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Home : News : News
NEWS | Oct. 28, 2011

PBA Hall of Famers visit base

By Jose T. Garza III 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

Four participants listen intently as professional bowler Norm Duke gives them advice and instruction on how to improve their bowling mechanics.

One of them was John Simmons, who competes in a local bowling league.

Simmons was one of 70 participants who participated in a bowling seminar conducted by Professional Bowlers Association hall of famers Duke and Randy Pedersen Saturday at the Skylark Bowling Center.

Simmons was a fan of both hall of famers, especially Duke, who he grew up watching play professionally since his days in elementary school.

"He's just as consistent now as he was then," Simmons said about Duke's bowling skills.

Learning new skills from bowling's greats was worth "taking a dive on the approach for them," he said.

"You don't get that much of a chance to be around professionals like these guys with their experience," Simmons said. "It's a big honor."

Duke was pleased with the participation from all individuals Saturday.

"It's rewarding when I see the faces of the people who benefit from the coaching by me and Randy Pedersen."

Like Simmons, Charlene Watts bowls in a league and was at the seminar to improve her bowling technique after taking up the sport for exercise.

Watts said under Duke and Pedersen's instruction, she discovered her bowling stance was too far back so it was just a matter of fixing her mechanics. She feels she still has a lot to learn after partaking in the event Saturday.

Like Watts was instructed to improve her stance, Simmons learned about his center balance, the dynamics of the body where he would end up with the ball when he starts, and centering over it, which he hasn't perfected yet.

"I really learned how to bowl my own way, and (Duke and Pedersen) have adapted their teachings to my level so it has worked out pretty well for me."

Cindy Harris has three years experience as a bowler, so unlike the aforementioned instructees, she is new to the game.

She felt her game was wishy-washy before learning from Pedersen and Duke, but getting instruction from the two hall of famers helped her improve her stance as well.
She's never seen Duke and Pedersen bowl, but thanks to them, she discovered that she needed to work on her right bowling arm by not bending the wrist back, keeping it straight, and letting the ball fall off the arm.

"My body is supposed to bend a little bit, but I can't use my back," she said. "After I let the ball go, I'm supposed to still be bent, as I'm supposed to be putting my weight on my knees and my legs."

All three aspiring bowlers agreed that the event was worth the price of admission, and for Simmons, it was more.

"It was a huge honor to be with these gentlemen who are awesome pros," he said.