Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
At Game of Western Columbus, which features a newly minted game room and laser tag arena, families and friends hurl hefty spheroids down shellacked alleys or lounge in game-side couches for meals of nachos, burgers, and fries. On weekends, beams of neon burst through the black light in games of cosmic bowling, lighting up the smiling faces of kids and parents as they strike down rows of glowing pins.
The sound of thundering pins, the smell of pizza, and an air of spirited, friendly competition surrounds visitors to HP Bowling Center. Open bowl times attract bowlers of all levels, along with a slew of special events. On Sunday nights, the sound system blasts 90s hip-hop and a prize wheel spins, and on Thursdays, ladies bowl free. Leagues and a pro shop cater to serious players, while birthday and corporate party packages bundle games with pizzas and subs.
Pins have been toppling at Sequoia Pro Bowl since 1963, but in 2014, the Columbus hot spot has added a new dimension to the bowling game. Its cutting-edge BES X scoring system transforms simple matches into highly interactive experiences filled with fun cartoons and arcade games. Linked to a 42-inch, flat-screen television installed at each lane, the system is capable of tracking statistics such as ball speed and converted splits for more serious competitors. However, casual visitors can use the system's photo capabilities to snap selfie shots that come to life as on-screen animations as they bowl. The BES X technology also has the capability to transform a match into a five-frame, arcade-style experience by loading one of the available games, including Monster Factory, Battle on the Lanes, and Bowling Hood. With its social media connections, the system even allows visitors to check in on Facebook and send text messages directly to the screens of friends at nearby lanes.
Refueling between frames is possible thanks to Sequoia's hearty menu of filling pub-style fare. Guests can also visit the 7-10 Club Sports Bar, packed with ping-pong, cornhole,and karaoke singers reciting the Bowling National Anthem. Or patrons can try their hand at ticketed arcade games that can be turned in for prizes. During the summer months, an outdoor sports bar and 5 sand volleyball courts provide a new arena for friendly competition.
It'd be perfectly possible to visit Rule 3 every day for a week and never repeat the same activity. A 14-lane bowling alley sits at the core of this entertainment emporium, right next to a scaled-down bowling area with smaller balls and shorter lanes for kids. But bowling is just the beginning at Rule 3. The arcade here is an 8-bit dream come true, hosting no fewer than seven Pac-Man machines.
A half-acre backyard area extends the good times outdoors, with sand-volleyball courts, picnic tables, corn hole, and live music throughout the summer. Of course, all these activities require energy, which is why Rule 3 dishes out all-natural burgers and homemade pizzas..
Hand-dipped milk shakes and rows of classic, minimalist bowling alleys turn back the clock at Delaware Lanes. As guests focus on toppling pins and dodging gutters, automatic scoring tracks their performance. In between frames, bowlers can kick back at a lounge with cushy booths and nautical decor, tippling drinks from a full-service bar.