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In the Pocket: Clark succeeds with two-handed approach

In the Pocket: Clark succeeds with two-handed approach

Bob Weiner's weekly bowling column
In the Pocket: Clark succeeds with two-handed approach
Doug Clark.
Photographer: Photo Provided

Doug Clark’s two-handed release started out of necessity 37 years ago, but it made him a recognizable force on the lanes long before PBA Tour standouts Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Osku Palermaa and Jesper Svensson showcased that style so popular in the modern game.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see at least a few two-handers at every bowling center shatter the pins in all directions because of their monster rev rates. It’s become increasingly popular for the younger players to try that powerful release in hopes of gaining more hook power.

But Clark, a 47-year-old Schenectady native, was using the two-handed release decades before anyone locally ever heard about it.

“When I first started bowling at about 10 years old at the old Mont Pleasant Lanes, I used my mother’s bowling ball, which probably at the time was about 14 pounds,” Clark recalled. “The ball was too heavy for me to use just one hand, so I threw it with two hands. The difference between my style and the two-handers today is that I actually put my thumb in the ball.”

Clark said his game has always been a little different than most local bowlers.

“They call me the original two-hander,” Clark said. “Although I do put my thumb in the ball, I actually think I get more lift in the ball that way. You’ve also got to remember that we two-handers are really using one hand. The left hand, in my case, is more like a guide.”

There’s been much controversy in recent years that two-handers might have an unfair advantage over the one-handers because of the increased power they can generate and because they don’t have to deal with thumb issues (swelling or shrinking) that affect their release.

“I don’t get much flack, especially because a lot of people know me around here,” Clark explained. “I’ve been doing this for a very long time. If you didn’t say something back then, why say it to me now?”

Like every bowler, Clark gets into slumps now and then. His Achilles’ heel is how he makes his approach to the line.

“Everything has to be in the right succession for me to get to the line correctly,” he said. “If I run up there too fast, nothing good happens. In fact, I don’t use the whole approach on the lane. I’m up at the start of the ball return. I take four steps and a little hop at the end. That hop opens up my body so I can swing the ball.”

Although Clark, nicknamed “Fresh,” is no longer a kid, he proved he can still rock the pins recently with a career-high 811 triple that included games of 289, 279 and 243 in the Galaxy league Friday nights at Boulevard Bowl. It was his second career 800 triple.

Although his work schedule prevented him from bowling more than once a week for many years, Clark owns nine perfect games and two 800 triples.

“Now, I’m bowling twice a week for a change, and it’s helping me quite a lot. I’m getting more reps,” Clark explained about joining the Towne Majors Tuesday nights at Towne Bowling Academy. “A friend of mine asked me to bowl on Tuesday nights, and I told him if I could do it, I’d give it a shot.

“One of the problems for me is my work schedule. I’ve been working at the Glendale Nursing Home for about 20 years, and my shift was always 12 [p.m.] to 8 [p.m.]. Now, it’s 11:30 [a.m.] to 7 [p.m.]. I needed a league that started a little later so I could get there on time.”

The Mont Pleasant High School graduate is using a Hammer Web Pearl bowling ball this year, along with a plastic ball with a Gargoyle logo for spares.

He’s currently averaging 208 in the Galaxy league — where he’s bowled for 25 years — and 21 in the Towne Majors. His best average was 218 a few years ago.
“I actually think I’m getting better now that I’m bowling twice a week,” he said.

STRIKES & SPARES

The next event on the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour will be the CDYST Holiday Open Friday at 10 a.m. and Monday at 10 a.m. at Towne Bowling Academy. It’s open to any USBC-certified youth bowler and includes singles and doubles divisions in the under-20, under-15 and under-12 age divisions.

Reservations are filling up fast for the Scratch Doubles tournament Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. at Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center. There are already 32 teams signed up. The field is limited to 63 teams. Top prize is $2,000. Qualifying will be five games across 10 lanes. One in five teams advance to the single-game bracket finals. Entry fee is $180 per team.

Speaking of Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center, the sixth annual New Year’s Day Tournament will be held there at 11 a.m. First place is $3,000 guaranteed. Entry fee is $125. The format will be a six-game mini-marathon. Call 518-793-9606 for more information.

Towne Bowling Academy’s 10th annual Handicap Team Tournament continues Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. In total, there will be 23 squads over 14 days through Jan. 26. Top prize will be $4,000 guaranteed. There also will be an optional singles event, using your team score. First place for the singles event will be $450. A 3-6-9 jackpot and a scratch high game jackpot also will be available. Entry fee is $40 per person for the team event, $15 for optional singles and $10 for the 3-6-9 and high-game jackpots. Handicap will be 90% of 225, with a maximum of 50 pins per game. Call 518-355-3606 for more information.

The next Amateur Bowlers Association of New York singles tournament will be held Jan. 12 at Town & Country Lanes at 9:30 a.m.

Hometown Lanes in Mechanicville hosts the sixth annual Women’s Capital District 700 Tournament Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. The event is open to all women who have bowled a 700 triple in the Troy, Albany or Schenectady adult association. Entry forms are available at Boulevard Bowl, Towne Bowling Academy and Sportsman’s Bowl. Contact Diane Morrell (518-664-8119) for more information.

Boulevard Bowl will host a Rock N Bowl Fundraiser for the Albany Veterans Club Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. (noon registration). Bowling for the five-person team tournament is just $10 per person. A few NFL players are expected to be on hand to sign some autographs and there will be a drawing for two Super Bowl game tickets (not including hotel or airfare). Those tickets are currently available at Boulevard for $25. For more information, call Boulevard at 518-374-4171.

Sportsman’s Bowl is hosting a Ladies 500 Club Snowball Bowl Scotch Doubles Tournament Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. Entry forms are available a Boulevard Bowl, Towne Bowling Academy and Sportsman’s Bowl. For additional information, contact Marie Moorhead at 518-399-3063.

Town & Country Lanes’ fourth annual 5-Man Baker Tournament is scheduled for Jan. 5 at 11 a.m. Entry fee is $150 per team. Format is 12 games to qualify, with the top six advancing to best-of-three match play. Top prize is $750, based on 20 teams. Handicap is 80% of 240.

The 26th annual Capital District 600 Clubs Tournament is set for Jan. 25 at noon at East Greenbush Bowling Center. Participants must be a member of the Electric City 600, Capital City 600 or Troy 600 Clubs. Entry forms are available at Boulevard Bowl, Sportsman’s Bowl and Towne Bowling Academy. Bowlers who have rolled a 600 triple and are not yet a member of the Electric City 600 Club should contact Marianne Hogle (518-393-8907).

Sportsman’s Bowl’s rescheduled 5-Man Baker Tournament will be held Jan. 19 at noon. Entry fee is $175 per team. First place will be $1,000. Six teams will advance to the finals after the 12-game qualifier. Handicap will be based on 90% of a 240 average.

Uncle Sam Lanes hosts its Superbowl Bakers Doubles Tournament Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. Entry fee is $80 per team. There will be eight games of alternate-frames baker style.

Also at Uncle Sam Lanes, its annual Christmas Tournament continues Saturday at 2 p.m., Dec. 31 at 2 p.m., Jan. 4 at 2 p.m. and Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. The format is three-person handicap teams. Handicap will be 90% of a 220 average. Entry fee is $30 per bowler. Top prize is $1,200 guaranteed, based on 100 teams. Call Uncle Sam Lanes at 518-271-7800 for more information.

Arterial Lanes in Gloversville is hosting the sixth annual Jerry Marshall Sr. Memorial Doubles Tournament, to benefit the American Cancer Society, on New Year’s Day at noon and 3 p.m. Entry fee is $60 per team and handicap is 90 percent of 440 team average. For more information, call 518-725-0512.

MAJOR BOWLING

Jessica Aiezza rolled a perfect game en route to an 804 triple, Scott Rogers also tossed a 300 game during a 781, Joel Donato fired a 767 and Liz Kuhlkin shot 279-759 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City league Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl. DeCrescente Distributing wrapped up the first-half championship.

John Musto Jr. rolled a 264-757, A.J. Perone drilled a 269-752 and Bill Carl slammed a 249-747 in the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

The Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic and Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league at Towne Bowling Academy did not bowl because of the holiday.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE
Standings
DeCrescente Distributing 33-12, 20 North 28.5-16.5,Towne Bowling Academy 28-17, Downs Roofing 28-17, Vito Sindoni & Son 265-18.5, Falvey Real Estate 26.5-18.5, Broadway Lanes 26-19, J&F Lawn Care 25-20, Mohawk Honda 25-20, Bedrock Construction 23-22, Rollarama 19-26, Boulevard Bowl 18.5-26.5, Kristel Mechanic 17-28, A Plus Heating 13-32, D&D Lawncare 11.5-33.5, Action Bowling Supply 11.5-33.5.
Match summaries
Bedrock Construction (3)
Jim Geiger 234-214-249 — 697, Keith Livengood 248-213-225 — 686, Steve Wagoner 189-246-227 — 662, Eric Stangle 238-278-197 — 713. Totals: 909-951-898 — 2,758.
Kristel Mechanic (0)
Mel Kristel 223-217-225 — 665, Jeff Whitehouse 175-243-155 — 573, Ed White 183-193-279 — 655, Bryan Kelley 233-236-198 — 667. Totals: 814-809-857 — 2,560.
———
D&D Lawncare (0)
Karrie Blake 233-207-158 — 598, Tom Rogers 231-172-213 — 616, Jeremy Noble 216-226-236 — 678, Carol Crandall 192-206-195 — 593. Totals: 872-811-802 — 2,485.
Boulevard Bowl (3)
P.J. Derenzo 225-196-196 — 617, Ken Wilkins 255-209-247 — 711, Mike Scaccia 269-224-222 — 715, Derek Foti 209-219-189 — 617. Totals: 958-848-854 — 2,660.
———
A Plus Heating (0)
Bill Nolan 207-223-171 — 601, Mike Nolan 192-229-172 — 593, Bob Faragon 234-201-227 — 662, Phil Kilmartin 226-238-208 — 672. Totals: 859-891-778 — 2,528.
Action Bowling Supply (3)
Rit Fazzone 210-181-159 — 550, Bob Messick 210-218-213 — 641, Natasha Bidwell 223-224-215 — 662, Matt Fazzone 224-279-216 — 719. Totals: 867-902-803 — 2,572.
———
Broadway Lanes (1)
Mark Ross 247-232-187 — 666, Chris Rock 244-190-185 — 619, Roy Vanderbogart 237-242-222 — 701, Justin Barcomb 277-231-226 — 734. Totals: 1,005-895-820 — 2,720.
20 North (2)
Marc LeClair 226-268-246 — 740, Kenny Livengood 265-246-203 — 714, Joel Donato 256-254-257 — 767, Tommy Donato 214-230-209 — 653. Totals: 961-998-915 — 2,874.
———
Vito Sindoni & Son (1)
Scott Chastenay 211-181-182 — 574, Mike DiCerbo 245-169-192 — 606, Rich Strath 168-197-244 — 609, Joe VanDerLinden 269-188-217 — 674. Totals: 893-735-835 — 2,463.
Falvey Real Estate (2)
Dan Auricchio 243-216-267 — 726, Don Herrington 225-214-215 — 654, Bill Dunn 170-175-204 — 549, Ron Unser 188-159-176 — 523. Totals: 826-764-862 — 2,452.
———
Towne Bowling Academy (1)
Tom Earl 227-186-278 — 691, Tom DiBell 189-223-258 — 670, Marty Capullo Jr. 216-247-244 — 707, Debbie Capullo 247-188-222 — 657. Totals: 879-844-1,002 — 2,725.
Downs Roofing (2)
Chris Tinkle 234-214-243 — 691, Nick Barnes 185-249-242 — 676, Ryan Karabin 256-240-268 — 764, Billy Wigand 214-214-201 — 629. Totals: 889-917-954 — 2,760.
———
J&F Lawn Care (0)
Jason Brown 188-236-245 — 669, R.J. Martinez 223-247-165 — 635, Nick Stricos 222-229-258 — 709, Steve Hallenbeck 205-235-234 — 674. Totals: 838-947-902 — 2,687.
DeCrescente Distributing (3)
Jessica Aiezza 237-300-267 — 804, Mark Kuhlkin 188-200-245 — 633, Scott Rogers 244-300-237 — 781, Liz Kuhlkin 244-279-236 — 759. Totals: 913-1,079-985 — 2,977.
———
Rollarama (1)
Keith Lawyer 162-178-172 — 512, Dan Rotter 233-248-229 — 710, Craig Taylor 265-226-258 — 749, Tony Palumbo 223-245-212 — 680. Totals: 883-897-871 — 2,651.
Mohawk Honda (2)
Ed Gumm 217-225-258 — 700, Marty Capullo Sr. 223-181-224 — 628, Ken LaBelle Jr. 249-245-232 — 726, Mark Ray 236-237-248 721. Totals: 925-888-962 — 2,775.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS
Standings
Muny Grille 47-13, Next Level Detailing 41-19, Madison Grille 37-23, Metroland Photo 37-23, Team No. 5 33-27, Universal Auto Parts 31-29, Mike’s Hot Dogs 29-31, Bob’s Pro Shop 29-31, Team No. 10 27-33, The Appliance Specialist 23-37, I.D.I.D. 20-40, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 6-54.
Match summaries
Mike’s Hot Dogs (1)
Doug Semerad 224-248-184 — 656, Tammy Sader 234-206-156 — 596, Mike Giaquinto 214-192-236 — 642, Kevin Palmer 222-219-191 — 632. Totals: 894-865-767 — 2,526.
Bob’s Pro Shop (3)
Ron Williams 221-201-198 — 620, Brian Brown 195-188-232 — 615, Bob Tedesco Jr. 259-233-205 — 697, Mike Smith 236-232-170 — 638. Totals: 911-854-805 — 2,570.
———
Team No. 10 (2)
Noah Burke 212-227-190 — 629, Rob Mengel 247-204-220 — 671, Cory Buckley 236-216-189 — 641, Tyler Mochrie 257-250-206 — 713. Totals: 952-897-805 — 2,654.
The Appliance Specialist (2)
Mike Liberatore 213-238-206 — 657, Melissa Bogholtz 183-189-197 — 569, Zach Gravell 239-245-178 — 662, Chris Fawcett 236-235-246 — 717. Totals: 871-907-827 — 2,605.
———
I.D.I.D. (4)
Mike Piotrowski 196-269-246 — 711, Flash Gordon 167-181-181 — 529, Jim Valentino 174-248-226 — 648, A.J. Perone 269-244-239 — 752. Totals: 806-942-892 — 2,640.
Klonowski’s Pro Shop (0)
Doug Bywater 124-207-183 — 514, Ted Klonowski Jr. 203-214-183 — 600, Jim Petronis 235-223-216 — 674, Vacant 192-192-192 — 576. Totals: 754-836-774 — 2,364.
———
Muny Grille (4)
Jay Diamond 234-235-237 — 706, Gary Bingham 205-206-218 — 629, John Musto Jr. 259-264-234 — 757, Jamie Diamond 958-245-215 — 718. Totals: 956-950-904 — 2,810.
Next Level Detailing (0)
Mike Guidarelli 257-222-257 — 736, Jim Bassotti 194-197-196 — 587, Jim Parker 220-247-217 — 684, Matt Swiatocha 258-234-223 — 695. Totals: 909-900-893 — 2,702.
———
Metroland Photo (1)
Lee Quivey 168-145-171 — 484, Steve Renzi 225-216-235 — 676, Mike Gallitelli 235-235-221 — 691, B.J. Smith Jr. 278-195-260 — 733. Totals: 906-791-887 — 2,584.
Madison Grille (3)
Joe Paone 200-245-221 — 666, Nick Kallner 241-237-157 — 635, Len Reyngoudt 269-204-215 — 688, B.J. Rucinski Jr. 247-246-204 — 697. Totals: 957-932-797 — 2,686.
———
Team No. 5 (2)
Christian Chiarito 201-197-192 — 590, Bill Carl 249-253-245 — 747, Kalynn Carl 201-216-237 — 654, John Leone 190-223-222 — 635. Totals: 841-889-896 — 2,626.
Universal Auto Parts (2)
Andy Smith 194-233-224 — 651, Dave Henderson 246-230-204 — 680, Chris Smith 246-215-179 — 640, Chris Fedden 269-191-220 — 680. Totals: 955-869-827 — 2,651.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @BobWeiner58 on Twitter. 

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