WASHINGTON DC - Bowling is not the most popular sport in the world, but it landed three of the top bowlers in the country a trip to the White House.
President Trump wasn't there as the bowlers were throwing strikes and talking science.
EJ Tackett is the reigning Pro Bowler's Association Bowler of the Year. He spent a recent morning at the Truman Bowling Alley in the White House with the 2012 and 2009 Bowlers of the Year: Sean Rash and Wes Malott respectively.
"It's incredible to know bowling has brought me to some place like that in the world. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to go do that," Tackett said.
"Multiple presidents have wanted to remove the lanes and they haven't. Knock on wood for us they haven't. One of the coolest atmospheres ever to be a part of," Sean Rash added.
We caught up with Tackett and Rash right after the experience.
When asked how bowling at the White House is different than bowling in a tournament, Rash said "It's an experience like no other to know former presidents have been on those lanes."
They talked a little science, too, explaining how wear and tear on the lanes and on the ball makes a difference in how well you bowl, as do oil patterns on the lanes.
Tackett explained how the lanes are different than they were 10 to 20 years ago.
"The technology itself has come a long way. The resin they use, it's not actual wood. It's actually resin that we bowl on. The oil stays on the lane longer and better than it used to on actual wood lanes."
When asked for one piece of advice to help anyone be a better bowler, Tackett said "Follow through and focus on your target."
"Follow through, you heard that from EJ already. Another big tip is having good balance. Every athlete in every sport has great balance," Rash added.
Neither the White House lanes nor those at Lucky Strike in downtown D.C. offer the optimum professional lanes like in tournament play, but one thing Rash had during his trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was a pair of unique bowling balls—one thanking the White House for the experience, the other with a picture of President Donald Trump.
President Truman had the White House bowling alley built in 1947. It was in the West Wing. President Eisenhower closed it in 1955 and made it a mimeograph room. Richard Nixon brought back the lanes in 1969.
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