The National Golden Ladies are headed for The Orleans Hotel in Vegas

    02/19/06

    Column

    By Dick Evans

    Jeanette Robinson refuses to rest on her laurels in her golden years and once again is working up a 'Storm' putting together her 16th Annual National Golden Ladies Classic -- A Celebration of Life

    ColumnistDickEvans.jpg LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Jeanette Robinson has meant many things to many people during her half century love affair with bowling.

    She has won three pro titles, coached thousands of players, served 10 years as president of the pro tour, writes a monthly bowling column for the Tenpin Alley publication and has been inducted into the WIBC Hall of Fame.

    Currently she is putting the final touches on the 16th annual National Golden Ladies Classic Tournament, which will be sponsored by Storm and run at The Orleans from March 6-9.

    The Golden Ladies is her baby, she gave birth to the tournament in 1991 at the old Showboat and brought it with her when she started working for The Orleans in 1999.

    This is not a tournament for the baby boomers - it pays homage to the women who have helped put bowling on the national sports map.

    For you see, you have to at least 50 years old to be eligible.

    That means at age 77, Jeanette Robinson is eligible.

    After being rear ended in an auto accident recently, she's banged up right now, but what's new. She has undergone 10 major surgeries and bounced back each time to bowl again.

    Once she was knocked backward down the escalators at the Tampa Airport but recovered in time to bowl in the WIBC National Championship Tournament the next day.

    Jeanette Robinson has loved bowling since taking it up at an early age in Flint, Mich., and that's why she's still participating in three leagues.

    And she loves being around bowlers, especially the 75 plus expected to travel to the National Golden Ladies Classic March 6-9 at The Orleans.

    "We have attracted bowlers from Canada, South Africa, Holland and England and that makes me proud," Robinson says. "This tournament and its participants are proof that bowling is a great lifetime sport even at a competitive level.

    "It's great for you both physically and mentally."

    Don't get the wrong idea. The bowlers come to socialize and exchange stories about the golden years of their careers - when the aches were not so many and the pain not so acute.

    But most of all they come to compete and enjoy the game of tenpins.

    They prove their love for bowling by just showing up because they won't be shooting for megabuck prize funds since the entry fee is only $150 and the champion is only guaranteed $2,000.

    But there will be a lot more than one winner in this tournament that defies time.

    All bowlers over 60 years of age will be classified as Super Seniors and 12 of them will advance to match play.

    There is even a 70-plus shootout and a special feature labeled "Storm's most pins over average leader after 15 games of qualifying."

    Here is the tournament format and schedule:


    March 6 - Five game qualifying rounds at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
    March 7 - Third qualifying round at 10 a.m. Then tournament field is cut to the top 18 regular division contestants and the top 12 Super Seniors starting at 3 p.m.
    March 8 - Second and third rounds of match play are scheduled at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
    March 9 - Stepladder finals among top five starting at 10 a.m.

    Oh yes, did I forget to mention that there is a second chance sweeper on March 8 starting at 12;30 P.M.

    But the happiest hour will be the cocktail party March 7 at 7 p.m.

    You can bet that it will be a golden reunion for these spunky bowlers.

    There still is time to enter. You can contact Jeanette Robinson by calling The Orleans (1-888-365-7111) and asking for ext. 6442.

    If you are over 50, love bowling, have a little money to spare and enjoy Las Vegas then you owe it to yourself to enter Storm's National Golden Ladies Classic -- a celebration of life and bowling.

    Email address: Evans121@aol.com.