Pete Weber has captivated fans of the GEICO-sponsored Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) for over 30 years.
“When I started the PBA Tour, my dad said, ‘Just be yourself,’” Weber, 52, recalls. “And I’ve been myself ever since.”
He currently holds 37 PBA Tour titles—ranking him fourth all-time—and he’s tied with Earl Anthony for the most Major titles (10). His father, Dick Weber, and fellow bowling legend Don Carter held the previous record for most U.S. Open titles (then called All-Star titles) with four apiece, but Weber shattered that record with his fifth in 2013. “That’s got to be one of the greatest accomplishments ever,” he admits.
Weber got his start in bowling at a tender age. His father was a founding member of the PBA and one of the most popular bowlers of his generation. He also owned a bowling center, which is where he taught his son the ins and outs of the game.
“He taught me how to bowl when I was four, showed me how to walk to the foul line and throw the ball,” Weber says. “From the age of 11 to about 16, I spent just about every day of the week in the bowling center for three to four hours a day.”
So began the young bowler’s illustrious career. And Weber—nicknamed PDW—is just as famous for his bowling prowess as he is his fiery personality. He’s known for his dramatic celebration of strikes, not to mention trash-talking his opponents—and sometimes spectators. He even incorporates a few wrestling moves into his in-game celebrations.
Asked if he has any advice for fledgling bowlers, Weber stresses the importance of picking up spares. “I’ve had my fair share of splits and I’ve had my fair share of makin’ ’em too,” Weber says, recalling one such instance that took place in Burlington, North Carolina. “I made a five-count split in the tenth frame to win the tournament.”
With 35 years of professional bowling under his belt, Weber shows no signs of slowing down. His biggest goals remain winning the United States Bowling Conference Masters Tournament (he placed third in February) and the PBA Player of the Year award (an honor his father received in 1965).
“I still love bowling, I still love the competition and I still love traveling,” he says. “When I quit the regular tour, it will be because I feel I can’t win.”
You can catch Weber in action this May at the Oklahoma Open, part of the PBA’s Oklahoma Grand Casino, Hotel & Resort Summer Swing, running from May 9 to 17.
GEICO sponsors a wide variety of sports starts. Check out our behind-the-scenes interview with pro bass angler Mike McClelland.