Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bowling Against a Legend

I bowl league at Fireside Lanes near Sacramento, CA. Yesterday afternoon, I subbed for a team in an excellent senior scratch league there. These are three-person teams, and each person is matched against his or her opposite member. My opponent yesterday was Betty Morris-Laub.

If you've followed bowling for a long time, the names Betty Morris and Laub should sound familiar. A certain Betty Morris was female Bowler of the Decade for the 1970's, three time female bowler of the year, and a holder of 17 women's professional national titles and numerous other bowling awards. In other words, she's one of the most accomplished female bowlers ever. And PBA Hall of Famer Larry Laub was voted the 37th greatest bowler in PBA history.

Well, it just so happens that Betty Morris married Larry Laub, and that same Betty Morris was my opponent yesterday in the Fireside Senior Classic. With her husband Larry looking on, she put on a veritable bowling clinic, shooting over 900 for four games and winning three out of five match points against me.

She bowls only once a week yet still averages well over 200 and retains the famous form and smooth execution of yesteryear. And although I haven't seen Larry bowl recently, I understand that he's still got game too, except that he now projects the ball a lot further down the lane than he famously used to.

As I've written previously, I feel blessed to bowl in a center that has one of the finest junior programs and junior coaches (Debbie Haggerty) in the nation, features the Steve Cook Classic and other fine leagues, has a pro shop owned by Gary Hulsenberg and Leanne Barrette- Hulsenberg, and in which I've been able to compete against the likes of bowling legends Steve Cook, Leanne Barrette, and Betty Morris, and even be coached by Bill O'Neill, P.J. Haggerty, and bowling psychologist Dean Hinitz. Every bowler should be so fortunate.

Just don't expect to be able to beat the "old legends" there. Like I said, they've "still got game."

1 comment:

  1. Growing up in Detroit, there was a Sunday morning TV show called "Beat the Champ." A visiting pro would bowl matches against local amateurs, and both Larry and Betty had long stints. I remember Larry bowling a 299 once, which was the most exquisite game I'd ever seen at the time. Twelve pocket hits that didn't vary by more than an inch.