Storm Golden Ladies Classic celebrates its 20th anniversary By John Jowdy



    BWAAJohnJowdy.jpg The Storm Golden Ladies Classic tournament will be held at the Orleans Hotel-Casino and Bowling Center in Las Vegas from March 8-10. The tournament is open to all women over the age of fifty.

    The Storm Golden Ladies Tournament isn't just an ordinary bowling tournament. This year, almost 80 bowlers entered the event and, although it is a highly competitive event, it is a social event.

    It is more like a tea party, and a chance for old friends to gather and enjoy themselves in friendly competition. Nevertheless, the Golden Ladies tournament goes a long way in determining the Senior Woman Bowler of the Year. It is a USBC sanctioned event.

    This Golden Ladies tournament is the brainchild of golden-haired Jeanette Robinson and ably aided by her silver-haired hubby, Dick Porter. Of course it is obvious that the entire Orleans staff, led by Mike Kaufman, is behind the tournament to help make the women feel at home.

    I've known Jeanette since she lived in Flint, Michigan. I had the distinct pleasure of coaching her at the BPAA All-Star tournament back in the 70's. Jeanette, surely one of the greatest ambassadors of the game, inaugurated this tournament back at the old Showboat Hotel, Casino and Bowling Center in Vegas.

    This occasion marks the 20th anniversary of this classic event. Make no mistake; the Golden Ladies Classic is strictly a two-person production. While Jeanette tends to all the details regarding the tournament, Dick scampers all over the place making sure all the ladies are being served water or whatever drinks they desire, and, if needed, any medical attention.

    The Orleans management arranged special room rates of $40. The entry fee is $150 with 100% of the entry fee returned with prize money distributed on a 1 to 5 basis. The winner is guaranteed $2000.

    All bowlers must wear proper attire…no jeans permitted and tournament director shall rule on all disputes. There will be a Super Senior Division for ladies over 60 and also a 70 plus Shoot Out for non-qualifiers for match play who are 70 years or older.

    There is also a second chance sweeper for bowlers who failed to qualify for match play. Eighteen states will be represented. Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation, there will be no entries from England… for the first time in years.

    The almost eighty participants in the over-50 ladies competition vie in what I consider the friendliest competitive bowling tournament I have ever witnessed. The ladies actually pull for each other, as if they were teammates.

    Nonetheless, the competitive juices are still there and the talent is evident. No less than six Hall of Famers will be shoeing up, including defending champion in the regular division, Jeannie Naccarato, plus Pam Buckner, Fran Deken, Dana-Miller Mackie, Virginia Norton and Robin Romeo.

    Returning to defend her Super Senior Crown (over 60) is Andi Whitlock. And not to be overlooked is perhaps the BEST, yet least publicized bowler in the game, Sandy Postma, a past winner of the Golden Ladies tournament, a consistent finalist in this event, and one whose resume includes the WIBC Queens championship in 1995.

    One of the highlights of the tournament is the traditional cocktail party Tuesday night where prizes are awarded and pizza and drinks are served by Jeanette and Dick. The Storm Golden Ladies Classic is truly golden and not only gladdens the heart of the Golden Lady herself, Jeanette Robinson; it certainly enriches the memories of all participants.