Bowling is a timeless sport that gives people of all ages and skill levels the chance to compete on the same playing field, both with and against each other. Friendships, rivalries and sometimes romantic relationships are the result of countless hours on the lanes together.
Some of the sport’s most popular and successful players have passed on their passion for bowling to their children, many of whom have lived through their parents’ ups and down and even have enjoyed their own successes on the lanes.
We caught up with some of the best-known children of bowling to get their takes on growing up on or near the lanes and around the sport’s top competitors.
This time, we spoke with 22-year-old Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C., the son of longtime Professional Bowlers Association star Guppy Troup. This year, the young Troup, a six-time PBA regional champion, is second on the PBA South Region points list and hoping to make a run at PBA South Region Player of the Year.
At 5 years old, Troup was throwing a 10-pound ball, which required two hands to lift. He stayed with that style through the years and is one of the PBA’s premier two-handed adult bowlers, following in the footsteps of international star Jason Belmonte of Australia.
Troup didn’t get to bowl much in high school due to a lack of interest at his school and a short-lived club-level bowling team, and he chose not to pursue bowling in college. His success at the regional level came quickly, as he earned his first PBA title at 19, made more memorable because it also was the only title his father has seen him win.
Guppy Troup made his PBA debut in the late 1970s and went on to collect eight PBA national titles and more than 40 regional wins. He also became a fan favorite because of his outgoing personality and flashy persona, which often includes brightly-colored clothes, sunglasses, earrings and memorable moves on the approach, especially after a good shot.
What impresses you most about your dad, both on the lanes and off?
I am most impressed with my father’s drive and passion to give back to the fans. He was always worried about making sure the fans enjoyed watching. His talent to play the extreme gutter also impressed me growing up, and it was enveloped into my game.
What is something that bothers you about your dad?
Honestly, I felt like sometimes he partied too much, but thankfully, he’s still here going strong like Guppy does.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your dad?
I am proud to have the last name of Troup. My father did many great things in the sport of bowling. He made a name for himself on and off the lanes. The amount of friends he has made is countless.
What are your personal interests and passions, especially outside of bowling?
I am a very big sports fan. I like to watch any kind of football or basketball whenever I’m not bowling on Sundays. I also have been managing a Wendy’s for five years, so that’s a pretty big part of my life.
What are your top hopes and goals for your own bowling career?
I hope to make a name for myself on the national tour the same way my father did. I am hoping to win player-of-the-year honors in the PBA Southern Region this year. I would hope to have a handful of national titles and maybe a major in my career.
How are you most like your dad?
I would have to say being so hard-headed would make me most like my father. Everyone has always said that I am so hard- headed about so many things. I can remember many times growing up thinking the same thing about Guppy.
How are you most different from your dad?
I would have to say being more conservative would make me most different from my father. I do like to have a good time sometimes, and I have my choice of wild outfits, but I still tend to be a bit quieter most the time. He is such an entertainer it’s hard to keep up with him.
What’s it like being the child of a bowling star?
It has become pretty normal to me, since I’m so involved in bowling. When I was younger, it was pretty crazy seeing everyone’s reaction finding out who my father was. In bowling, it’s pretty awesome always having people come talk to me about either my bowling or something about Guppy.
What is your earliest bowling memory of your professional bowling parent?
I remember my first regional at 16 in Marion, N.C. I made the cut to Sunday and posted a +320 score for 13 games to just miss the 16-player bracket. I was crushed. I had bowled so well but couldn’t keep up with the scoring pace. It was a ton of fun to be striking so much in my first regional.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve enjoyed growing up with Guppy Troup as my father. He is a legend and will forever be known in the sport of bowling. That gives me drive to do all I can do in this sport and try to become the best in the sport.