The Canton Corner

Bob Goike: An Inspirational Figure in the Sport of Bowling

Bob Goike: An Inspirational Figure in the Sport of Bowling

by | Jul 3, 2023

Bob Goike of Canton, Michigan has just achieved an impressive milestone – his 50th consecutive appearance at the USBC Open Championships – and a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin, which helps to honour this incredible achievement. He is joined in the 50-Year Club by his longtime teammate Mitch Jabczenski of South Lyon, Michigan making their partnership one for the history books. Goike’s journey began with determination and hard work in 1973, hitting iconic all-events scores and records in 1984 that made him a gifted bowler with much fanfare. With pride and joy, Goike still cites the tournament as “the greatest tournament in the world to bowl”.

Bob Goike of Canton, Michigan, has achieved yet another milestone in his incredible career, and it is easy to see why. His passion for bowling, the USBC Open Championships, and his family have all been major contributors in helping him reach this success. A USBC Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Goike is truly an inspirational figure in the sport of bowling.

Goike and Jabczenski Join 50-Year Club

With pride and joy, Goike was celebrated Wednesday at the National Bowling Stadium for his 50th consecutive tournament appearance at the USBC Open Championships. The three-time Eagle winner was presented with a plaque, chevron and diamond lapel pin in recognition of his remarkable longevity on the championship lanes. His longtime teammate and friend, Mitch Jabczenski of South Lyon, Michigan, joined him in the 50-Year Club at the 2023 event during the same squad. Goike expressed his admiration for the tournament, noting that it has “always been the greatest tournament in the world to bowl” and that he and Jabczenski had set the goal to reach the milestone together in the last 10 years.

Goike’s remarkable journey began in 1973 at the tournament in Syracuse, New York. His breakthrough performance took place in 1984 in Reno where he set the all-events record and captured his first Eagle with a score of 2,142 that stood as the top all-events total in the Regular Division until 1989. His sets of 760 in singles, 710 in doubles and 672 in team were no small feat. Goike expressed immense pride and joy in his accomplishment, remarking that he had never imagined achieving such success. Despite the struggles of the previous year in Niagara Falls, New York, Goike was able to make history. With determination and tenacity, Goike left a lasting mark on the tournament and solidified himself as an important part of bowling history.

Goike’s impressive bowling career began in the older days when he posted a remarkable score at the Open Championships. His score was so good that it caught the eye of the person watching the board in a red coat, who remarked that it was a pretty good score and to wait until the good bowlers got there. Little did they know that nobody had even come close to his score when July rolled around. This event marked the beginning of an incredible 20-year run for Goike, resulting in top-10 finishes, the first competitor to record four sets of 2,000 or higher in all-events, and most notably, 27 consecutive games of 200 or higher from 1989-1992. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Goike was inducted to the USBC Hall of Fame in 1996.

John Goike was a highly celebrated bowler who achieved incredible feats throughout his career. He earned a spot as the first alternate to Team USA in 1995, before going on to make history with the Lodge Lanes team by winning back-to-back Team All-Events titles in 1997 and 1998. During this time, Chris Barnes won the Regular All-Events title and John Gaines earned the Regular Singles title at the 1998 tournament in Reno. Goike was accompanied by three future USBC Hall of Famers in Barnes, Gaines and Patrick Healey Jr., as well as 1990 PBA Rookie of the Year Brad Kiszewski, leading to an unprecedented success. Goike was proud to be recognized for his accomplishments, being inducted into the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame with great honor.

In 1999, the team had a new look but managed to finish as the runner-up in Team All-Events by a single pin. Furthermore, Tommy Jones, a new addition and future PBA Hall of Famer, captured the Regular All-Events title with an impressive 2,158 total. It is remarkable that such success was achieved despite the changes to the lineup, and it is a testament to the strength of the team.

Bobby Goike had much to be proud of that weekend, especially since all four of his children, along with his late wife, Nicole, were in Reno to celebrate his 50th tournament. His dream of bowling with all his kids came true in Baton Rouge and it was truly a special moment for him as a father. It is evident that family is the most important thing to him.

His bowling centers, Lodge Lanes and Town N Country Lanes, have been a great success locally, and the Lodge Lanes name was put on the map at the Open Championships when the team of Gaines, Jabczenski, USBC Hall of Famer John Janawicz, Vernon Peterson and Scott Newell won the Regular Team title with a then-record total of 3,538. It was an incredible achievement for Goike and his team.

Goike’s success and dedication to his bowling centers, Lodge Lanes and Town N Country Lanes, have been highly visible in the local community. He is also proud of the fact that his team participated in the Open Championships, where they won the Regular Team title with a record-breaking score of 3,538. In 1983, Goike experienced his worst year on the lanes. As a result, he chose to take a different approach to his bowling career by avoiding having his team take pictures at any one place. This strategy ultimately proved successful, as Goike shot 2,142 pins in 1984. His superstitious streak continued throughout his career, and it was not until 2012 when, with his children, Goike finally had his team photo taken again.

Goike’s proud and positive attitude towards his team’s success has been evident throughout the years, and is a testament to his commitment and skill when it comes to bowling.

Bob Goike has established himself as a remarkable star in the sport of bowling with his 50th consecutive USBC Open Championships tournament appearance. From setting an all-time record in 1984 to persevering despite struggles, his achievements have been unparalleled and inspirational. This milestone is truly one for the books and serves to further showcase Goike’s dedication to this great sport. His success demonstrates why he stands apart as an amazing role model for any aspiring bowler. With regard to his longstanding commitment to the game, Bob Goike is and will remain an irreplaceable icon in the game of bowling.

Learn More About Bob Goike

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