pushed up to July 4. The party will be 11 p.m. until 1 a.m., and costs $10 per bowler. Call Columbia and find out just how much fun you can have on the Fourth of July.
Columbia spokeswoman Barbara Deming says two more instructional leagues will begin in August, and some openings remain in the summer leagues.
On July 3-5, NABI will hold the Third Annual Baltimore/Washington Firecracker Open at Crofton Bowling Centre.
Information: (410) 721-2401.
* The Third Annual Country Club Classic Tournament continues each weekend until Aug. 22.
Broken into three divisions, bowlers compete against others at their level of skill. Division "A" is for bowlers with averages of 200 and up, Division "B" for averages of 180 to 199, and Division "C" for averages 170 and below. Bowl Saturday or Sunday and have a crack at the $4,000 first prize -- and additional prizes every week.
Call (410) 686-2556.