Ben K. Han fired his career-high single game and three-game series on Oct. 9 in the Korean Express league at Fair Lanes Ritchie.
Using a 15-pound Columbia bowling ball, Han put together games of 207, 298 and 267 for a 772 series.
"If that first game had been a little better, I could have shot the 800 set," Han said. "And, of course, the second [game] could have been a 300."
The Korean Express league started two years ago and has eight teams of triples. The members are drawn from the Baltimore metropolitan area.
"We had a strong Korean association in the Rockville area," said Sung Kim, last year's league secretary. "When I moved to this area, it was natural to organize a bowling league."
Han, who lives in Rosedale, bowls in two other leagues -- the Friday TGIF at Country Club Lanes and the Wednesday Mixed at Brunswick Perry Hall. Last year he averaged 199 in two leagues.
"This year I'm averaging 212 in the Ritchie league," he said with a laugh. "So far!"
With nine years of bowling experience behind him, Han credits his increased average to two things.
"This year I'm bowling more games, three leagues instead of two, and I try to bowl a few practice games," he said. "This year I seem to have better control and I'm really trying to get more lift."
Practice, practice, practice
How important is practicing? Jerry Seiglein, a local pro shop operator, says it's the single most overlooked weapon in a
"With today's equipment, a bowler can have a ball drilled that will do exactly what he wants and still hit the pins with fantastic force," Seiglein said. "The problem with so many bowlers is that they expect the ball to do all the work. They just want to drop the ball onto the lane and have the ball automatically drive into the pocket. Never going to work!
"You still must throw the ball with some degree of accuracy and the only way to acquire that accuracy is to practice. If you can hit the pocket consistently then your ball will do what it's supposed to do. Without the practice, without the accuracy, another new ball is a waste of money."
Going the distance
Brian Lewandowski, a duckpin bowler, knows the value of bowling extra games. The Glen Burnie resident has been bowling "for a long time, since I was a kid," and this year he's bowling in three leagues in three different centers.
"Each year I try to improve a little bit," Lewandowski said. "I've found that the more I bowl the better I get."
Lewandowski bowls in the Monday night triples league at Fair Lanes Pikesville and the Thursday night mixed league at Fair Lanes Westview. On Friday nights he drives to Mount Airy in Carroll County to bowl in the early mixed league.
"I've been bowling at Joe Rineer's [Mount Airy Lanes] for two years," he said with a laugh. "That's about a 80-90-mile round trip but I like the league and the house. My aunt asked me to sub one night and then to fill in for a missing bowler and I've stayed with it."
Lewandowski is a student at UMBC, where he's majoring in civil engineering.
"I go to school for six months of the year," he said, "and work for six months of the year with Gutschick, Little and Weber at their Burtonsville office."
Last season he averaged 134; this year he would like to increase it to 140.
With that goal in mind, he's off to a great start in the Mount Airy league.
On Sept. 24, he fired games of 153, 202 and 157 for a 512 series.
"That 202 is just two pins short of my best game," he said.
The 512 is a career high. Maybe it really is worth the drive.
NABI tournament news
There's still time to get down to Annapolis Bowl, the former Fair Lanes Annapolis on Generals Highway, for the National Amateur Bowlers Inc. tournament that started yesterday.
The NABI tournament guarantees a $1,000 first prize. Information: (410) 266-0700.
On Oct. 23-24, NABI will return to Fair Lanes Ritchie in Glen Burnie, with the same guaranteed prize fund.