Buddy Ferrie

Buddy Ferrie

Lawn bowler


Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009

The 49-year-old real estate executive recently participated in the World Champion of Champions tournament

Buddy Ferrie

Buddy Ferrie

Where are you from and what brought you out to Japan?
I’m from Philadelphia. The 12 percent unemployment rate in the US, just as I graduated college with a degree in economics, brought me to Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, to be an English teacher at the suggestion of several Japanese friends at Bucknell [University]. That was 1982.

How did you get involved with lawn bowling?
You still seem like a kid compared to most people in the sport. I injured my knee pretty badly in rugby at the YCAC [Yokohama Country & Athletic Club] in November 1988. ACL reconstructive surgery was required. During my rehabilitation, I learned how to play all the “alternative” sports, such as billiards, darts and of course, lawn bowls. As for age, I’m probably somewhere in the middle. In the past year, my opposition has ranged in age from 16 years old to 80.

What titles have you won in the sport so far?
Playing on and off at the YCAC over the years, I won the Men’s Singles in 1994 and 1998, and the Men’s Doubles in 2006. Last summer was the first time I participated in the Japan National Championship Tournament, which I won.

Tell us about that big international event last month.
The World Champion of Champions took place in Ayr, Scotland, on July 22-28. I represented Japan in the Men’s Singles. It was a very humbling experience—I finished at the bottom of the group that included the two finalists, Australia and Scotland. To give you an idea of how seriously the sport is taken in other countries, there are more bowling greens within a tenminute drive of the Worlds venue than there are in all of Japan. Japan has nowhere to go but up! I’ll be defending my Japan title later this summer in Hokkaido.

Do you play any other sports, or are you more or less a one-ball man?
I’ve tried everything the YCAC has to offer, which is quite a lot. But I’d have to say that baseball and basketball have been my favorites from childhood, and rugby and soccer have grown on me since arriving in Yokohama. Definitely multi-balled.

What’s your favorite way of celebrating a good day on the grass?
Sunny Saturdays, two games of baseball done, beer in hand, thinking of rolling a few with friends into the evening.