History of the Buzzard Club

The Buzzard Club was founded in October 1961 at North Shepherd Lanes in Houston, Texas by Tom Walters. Tom was bowling in a pot game when he left his third split in a row. Tom turned to the other bowlers and said, "I know that three strikes in a row is called a turkey, but what would you call three splits in a row?" Someone spoke up and said, "It looks like the person that left them, ... A BUZZARD!" That game and that comment put Tom's mind to work and he went on to form the first of many Buzzard Clubs of America. At one time we had members as far away as Seoul, Korea.

Tom organized the club as we have it today in May, 1963. He had the name, the Buzzard Club of America, and the logo, The Buzzard Head, a registered trademark, which is held in the possession of Arlen Deason, the former President of the Houston Chapter. Tom did a great deal of traveling and talking from local to out of state promoting the idea of the club. That idea must have been a good one because we are still growing. The idea that Tom promoted is the gathering of good people with a common interest in the Fun and Fellowship of Bowling.

The first four clubs formed only in their home towns and corresponded by mail for a few years. Then one by one, each chapter started inviting the other chapters to come and join them for some family bowling. There was some talk about making it a yearly get together.

On Sunday, September 29, 1974, the Presidents of the four chapters met and formed the rules and bylaws for the Buzzard Club of America State Tournament. The four clubs were San Antonio, Tyler, Dallas, and Houston. They put forth the rules we go by today and to see who would be the first to host the tournament, they put names in a hat and drew out each name. The first was San Antonio, second was Tyler, third was Dallas and finally Houston. That set up our rotation for the tournaments and it was also decided at a later date to keep the rotation on a north south basis when new chapters came into our flock.

Since that first tournament in 1975, we will hold our 43rd annual tournament in 2017, with the Fort Smith chapter as the host. Although there have been some ups and downs along the way, we have experienced a lot of growth. We have added two chapters from Arkansas, "Spa City" or Hot Springs and Fort Smith, a second chapter in Dallas, also known as Metro, a chapter in Irving, and a chapter in Conroe, also known as Montgomery County. During all of our growth we have become stronger and we have a club that everyone enjoys and looks forward to the next tournament. We all try hard to outdo the others and improve the club. We all have a great sense of pride and fellowship, which is what it is all about.

So as Tom Walters used to say, ..."until we split again"