Who Are The Best Grinders In Bowling?
Recently I was watching US Open (tennis) and they were discussing Rafael Nadal’s mental toughness, and how his grit and effort typically outclass his opponents; Nadal is the best grinder the sport of tennis has ever seen.
So that got me thinking: who are the best grinders our sport has recently seen?
This isn’t something I often think about, and it isn’t something I’ve ever really debated, but I thought it was interesting.
Obviously I can only name the PBA players I have had the privilege of watching compete, so players that came before my time won’t be on his list, but here are the names I came up with:
I feel like he doesn’t get a lot of credit historically, but this guy was an absolute pit bull on the lanes. He gave it his all each and every shot, and — typically — the harder the pattern and the longer the format, the better he bowled. Shafer was known for performing his best in the biggest events, and he was known as a grinder.
Major Mika is arguably one of the best grinders of his era. It seemed like he was always in contention and — like Shafer — was at his best in the hardest tournaments.
when I think of grinder, Kent quickly comes to mind. He had a simple, compact game that always seemed steady and competitive. He was an excellent shot maker and spare shooter, and he was always mentally even, which allowed him to grind his way through any tournament.
in my opinion, the most mentally inclined bowler ever. When it comes to grinding, no one has ever done it better than Norm. Shot-to-shot, Norm’s focus and intensity never falters. Like Jones, Norm is known for stepping up in tenth and delivering.
easily the best player I have seen in recent memory without a title. This guy is the definition of a grinder. He is always right there and always in contention. He is one of the best spare shooters on the planet and an excellent shot maker. And his greatest asset, in my opinion, is his cool, calm demeanor. It is only a matter of time before he breaks through and wins on the highest level.