Gregg Sant is a Vietnam vet, a longtime forester for the forest service and a defensive driving instructor. “I’ve been around the block a few times,” said Sant during an interview. “I’ve seen a lot, put a lot of miles on.”
According to Sant, lots of people start looking for hobbies in their old age, and he is no exception. In his case, that hobby was bowling - or, at least, that’s how it started. “Bowling was just a hobby for me at first. Then, as you get more into it - and start buying more bowling balls - I find that it’s become somewhat of an obsession!”
And indeed, Sant has, with plenty of good nature, put the hours and the miles in for the sake of his hobby-turned-obsession. What began around twenty years ago, when his wife Shari would drop him off at the lanes while she went shopping, turned into a commitment to multiple leagues that required hundreds of miles of traveling a week! Sant says it was at Shari’s suggestion that he committed to a league in the first place, and since then, Gregg’s been traveling all over the country to various bowling events with various teams and partners.
“I’ve got my league in St. George, that’s the regular one. I’ve been bowling this league once a week, for thirty weeks out of a year, for nineteen years.” Said Sant. “That’s a league of forty-eight bowlers; twelve lanes, four bowlers a lane.” Depending on the year Sant will take on a second league in St. George, resulting in two trips a week during league play - from his home in Fredonia, that’s around 150 miles round trip, twice a week, every week!
Sant’s bowling experience doesn’t stop there, either - he has participated in the U.S. Open “around eight or nine times,” in venues like Vegas, Reno and El Paso. He has bowled in the Senior League out of Mesquite, and with qualifying performances there, been invited to bowl in his age bracket on the national level in places like Sparks, Nevada and Syracuse, New York.
According to Sant, one of the biggest appeals of the bowling scene is the social element: “You meet a lot of nice people bowling. I attend a military tournament in South Point, and it reminds me that you really can make good friends at a tournament, and you won’t see ‘em till you catch up at the next tournament.”
Sant adds that there is a spiritual side to bowling for him as well. “One thing that was very rewarding. I belong to the Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], and I got a phone call from the Temple President in St. George - this was around 2002 - and the Temple President gave us a little pep talk about being temple workers, and he got his talk done, and he turned to us and says ‘we’d like you to accept a calling to be temple ordinance workers.’ I said, ‘we figured that’s what you’d be telling us, and we’re prepared to say yes - but if it’s at all possible we’d like to take the work on Mondays since I’m here bowling each Monday anyway!’” As he concluded his story, Sant finished with “Life is a lot like bowling. You throw the ball each time, and sometimes it hits, and sometimes you get three pins. In the end, God returns the ball to you and you just gotta’ throw it again.”
Sant offered his gratitude to his teammates and bowling partners over the years, as well as to his sponsors at 7-11 out of Kanab. As the interview finished, Sant gave a smile and said, “Everyone’s got their hobbies, their quirks, and this is mine. Yeah, I’ve replaced my right rotator cuff and my right hip, just wore them out. But I suppose any sport that anyone plays that gets you up and moving is going to wear something out sometime - so long as it was worth it in the end.”