Heritage Lanes will play host to the a stop on the PBA 50 tour this summer.                                          								     Courtesy of Heritage Lanes
Heritage Lanes will play host to the a stop on the PBA 50 tour this summer. Courtesy of Heritage Lanes

The weekend of July 28 will bring heavy hitters in the bowling world to Kokomo and Heritage Lanes. In the past, the center has hosted Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Regional tournaments, but this is the first time the PBA 50 has been hosted in the city.

“The PBA 50 is a National Tour. We’ll have probably 128 bowlers from about 40 states and ten different countries descending upon Kokomo. It’s pretty exciting,” said David Small, Proprietor of Heritage Lanes. 

The event is sponsored by Security Federal Savings Bank and Small said the event couldn’t possibly happen without their title sponsor. The championship will mean a lot to the regular bowlers in Kokomo as the top bowlers in the nation will be competing. 

“For the center, it means we’re going to have a lot of our regular bowlers and casual bowlers, their idols will be here,” Small said. “It’s really an honor to have it. We always hosted this event in Ft. Wayne. This was the first year that I decided to change the venue. I felt Kokomo was a better draw location-wise and for the fan base. I felt it would be good for our community and really enjoyable for our bowlers to be able to spend time with bowlers they grew up watching. It’s not that often to get that many big names in one location, especially in a city like Kokomo. These tournaments usually go to bigger cities like Indianapolis or Chicago. To have this event in a more intimate environment, we are really looking forward to it.”

In addition to the PBA 50, a Pro-Am competition will be held during the weekend to which amateur bowlers will be able to bowl with and against the pros.

“They will get to shoe up and bowl with them and against them. A lot of it is what you would call a dream. The pro tournaments, in most sports, there is a physical barrier between you and the athlete. Here, there is no barrier. No fence to separate you. For our bowlers, how cool for them is it to see someone they’ve watched for years, walk up, shake his hand and not get thrown out,” Small said.

Small also said that the event will bring the community together, giving them common interests to share. They’ll have a chance to talk and meet other bowlers, and the competition will be pretty good, too.

The PBA 50 will begin on July 29 with the Pro-Am the night before. Those interested in the Pro-Am will attend a meet and greet session, bowl and dine with the pros.

“The Pro-Am is open to anyone who wants to bowl. It’s $50. There will be an autograph session, dinner where they can eat with some of the pros. Then we’ll do a 9-pin no tap. Then we’ll play Let’s Make a Deal. It’s always a great time,” said Small. “Our bowlers will be treated to things they’ve never had the chance to experience before.”

Small purchased the center in 2014 after looking at it two years before. He said when he heard the center might be going on the market, he said to name the price. He knew he wanted the location for the market and tradition of the bowling alley.

“I would say Kokomo is my home now. I may not live here but this is the first bowling center that I was able to buy the land, the building, everything. It’s a special home to me. We’re putting more work into it now. We’re changing the color scheme and moving things around and making it even more family-friendly for our bowlers. There is a shortage for family entertainment and we plan to make this a great place where all families are welcome,” he said.

With this event, it will allow families to witness top notch bowling from the best in the business.

For more information on the event, check out the PBA website pba.com.