A Bowl Full of Laughs—The Lady Behind the Bowling Divas
April 2021 Issue
by Mary Hope Roseneau
Photography by T.R. Love, T.R. Media World
The team names for these bowling divas are hilarious! There’s Split Happens, Lucky Strikes, Too Legit to Split, Mother Gutters, Splits & Giggles, Incredibowls, Living on a Spare, Balls to the Wall, Pin Up Girls, Spare Me, Pin Pals and Wicked Ballers. They have special dress-up nights such as ugly Christmas sweaters, Halloween costumes, and recently, they had a “Galentine” celebration (Girls Valentine Party)! Most of all, these ladies are having a blast!
Denise Philippi is the instigator, er…organizer of this wacky group of around 60 women who descend on the usually normal Station 300 Bowling Alley off Buckwalter Parkway in Bluffton every Tuesday from 6:30-9:30.
Bored with the quarantine, Denise wanted a way to meet people and make new friends. Last fall, she posted an open invite on Facebook and got a huge, immediate response from other ladies in the same boat! She created a Facebook page, set up the night with Station 300 to reserve lanes for the ladies, and the fun began!
The first season, October to December 2020, consisted of eight teams, with five women on each. Denise is the league president, scheduler, statistician, and she plays for the Splits & Giggles. They wear tie-dyed, one-shoulder team shirts; every team has a unique shirt, as well. Along with Lyndsey Densmore, Denise makes lots of prizes for the end of season to make it exciting and fun! Bowling night allows the ladies to get together, visit with friends, laugh, have drinks and food in the restaurant, dance and oh yeah, bowl.
The group took a month break and missed each other a lot. Word spread fast, and they started back up in late January with 12 teams and now almost 60 ladies! There is even a waiting list to become a bowling diva, and in the meantime, these gals are called to substitute for absent team members.
Denise was in graphic design for 25 years, but in 2005, she changed careers and became a nationally certified and licensed massage therapist. She came down from Chicago for a job at Palmetto Bluff and got the proverbial “pluff mud” in her toes, so this is home! She has her own massage therapy business, Knead a Massage, and house calls are her specialty. She works with her clients on relaxation, deep tissue massage and pain management.
As far as the physical benefits of bowling, she says the body-in-motion aspect is real. Picking up and throwing a 10-12 pound bowling ball over and over during a game creates strength, balance and muscle toning. Bowling can burn up to 275 calories per hour, relieve stress and contribute to a healthy heart lifestyle. And, this is only what your body gains, not your spirit, mind and heart!
But, Denise emphasized that this is not serious bowling! The focus is always on fun, and as such, three strikes in a row earns you the right to the turkey hat! She also stresses, “We are not cliquey!” She deliberately schedules players in teams that will include newcomers to help ladies make new friends. There is no drama allowed, or bellyachers. Denise says at this stage of her life, she wants to surround herself with people who bring out the best in her and others. That’s great advice, for all of us!
Go Bowl! “It’s nice we have one night of the week guaranteed to go out and have fun!”