Spare Time Lanes owner places in PBA event and upgrades for more serious bowlers
By SUE RIEDER
John Woodford, owner of Spare Time Lanes in Jefferson, placed in the top ten at a professional bowlers tournament and credits some of his success to a new piece of equipment that will allow his establishment to be approved as a full time Professional Bowler Association Center. John has purchased an oiling machine that can be pushed down each alley, stripping off any oil residue and applying different patterns on the wood. For years John has gone to professional bowlers tournaments in different parts of the Midwest, but hasn’t been successful in “cashing in” until last weekend when he bowled seven games at Plamor Lanes in Muscatine and came home with a top ten finish and a check for $400. “The oil patterns used on the lanes at these tournaments can make it more difficult to score well,” said Woodford. “Now that I have been putting different patterns on the lanes here and am able to practice on them, I am hoping to do better and win more often.” John’s wife Vickie calls the machine her new convertible, since the price tag on it exceeds the sticker price on most new cars.
John is not the only one benefiting from the new machine. He has been running a Pro Bowlers Experience League one night a week, so that others can also practice on the various patterns. Currently there are around 25 bowlers participating, and since there aren’t many of these machines in the area, there are bowlers coming from Carroll, Denison, Grand Junction, Boone, Perry, and even some driving from Des Moines. On August 4, Spare Time Lanes will hold a final event for those who have participated in the league over the summer. “The top scorer will win $500, but probably about half of the bowlers will receive some type of cash award,” said Woodford.
John and his wife Vickie are trying to help some local people qualify for another Professional Bowling Regional that will be held in Des Moines August 23-24. They will sponsor a pre-qualifying event on August 10. The top 25 percent of participants will move on to another qualifier in Des Moines on August 17. Approximately one out of six will come out of that qualifier and may earn a spot at the Des Moines Regional, but there is another criteria also. To bowl in a regional, one may have at least a 200 pin average in league play. Both men and women are welcomed , but there isn’t a special division for women, so females must try to beat the scores of men bowlers without any adaptations. Cash prizes aren’t the only reason people like to bowl in these Professional Bowlers Regionals. Participants also get to meet and bowl with famous professional bowlers such as Pete Weber, Parker Bohn, or Tom Hess. John sounded excited about that aspect of the competition, if fact he was anxious to cash the check that he received and try to qualify for the Des Moines event.
To make their facility even more attractive to the some of the more serious bowlers, the couple also has plans of turning part of the building into a pro shop where they will sell new balls and do reconditioning of older ones. The couple hopes the shop will be up and going by the end of August.