Practice makes progress for some, but not for others

BOWLING

November 07, 1993|By DON VITEK

To practice or not to practice -- it's a question that keeps coming up time after time.

On the one hand are the bowlers who tell you that without practice a decent average is impossible; on the other hand are the folks who don't practice and still put up the numbers. So far this season we have at least one of each at Brunswick Normandy -- Jeff Baker and Richard Lockie.

Baker, a Nebraska native who lives in Ellicott City, bowls in three leagues -- the Thursday Mixed and the Friday BG&E at Normandy and the Monday men's league at Fair Lanes Kings Point in Randallstown.

"I didn't bowl for two years," Baker said. "This year I started again and since I knew that I was going to league bowl again, I practiced at least 10 games every day, Monday through Friday, during the summer."

With an average of about 145 before he quit, Baker was determined that he was going to average better when he returned to the lanes.

"I'm a cranker," he said. "And I bought a new resin bowling ball, the Columbia Power Torq. And I've been working hard on keeping up my ball speed and keeping my release clean. I know that the ball is helping, but I feel that the ball speed, about 19-20 mph, and hand release is making the big difference."

Something is making a big difference. The 145 average is up to 198. On Sept. 23, Baker fired games of 252, 190 and 298 for a 720 series.

The 298 and the 720 series were career highs.

Lockie, who lives in Catonsville, bowls in the Tuesday Westinghouse League at Brunswick Normandy.

Last year the right-hander carried a 193 average; now it's 204.

Bowling for about 30 years, Lockie appears to know his game pretty well.

Last month he posted a three-game set of 740 on games of 225, 299 and 216.

"That 299 should have been a 300," he said. "The ball was in the pocket but a pin went behind the 7-pin and another pin went in front of it; it just stood there."

The 299 and the 740 were career highs for Lockie.

A week to remember

Alice Brehm, wife of Club 55 league secretary Pete Brehm, has been bowling for only six years.

The Columbia resident joined the Club 55 league at Brunswick Columbia and continues to bowl there one day a week.

In Week 5 of the 1993-94 season, she was 111 pins over average, leading the league in Club 55 and becoming the Bowler of the Week.

Throwing a Crown Jewel bowling ball and averaging 139, she has a career-high set of 528 (that was the set that was 111 pins over average) and a career-high game of 222 (that was thrown last year).

"That's the game I want to beat," Brehm said. "I want to throw a game this year that's better than that 222."

Second bowler of the week

Elaine Kelly, bowling for 15 years, lives in Columbia.

Using a 13-pound reactive resin bowling ball, she was the second week Bowler of the Week on the Columbia Club 55 league with a set that was 143 pins over average.

Currently that average is 144; her career-high game is 245 and the high series is 580.

"This is the first year that I haven't used my old Yellow Dot bowling ball," she said. "Tom Dawson, a friend, recommended Mark Anderson at the World Class Pro Shop in Country Club Lanes and that's where I had the ball fitted and drilled."

She bowls in two other leagues besides the Club 55 on Thursday; Monday and Saturday she bowls at Fair Lanes Woodlawn.

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