Some of you are students; many of you were my competition from 1963 to 1986; still others have absolutely no idea who or what Larry Mathews represents. I will endeavor to clear up the “mystery”.
I was born in 1944, in Mesa, Arizona, the product of very athletic parents. I was involved in sport from infancy. Careers in martial arts and baseball were never realized; though I worked very diligently. It is possible that polio at age 5, and muscular dystrophy, contracted in my teens, were contributing factors to my lack of success. Then again, I may simply have not been “good enough”. Fortunately, at age 18 (1962) I was introduced to the sport of bowling. I reached a 200+ average in less than 2 years. By 1969, my primary source of income was derived from my earnings on the lanes.
In the subsequent years my physical skills began deteriorating at an alarming rate. In 1975, the year I joined the P.B.A., I wore a brace on one leg and a knee support on the other. By 1981, the year I won a P.B.A. regional at North Valley Lanes, in San Jose, California, I wore braces on both legs and a back support, and was taking codeine for the pain. I was down to 15 pound equipment, and by 1983, when I averaged 237 for an entire winter league season, I used 14 ½ pound equipment and was wearing a batting glove on both hands, for friction, so the ball would not slip in my pushaway. I had shortened my approach 2 feet, and found it difficult to get the ball of the rack, let alone delivering a decent shot. In 1987 I threw my last strike.
During the 23 years of competitive bowling I was able to win 150+ tournaments, shoot 16 300’s, 16 299’s, and 8 800’s. I won a local, state, regional, and national level. As the physiological capabilities diminished, I became much more cerebral in my method of attack. In school I majored in math and science. This background allowed me to create a system of alignments and adjustments that seemed superior to that which my opposition utilized. An understanding of simple physics facilitated the creation of a proper arsenal (weights; shell preparation; etc.). This combination allowed a severely handicapped person to be competitive, on occasion, with the best players in the world.
I have had the pleasure and the privilege, as a teacher, to work with some of the finest amateur and professional bowlers, male and female, from 5 continents. I advocate the development of a solid physical foundation, and the utilization of excellent tactics. Knowledge is the key; however, tactics are the power! With that in mind, I strongly suggest you purchase my book, The Pro Approach, reviewed in October, 1996, by Bowlers Journal, as the only one of its kind. I address the game on a mathematical level where alignments, adjustments, weights, textures, and lane conditions are concerned. Try it, you will love it. I am also available for clinics, seminars, and one on one instruction. Call me at 408-374-3340 for the financial particulars. My book sells for $19.95 + 3.00 shipping and handling). Send you check or money order to M & W Products; 985 Hacienda; Campbell, California; 95008. Hope to hear from you soon. Good luck and good bowling.