North American Bowling News

Duckpins and Country Clubs

The pros of Chevy Chase Country Club's Pro-Am 2011: Standing: Buddy Nichols, Mindy Thomas, Todd Pyles, Pat Rinaldi, Theresa Johnson, and Jackie Adams. Kneeling: Ken Palmer and Chuck Paris

Exhibitions are a refreshing way of recognizing the truly great performers in our sport of bowling. What better way to showcase the talents of today's premiere players than to host pro-am events?

Chevy Chase Country Club, located on the outskirts of Washington, DC in Chevy Chase, Maryland is one of four clubs in the Washington-Metro area that has duckpin facilities on the premises. Sharing the wealth are nearby country clubs, Congressional (host to the PGA's U.S. Open on several occasions), Kenwood, and Columbia. The clubs usually employ a former pro duckpinner as the point of contact for the bowling lanes on the club grounds. Chevy Chase's establishment enlists the services of Hall-of-Fame duckpinner, Vincent "Shorty" Divver. Because of Divver's reputation in the sport as a class act as well as a superior performer, Shorty has a natural rapport with pro bowlers on the duckpin scene, past and present.

Over the last 10 years, Divver has staged a successful, annual pro-am event for the club's members who partake in the duckpin game throughout the course of a year. The 8-lane bowling center lends itself well to such a project, which annually occurs on the Sunday before the Super Bowl. Using his perennial sound judgment, Divver personally requests 4 male and 4 female pro duckpinners to offer their time for an evening, with very few refusals. The event is a fun change of pace for the pros themselves, and the awe-inspired members are always pleasant and inviting when the two sects meet.

This year, Shorty rounded up on the women's side, Pat Rinaldi, Theresa Johnson, Mindy Thomas, and Number One lady in the nation, Jackie Adams. For the men, Divver selected Ken Palmer, Todd Pyles, Buddy Nichols, and Chuck Paris.

Divver is aided in large part on the administrative side of the event by former accomplished pro duckpinner in the Maryland area, Ed Brown. Brown is also employed at "Chevy Chase" and between Ed and Shorty, the pro-am always comes off in grand style.

The pro-am provides a great night out for the members, and the exhibition aspect of the event gives the pro duckpinner an added feeling of confidence in future competitions on the tours. Truly a wonderful idea from a living legend of the game.

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