Hill employee pursues dream of being pro bowler

  • Published
  • By Kendahl Johnson
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

It’s never too late to chase a dream.

That’s the message from Hill worker Gavin Whiting, who, after 40 years, is finally pursuing his lifelong dream of joining the Pro Bowlers Association.

“It’s been my dream ever since I was a boy,” he said. “Bowling has been my life and it means everything to me that I’ll have the opportunity to bowl against people I grew up watching on television.”

Whiting, who is 55 years old, will be making a run at the PBA’s senior tour.  He’ll test his mettle this weekend at his first PBA tournament, the Beehive Open at the Jack and Jill Lanes in Lehi, Utah.   

“I’m feeling very confident,” he said. “I’ve had some great practices and think I can go out there and be successful.”

Whiting has been bowling since he was old enough to hold a ball.  He grew up around the sport, as his family owned Lakeside Lanes Bowling Alley in the 1970s and his father was one of the first bowlers from Utah to join the professional tour. At the age of 14, Whiting bowled his first perfect game and was competing in junior leagues for cash prizes.

He said his plans were to join the PBA, but “life got in the way.” He took time off bowling to raise a family, but never lost sight of his dream of bowling competitively at the highest level.

“I figured it’s now or never,” he said. “I never lost my love for the sport and I still have the talent to be successful.”

He said his wife, three children and 13 grandchildren have all been supportive and encouraging. He’ll start with competing in regional tournaments on the weekends, with a goal of doing well enough to get sponsorships and potentially turning it into something more than part time.

Whiting knows his father would be proud that he never gave up on his dream.

“My dad has passed, but if were here, he’d be right by my side pushing me and cheering me on,” he said.