Bowling Insider: Orland Park’s Flaws has 10 career 300 games
By Tony Baranek email@example.com December 15, 2013 5:10PM
Bob Flaws | Tony Baranek/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 17, 2014 6:16AM
Orland Park resident and PBA senior tour competitor Bob Flaws got some great news earlier this year when his daughter Amanda announced that he soon would become a grandfather for the 10th time.
The news also provided him with a challenge.
“It didn’t dawn on me until a week or two later,” Flaws said. “I have nine grandchildren right now. Last year I had my ninth 300 game, and it gave me a ring to leave for every one of them.
“When I went back to her I said, ‘Well, that puts me under a lot of pressure. Now I have to bowl another 300.’ ”
Flaws took care of grandchild-to-be No. 10 in early November at Arena Lanes, when he tossed 12 consecutive strikes with his Storm Marvel Pearl.
It also was a pretty impressive way to celebrate the 40th year since he joined the Friday Night Southwest Businessmen’s league in 1973.
Flaws, a welder/fabricator by trade, definitely has shown that one can do his or her best bowling after the age of 50.
It was then that he joined the PBA senior tour, and over the course of 10 years has won five regional titles and one national title.
The national title came in August 2009, when he outstruck PBA Hall of Famer Wayne Webb in the semifinals and then beat Mickey Higham in the final to capture the Miller Lite Knockout Classic at Town and Country Lanes in Joliet.
Flaws, now 60, bowls in 12 to 16 PBA regional title tournaments a year. He also bowls weekly on Wednesday night at Orland Bowl (227 average) and on Friday at Arena (213).
Last season Flaws posted a career-high league average of 231 at Arena, and also had a night to remember at Orland when he and his daughter won a no-tap doubles tournament.
“I love bowling with her,” he said. “That was fun. She bowled really well and I had a good night.”
Amanda Flaws Santay also is a notable Southland bowler.
While at Richards High School she was a two-time state qualifier, once in team competition and the other as an individual, where she placed sixth.
A two-time all-area pitcher for the Bulldogs softball team, Flaws was named the school’s Female Athlete of the Year in 1995.
Still an avid bowler, she has two career 300 games and four 700 series.
The elder Flaws said his journey into the PBA came with a few bumps.
“I took a shot at (the tour) in the early ’80s at some regional stops and I got my equipment handed to me,” he said. “I got beat up pretty good. I realized then that it took a lot of practice and a lot of talent.
“When I turned 46 I still had a pretty good game. I thought maybe if I practiced for a few years on patterns and got better equipment, I’d have a shot at the (senior) tour.”
At age 50, he signed up with the PBA senior circuit.
He didn’t cash in his first four regional tournaments.
“I was starting to think that maybe it wasn’t for me, but then I sat down one day and had a cup of coffee with Dick Weber,” Flaws said. “I asked him for advice and he gave me some.
“The next tournament I cashed, and two more tournaments after that I made the finals and before my first year was up I won my first championship. My confidence level went way up.”
Needless to say, it’s still soaring.