Duckpin bowling alley coming to Grand Rapids

Courtesy Woodrows Duckpin Bowling

A new bowling venue will open this weekend in downtown Grand Rapids.

Woodrows DuckPin Bowling will open its doors to the public on Friday, Feb. 4, at 200 Lyon St. NW, on the ground floor of Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, previously where GP Sports and Tootsie Van Kelly’s were located.

The venue features seven duckpin bowling lanes in addition to a lounge area with seating and high-top tables and rails.

Johnny Brann Jr., part of Woodrows DuckPin’s ownership group, along with Jeff Royce and Josh Canale, led efforts to transform the space, including restoring the original floors and columns.

West Michigan-based Brunswick Bowling Products worked with Woodrows’ leadership on the concept and provided all of the equipment and supplies needed for duckpin bowling. Wolverine Building Group conducted renovation of the space.

“As we were developing this space and considering ways to bring people back downtown, we met with the team from Brunswick and quickly knew duckpin bowling was the winner,” Brann said. “We are excited to work with this local iconic brand to create a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Duckpin bowling, which dates back to the 1800s, is different than traditional bowling. Duckpin lanes are shorter and have pins attached to strings, which are shorter and thinner than traditional bowling pins. This style of pins makes it more difficult to throw a strike, so bowlers are allowed three chances per frame.

Duckpin bowling balls lack finger holes and are smaller than those used in 10-pin bowling. Bowlers don’t need to wear bowling shoes, and lanes are rented by the hour, which allows up to six people to take part.

“Woodrows DuckPin is designed to be a place where people can relax with their friends,” Brann said. “Duckpin bowling’s unique features level the playing field to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of skill level.”

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