Willie Theis, For Desert Valley Times
Sue Astley, a gold medal winner across three different states in pickleball, picked up bowling as a new challenge and rolled her first 600-plus series last week at the Virgin River Bowling Center in Mesquite. (Photo: Willie Theis/For Desert Valley Times)
Sue Astley is an ultra-talented athlete with a staggering list of impressive achievements in pickleball that include winning gold medals in three states.
However, a little over a year ago, she put her pickleball paddle to bed and took up the sport of bowling. And just as she did when she first began playing pickleball with a laser-like focus and drive to be the best, she has been practicing and working on improving her bowling game on an almost daily basis at both the Virgin River Bowling Center and at home.
And all the hard work is reaping dividends. In this, her first full season of league bowling, she averaged 162 in her first 30 games, and in her last 30 has averaged 175. And her breakout scoring includes a career-first 600 series, a 608, on games of 205, 202 and 201 and featured 14 strikes and spares on 15 of 16 non-split spare attempts. So it’s a given that with her athletic talent and drive to excel, a guaranteed winning bet is the best is yet to come, and so are some jaw-dropping scores.
So unless Astley gets swallowed up by an ocean-sized sinkhole, she will be a major force on the lanes in the years ahead. She credits the rapid improvement in her game to the coaching of her husband, Dave Astley.
Yes, while her still-developing game may hit some occasional speed bumps in the months ahead, in two or three years when she begins a new season, it will be like a 30-week dose of, “WOW”!
Before bowling became her passion, it was pickleball. And in her very first tournament along with her doubles partner, Kristi Holley, Astley won gold in the Brigham City, Utah Fall Classic in 2017, with many more that followed, including winning gold in the Mesquite Senior Games and the Huntsman World Senior games.
The basketball and football teams at Boise State University are her favorite teams, Danielle McEwen is her favorite bowler, and her favorite exercise is walking five miles a day. And as the daughter of a basketball coach, Astley credits her dad for helping her develop a great mindset when playing sports.