Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bowling alley review 2 - NSRCC Tanah Merah

This is the 2nd of 3 bowling reviews I wanted to write before Baby J came to this world. So starved of sleep but I figured I'd better write it before I lose my senses~

Location
Situated within the National Service Resort and Country Club in Tanah Merah, this place is not really accessible by public transport. The best way will be hop on to a shuttle service or drive/take a cab there. Nearest MRT station is probably Tanah Merah. If driving there it's along the ECP pretty much just before Changi Airport.

Price
S$3 for non-peak (before 6pm)
S$4 for peak (after 6pm)

Scoring Systems
Pretty much one of the most outdated systems I've seen in recent years. No descriptions necessary. Think the 80s. Heard that they will have a renovation in Msy. Hopefully it will be changed as well.

Lanes
The lanes felt like Katong Bowl to me. I loved the wooden lanes although the oil wasn't adequately applied in my opinion. Consistent reaction with no particular part of the lane causing the ball to react more or less like the lanes in Kallang. Pin reaction = average. Things will change with the new lanes in May...

Another issue. The lanes can only be reached by stairs. The entrances, front desk and cafeteria are on elevated ground and one must carry his own equipment down a flight of stairs to reach the lanes. And then there's a flight upwards on the way back. If there was a lift I couldn't see it...

Atmosphere
So out of the way you'd expect some serious bowlers. Indeed there were quite a few training when I was there. But the presence of holiday bungalows in the resort means fun-seekers as well. My trip there was spoilt when 10+ teenagers were slotted next to my lane. With so many available lanes that was simply indifferent lane allocation.

Proshop
The same guy who operated the pro-shop in Katong Bowl is here. I was so surprised to see him there. Given he drilled my first ball for me nearly 20 years ago, I bought a Columbia BlueDot from him on the spot. He even invited me to join his team for the Wednesday night league. He's about as friendly as my regular driller in HK and he's been doing it for a long time. Prices comparable to other proshops.

Other Services
Given it's part of a country club, you can even play golf before your bowling game. But even within the same confines of the bowling alley you can find a decent arcade, pool tables and a cafeteria. They are but the other end of the staircase...

Conclusion
Score: 7/10
Remy Ong is a head coach there. Many other national players play there. No bowling alley will be without fun-seekers who do not know the bowling rules and etiquettes of the game. Inconvenient location may not be such a bad thing as it tends to keep non-serious players away. But the stairs oh the stairs... The sunken bowling alley does make for a very conducive environment for serious bowling but there must be an easier way to move my equipment in and out!

Eastern Pro Shop - Operated by the same guy from Katong Bowl who drilled my first ball for me nearly 20 years ago.

The only way out is up... those stairs!!!

Very retro feel~

Super retro scoreboard...

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