- Home Town: Clermont, FL
- Birth Date: 3/25/1964
- Throws: Right
- Ball Weight: 16 lbs.
- 300 Games: 61
- Career National Titles: 37
- Career Earnings: $3,085,127
- Favorite Layout: PAP: 5-3/4" straight across - I like strong layouts when I drill something for the first time and then adjust the layout of the next few balls accordingly. I tend to gravitate to weaker balls with strong layouts so I can get maximum retention of energy and more hook and power down lane.
I have been married to Karen since 1993 and we have one son named Branden. We have lived just outside of Orlando, Florida since 1996 and we really like it. A few months a year, it gets real hot here, but I have traveled with the PBA Tour for many years and we typically go to all of the cold areas when they are at their coldest! I can take the three months of extreme heat because it gives me a chance to thaw out!
Bowling for a living is so different than most people think. I realize that it's just a game, but when you have to play at a certain level to eat, then it becomes a job. It requires a tremendous commitment to excellence as well as a willingness to expose yourself to failure on a constant basis. Add in a myriad of travel delays and time away from the family – just being happy becomes a chore. The players that mentally manage the grind of the Tour and are able to stay in love with the sport are the ones that have the best chance of sustaining a good career. This is so important to me at this stage of my career because it’s easy to get burned out given that I have been bowling for so long. I really appreciate the fans and I have learned that they knock a lot of pins down for us. You get that much energy in a place and everyone pulling for a shot and it’s amazing what happens. It’s a great part of our sport and because the fans are so close to us, it makes it that much better; that much more energetic. Thanks to all of you fans that make our job so rewarding.
I have been on the PBA Tour for 32 years, and I am as committed now as when I started out in 1982. It’s tough to win professional tournaments and eventually there will be a last win. I am happy to say that I don't think that win has come yet and I hope to continue to enjoy success bowling against the greatest in the world.
I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan from way back as most Texans are. I enjoy golfing, fishing, boating, and pretty much everything outdoors. I think its because the tour always followed the snow back in the day.
My wife and I are landlords for four terrific families and they look for me on ESPN every weekend. It's cool to share a story or two with folks that had no idea that you could bowl for a living.
See you on the road
Duke owns 37 career PBA National Tour titles, which puts third all-time. His latest victory came in Milwaukee - The King of the Swing (non title). He owns seven career majors ranking him sixth on the all-time list. Duke is one of only two bowlers to complete the "Grand Slam" (winning the USBC Masters, Tournament of Champions, U.S. Open and PBA World Championship). He is one of six players to complete the Triple Crown (winning the TOC, U.S. Open, PBA World Championship). Duke is the only player to win three consecutive majors. He was been named PBA Player of the Year in 1994 and 2000. He holds the record as youngest bowler to win a PBA Tour title, winning his first title in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1983 at 18 years and 345 days. Duke is a four time George Young High Average Award winner. He set the PBA single-season average record with 228.47 in 2006-07. He has appeared in multiple televised finals every season since 1990. Duke had a career-best nine-game TV winning streak which started on March 19, 2006, and ended on March 18, 2007; he claimed four titles during this time. He rolled a nationally televised 300 game in the semifinal match of the Earl Anthony Classic in Tacoma, WA, on January 5, 2003. He is a 4-time ESPY winner. Duke was inducted into the USBC Hall of fame in 2002, the PBA Hall of Fame in 2009 and is 7th among the 50 Greatest Players in PBA History.
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I work out almost every day while in Florida. I enjoy the alone time and it keeps me competing with the kids. I try to take as much time off from bowling as possible during the year to keep me mentally fresh, but about a week before an event I really go at it hard on the lanes.
1. You have bowled all over the world. What is the best country you have ever bowled in excluding the US? I have thoroughly enjoyed learning all the various aspects of the countries I have been fortunate enough to bowl in over the years. Because of my willingness to learn about these countries, I now have a greater perspective of each one. And as I continue to learn more and more about each of these countries, I find myself liking them all more and more with each visit.
2. Do you have any interesting superstitions or routines you go through before, during, or after bowling? What is the most interesting superstition or routine you have seen from another bowler on tour? Ryan Shafer has the coolest pre-shot routine ever and I find the thing he has about a certain digit in the bowling balls serial number interesting as well. In fact, I find a lot of stuff he does interesting.
Personally, I have trained myself to disregard all perceived superstitions, as to eliminate blame and credit. I'll take both.
3. What is the best advice you have for a teenage bowler looking to make a career out of bowling? Finish school and select a college that has an accomplished bowling program. Take your time; you still have lots of it.
4. When do you know when you need to change bowling balls? We seem to always "know" after the fact. Before then, it is simply our best guess. Go with your gut and believe in your choice.
5. If you had one piece of advice for bowlers trying to elevate their game to a higher level, what would it be? Knowledge is the key. You can have all of the talent in the world, but if you don't know what you are doing, then it doesn't matter.
6. How do you block out distractions around you during tournament play? I practice for distractions in a few different ways. First off, I like to practice next to younger children as they like to bounce around all over and make plenty of noise. This helps me to focus on throwing shots with multiple sounds, distractions, and potential safety issues happening around me. Secondly, distractions that people are not aware of are personal distractions. Whether it's health related or personal thoughts, such as business or family, we have to learn to perform while life happens. Everything is unimportant when you step up on the approach and focus on throwing your next shot. And last but not least, my advice, in order to get comfortable enough to perform when you need to, you have to be able to recreate scenarios over and over in your mind so when the time comes, you can execute through them.
7. What is one valuable life lesson that you learned while on the PBA Tour that you believe would benefit the most people? You get out of something exactly what you put in it.
8. Are there any particular songs or bands that you listen to before you bowl to help you get pumped up? I have always enjoyed a "tune up" before a squad or a match.
9. If you got to choose a superhero ability, what would it be? Telepathy - call it laziness.
10. What or who got you started in the sport of bowling? My parents bought a bowling center in Mt. Pleasant, Texas in 1972 and named it Duke Lanes. So obviously they were the ones that gave me the opportunity and exposure to bowling at a young age. The sport gobbled me up and I have been hooked in bowling ever since.
4/15/2014: Duke Nipped at The Wire in PBA50 Opener
3/26/2014: Norm Enters The PBA50 Ring...
10/10/2013: Above180.com Norm Duke Interview
7/10/2013: Duke Prevails in "The King of The Swing!"