First time going to TPC? Or even Vegas? We think you'll find this info helpful:
DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU “OFFICIALLY’ QUALIFY to book everything! The earlier you reserve rooms, flights, cars, celebration dinner, etc, the better and less stressful it will be. If you don’t qualify or plans change, you can always cancel (assuming you’re smart and make cancel-able reservations). The Thursday and Friday sweepers, and the celebration dinner, are open to anyone, so there’s still stuff to do for non-qualifiers. So, if you’re anywhere near the top 20 in your conference’s points, OR the top 100 in all-conference points, take care of your plans!
Getting to Strike Zone: Strike Zone at Sunset Station is in Henderson, just south of Vegas, about 20-30 minutes from the Strip in the opposite direction, depending on traffic (very depending). There is no airport shuttle, sadly. Taking a taxi from the airport is not suggested (expensive). Uber/lyft is generally reasonable, and the way to go if you are staying at the hotel and not sightseeing much. It was $36 for UberX on a check today, and of course prices vary greatly. Rental cars are certainly an option, especially if you want to go to the strip multiple times, go to Hoover Dam, etc. If you get a rental car, try and join their loyalty club before going to Vegas, it can save you some painful lines.
At Strike Zone: Sunset Station is a big hotel. The hotel towers are on the opposite side of the building from the bowl, with lots of dining, 21+ gaming, and entertainment options inbetween. It is surrounded by just about every dining and shopping option possible on the same block, a short (hot) walk or quick drive. Galleria Mall is across the street on one one side for more options, and a strip mall with a Wal-Mart on the other side.
Ball Storage: Free ball storage is available at the bowling center, but will NOT NEARLY fit 12 balls from everyone, so we strongly suggest that you leave extra bags and balls in your rooms, etc. once you’ve narrowed things down. DO NOT leave them in the car, the heat can destroy them.
Sightseeing: ‘The Strip’ is 20-30 minutes away, greatly depending on traffic. Uber is a good way to go, prices again vary depending on demand. Avoid driving on the strip itself unless you have a few hours to kill, use the access roads on the back side of the fancy hotels. Walking the strip can be great fun, and most casinos have activities for all ages, but HYDRATE, and it’s MUCH further between each casino than you think it is. There is a monorail between some (but not all) casinos. Some of the best shows and food in the world is on the strip, as well as great hidden gems off the strip. There are famous last-minute deals, but reservations make it much less stressful. There is much more to Vegas than the Strip- Hoover Dam and the bridge are fascinating, the Neon Museum, Mount Charleston, lots more.
Weather: We guarantee it will be either crazy hot and bone dry, or very hot and crazy humid, or likely both, sometimes in the same day. Be prepared. Weather greatly affects everything from lane patterns to approaches to your stamina. HYDRATE! It’s the desert in the summer. Someone cramps every year, don’t let it be you!
CELEBRATION DINNER: This is a real highlight. It’s been nicknamed ‘bowling prom’ because dressing up is highly encouraged (but not required). Check out previous TPC photos to get the vibe. Club Madrid will be hosting the dinner, which is right in the middle of Sunset Station. The event usually sells out, so reserve spots soon, they’re $40 each. Especially if you’re getting an award (all-star teams, etc), we hope you attend- you’ll come on stage to receive it. Lots of great other stuff happens too- getting an award is NOT the main point, that’s why it’s a ‘celebration’ dinner not an ‘awards’ dinner- you’ll just have to see it in person, or ask someone who’s been there! You CAN ‘hang out’ if you’re getting an award (or not) but don’t want to eat, but we do pack the place and there won’t be a ton of room. Basically, seats are $40. If you are getting an award and just want to hang, we’ll talk to you about specific timing on that. Reserve seats by emailing us, immediate payment not required. You’ll pick specific seat assignments at the TPC during the week.
Lane patterns: specific patterns are not released until TPC, but it’s no secret to expect one long, one short, at least one flat, and at least one more forgiving, among the four patterns you’ll see. Plan accordingly, and again, please try and avoid hogging the ball storage area with 37 balls to be kind to your fellow bowlers.
Format: Thursday and Friday are optional warm-up sweepers. ‘sweeper’ just means you bowl whichever squad(s) you like, there is no cut, second round, or finals. Thursday’s sweepers are on the first of the four patterns we’ll be using. You can bowl any or all squads. There is no re-oil, on purpose, so you can see the fresh and the burn. At the end of the last squad, all scores are combined, and 1:10 bowlers earn scholarship prizes. Friday’s sweeper has squads at Noon, 2, and 4 pm, and is on pattern #2. Friday evening’s Top Dawg event is an ‘eliminator’: everyone bowls 2 games, with the top 50% ‘surviving’, then one game at a time more are eliminated until one remains. This is expected to finish by 9:30 PM. Top Dawg is your only look at pattern 3. Nobody gets to bowl on pattern 4 unless you qualify for Sunday afternoon’s semifinals.
The actual tournament starts Saturday at 9 AM with the format described on the website and flyer.
Let us know if there’s anything else you’d like us to address. We can’t wait to see you at our ‘Super Bowl’, the TPC!