People, Places, and Life as a Bowling Industry Insider

[custom_frame_left shadow=”on”]Jeff-Headshot[/custom_frame_left] I’ve been very fortunate to work inside the bowling industry for my entire career. Yes, that’s right. After spending tens of thousands of countless dollars on a top-level education from the University of Kansas, I went in to the bowling pro shop business. I was lucky to get a chance to own my own store in a brand new facility. I can’t imagine what my parents were thinking as I was graduating from KU. They’re not bowlers. They don’t live it and breathe it like I have for 25 years. So I have to imagine they were a bit skeptical as to how things would end up.

After stops at Jayhawk Bowling Supply, the opening of Powerhouse Training Clinics, and a near 8 year stint at Ebonite International with the Powerhouse and Hammer brands, I now find myself working for BowlersMart, one the fastest growing bowling retailers in the world. Among many things, this new position has afforded me a move back to my family’s home state of Kansas.

I’ve done quite a bit of bowling in the last four months since our move back home, something that I really missed doing the last few years. Work demands and travel just didn’t allow much time for participating in bowling. So I was really eager to get back on the lanes when we moved. One thing I noticed immediately was how quickly you catch up with old friends in this sport. I’ve seen hundreds of people that I hadn’t seen for 8-10 years. Like clockwork, I had conversations with nearly all of them like it was just yesterday when we last bowled together.

This move home has taught me something important about the sport and game that I love. Have I looked for jobs outside of the bowling industry? You bet. Phone calls have been made, resumes have been sent, and interviews were done since those years at KU. Some were interesting, and occasionally an offer would be there. But I always seemed to either turn them down, or they turned me down. Either way, I was always still here, working in bowling.

What I’ve come to realize is that it’s not the bowling that keeps me working in bowling. I always thought it was. But it isn’t. It’s the people you enjoy being around, the people you hang with on bowling trips, and the teammates you compete with. We’re bowlers. We always have been, we still are, and we always will be. It’s not the game that keeps us in the game. It’s the relationships with the people who play the game.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to have worked, and still be working for the bowling industry. Bowling has given me so many things in life. Many of which I’m sure I’ll never be able to repay, but I’ll certainly try my best. Until next time…..

7 thoughts on “People, Places, and Life as a Bowling Industry Insider

  1. Jim Nemeth says:

    Great blog Jeff showing the challenge of having a career in bowling and at the same time enjoying what your passion in life. This blog will serve as inspiration for future bowlers wanting to take their love for the game into a passionate career.

  2. Byron Toth says:

    Jeff
    Well stated. I’ve been in the game/business over 50 years and each day I look forward to interacting with my fellow bowlers. Also, you’ve been a great help in the past. Good luck.

  3. Johnny Wilson says:

    Jeff It was great knowing you while at Ebonite/Hammer It’s good you still love the bowling business. As you know I’ve been in the business over 50 years, owning and running Pro Shops. Always attended business in Pro Shops only. I’m 80 now and want to retire. Business is for sale, building also.
    Good Luck Jeff and God Bless You and your family.

    John “Johnny” Wilson

  4. Jim Tantlinger says:

    Jeff I am happy for you and that you are still in the “game”, a little surprised when I heard you were gone from Hammer. Great bowling at the
    USBC Open too. Hopefully we will run into each other sometime down the road. Best of luck in the future you are well deserving of it for sure. I am considering selling my shop and retiring myself.

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