Tom Hutchinson (Hutch)
What did you study at university? Nuclear Engineering
What do you do as a day job? Test Engineer
High Game: Not sure, I think 248?
High Series: No idea, I never keep track of it.
How long have you been bowling? Since about September 2014.
How did you start bowling?
My mate had been bugging me to go to a UoB Bowling taster session at the beginning of my fourth year at university. I caved in and went along, and haven’t stopped bowling since.
Is there anyone who has been influential on you as a bowler?
The committee of UoB Bowling the year I joined really helped me improve as a bowler in my first few months at the sport. They put on extra sessions in their own time for people to practice more, and gave pointers on improving my technique.
You topped the Handicap Ex-Student rankings last season in your first year on tour as an ex-student! Were you expecting to do so well?
Not at all! I had imagined I wouldn’t stand a chance bowling against people much more experienced than me, but fortunately the handicap system means I only have to bowl to the best of my own ability.
How have you found the transition from playing as a student to an ex-student?
To be honest it’s not really any different – bowling is bowling. Also, because students and ex-students share a lot of events on tour, it didn’t feel like I was suddenly surrounded by strangers.
You’ve also had a good 16/17 season so far, making the handicap round robin finals at Worcester and the Ex-Student Individual Handicap finals at the Championships. Tell us a bit more about your performances this season?
I’ve been surprised, and quite pleased with my own performance. I moved last summer and left the weekly league I was in, so I stopped bowling regularly. Because of this, I thought I’d do much worse this season, and although my average has dropped a bit, I’m not doing as badly as I thought I might be.
What has been your most memorable moment on the lanes to date?
Winning the 2015 Handicap Masters after less than a year of bowling. It helped me believe that I’m not too bad at this whole bowling thing – though I still have a lot of improving to do!
What are your targets/ambitions for this season?
I would like to qualify for Masters for a third year in a row. I also need to get better at picking up spares. I have been let down by a lot of silly misses recently, which has kept my score down.
What kit is in your bag at the moment?
Storm Zero Gravity and Spare Ball.
What one piece of advice would you give to our new tour members?
Don’t take it too seriously. Compete to win, but make sure you enjoy yourself!