When I first saw the phrase "duckpin bowling", my mind pictured ducks wearing little shoes with numbers on the back of them, holding a bowling ball in their wings. That is NOT duckpin bowling!

Soon we may be able to experience duckpin bowling in Grand Rapids. Duckpin bowling is similar to regular 10 pin bowling with a few exceptions...

In duckpin bowling the biggest difference is probably the short and squatty pins. Along with the different shaped pins, the bowling balls are smaller (about the size of a softball), made of wood, and don't have any finger holes. Plus, in duckpin bowling, you get three chances to knock down the pins in each frame, instead of just two as in regular bowling. Apparently these changes don't make the game any easier. According to Wikipedia, there has never been a certified 300 game in duckpin bowling. A man from Connecticut came the closest with a score of 279 in 1992.

It looks like possibly this fall we will be able to go duckpin bowling in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. WOOD TV-8 is reporting that Woodrows GR, LLC is working with Brunswick Bowling of Muskegon to transform the former GP Sports bar and restaurant into seven lanes for duckpin bowling. The lanes will be shorter than the traditional duckpin bowling lanes. Brunswick Bowling calls this set up Duckpin Social. The standard bowling lane is 87 feet in length. These "Duckpin Social" lanes can be as short as just 31 feet.

GP Sports closed many months ago during the COVID-19 pandemic. The renovation of the area (which was home to Tootsie Van Kelley's restaurant many years ago), will cost more than $100,000. The plan is to be open by this fall.

Have you ever heard the phrase "Getting your ducks in a row"? It quite possibly came to be because of duckpin bowling. There is speculation that In the early 1900s, these smaller and fatter bowling pins were often referred to as “ducks”. These pins had to be manually reset in neat rows after each ball was rolled down the alley. Having “one’s ducks in a row” meant the pins were ready for the next bowler to roll a ball down the alley.


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