by Fred Eisenhammer
WOODLAND HILLS – Seven years ago this month, Greg Kolski did something that was very special.
In fact, it was so special that it’s safe to say that very few people have accomplished this – and perhaps no one else!
What Kolski did was persevere through a whopping 100 games of practice in one day, rolling game after game at AMF Woodlake Lanes, now called Bowlero Woodland Hills.
At the time, Kolski was just another good league bowler with a 163 average. But he wanted to be better. Much better.
So, bowling at his home center, Kolski took advantage of a heavily discounted price in which he was allowed to bowl as many practice games as he could in one day for $12.
Kolski, then 28, took full advantage. “It came out to 12 cents a game. That’s a real bargain,” said Kolski in a pretty sizable understatement. The right-handed Kolski bowled by himself on Lane 30, showcasing his wicked curve. He worked on his game for 13 hours, 10 minutes without taking a break to eat.
He played no-tap, a game in which a bowler is awarded a strike if at least nine pins are knocked down on the first shot.
Kolski blistered a 284 in his ninth game – bowling 10 strikes at the start. He scored at least 200 in six of his first 10 games. He slowed a bit thereafter but still blasted a 261 in his 15th game, a 233 in his 30th game, a 242 in his 39th game, a 253 in his 67th game, a 250 in his 83rd game and a 252 in his 98th game. Kolski hung tough to the end, finishing with a 195 in Game 100.
How many bowlers would have even been standing at that point?
Veteran bowler Tom Martino was one of many who paid tribute to Kolski’s feat.
“He’s relentless in practice so he can perfect his game,” Martino said.
Bowling so many games wasn’t completely foreign to the likable Kolski. He had previously bowled 85 games in a day. This time, he wanted to last 100 games, so he chose no-tap, where the games go much more quickly.
Kolski started at 9 a.m. and he threw his last ball after 10 p.m.
Afterwards, he was asked what he learned from the experience. “Mostly about how much endurance it takes to get through them all,” Kolski said. “Once you get to 80, you really feel it. I’m just glad I got through 100 games.”
A year later, his average was spiking and Kolski cited the benefits of that marathon day. “The 100 games gave me a better perspective on what I was doing wrong,” said Kolski, a West Hills resident.
Kolski has ridden the momentum of that 100-games day to the present where he is averaging about 200 in his three leagues – two at Winnetka Bowl and one at Corbin Bowl in Tarzana. He’s still looking for his first 300, but he’s rolled a 289 and seven 279s and has crushed plenty of no-tap perfect games. He’s also had 18 700 series with a high of 761.
When Kolski looks back at his 100-game effort, he remembers his iron-man effort with fondness. “If not for that, I wouldn’t even be thinking about getting to that [next] level,” said Kolski, who used a 13-pound ball for the 100 games. He now rolls a 16-pounder.
After he finished his grueling session, Kolski remembers that he “could barely lift my right arm.” Furthermore, his left quadriceps and his right bicep “were really sore.”
So, was he more tired or hungry after finishing?
“I was more hungry,” Kolski laughed. “All I had was a few drinks since the bar was right next to me.”
Would he ever consider bowling 100 games again?
“Possibly, but I’d probably need a sponsor because I couldn’t afford to bowl 100 games,” he said with another laugh