Western Bowl

Bowling is a sport that is older than Christ himself and has roots in many different cultures. Today, it is an entertaining way to pass the time, whether you’re with your family or friends. Bowling leagues are super popular and act as an outlet for a lot of people to socialize and take part in friendly competitions or showcase their skills in the sport. Western Bowl is Amarillo’s oldest bowling alley that has developed into much more than just a bowling alley today. 

Western Bowl is located at 5120 Canyon Dr, Amarillo, TX 79109, near Interstate 27 on the south side of the city. People of all ages can enjoy what this facility has to offer. Bowling can be a struggle for the little ones, so to combat this issue, Western Bowl provides bowling ramps if kids or even adults aren’t that confident in their bowling throw. These ramps will aid in a straighter path and better accuracy after the ball leaves your hand.

With so much to do, Western Bowl is an excellent place for a family fun night, birthday parties, or even just to hang out with friends. On top of the apparent bowling lanes they have for recreation, the facility also features laser tag and various arcade games for when you aren’t feeling like bowling. Some children have a hard time getting into the sport as well due to its difficulty, so the games and laser tag are great alternatives to entertain them. 

The bowling alley was opened in 1958 by the Hoinke family with 32 lanes, and two years later, 16 more lanes were added to the facility. Erwin Hoinke Sr. was a bowling fanatic and held a deep love for the sport. In 1942, he began a bowling tournament to raise funds for war bonds. His son would go on to take over the tournament as it turned into an annual event. 

When Western Bowl was opened, the tournament gained more popularity and was further expanded. The tournament was split between this newly opened facility in Amarillo and the family’s original bowling alley, Hoinke Lanes, in Cincinnati, OH. They went on to add another 20 lanes in 1970 to transform the facility into a state-of-the-art bowling alley. After this, the Hoinke family closed down their lanes in Ohio which made Western Bowl the only venue to host the now-famous Hoinke Classic. 

In the 1980s, the Hoinke Classic was at its peak popularity. Entries climbed to almost 15,000 at the start of the decade. This was impressive, considering entries in 1965 were only 1,915. The increase in competitors for the tournament slowly raised the prize money amount over the years. The 90s brought about even more popularity to the event, and bowlers from across the nation and world would come to compete. 

Erwin Hoinke Sr. passed away in 1980 when he was 84 years old and was subsequently posthumously inducted into the Ohio State Bowling Hall of Fame. Western Bowl saw a massive decline in popularity in the year of the global recession in 2008, and in 2009, the family almost shut down Western Bowl. The Hoinke family sold their business to Larry Schmittou, therefore, continuing the life of both Western Bowl and the Hoinke Classic.

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Map from Western Bowl to William Wheeler, Amarillo REALTOR

Map from Western Bowl to Bill’s Backyard Classics