Guppy Troup

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John Douglas "Guppy" Troup (born 18 January 1950) is a ten-pin bowler who has competed professionally since the mid-1970s. During his career on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Tour, he earned eight titles, along with another 41 in regional competitions.


Troup was born on 18 January 1950 in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the age of 3, his family moved to the United States when his father began working at the University of South Carolina.[1] Troup began bowling in his youth and chose his nickname at the age of 11 after becoming a member of The Guppies, a South Carolina team of youth bowlers that he captained.[2][3] He later said, "We won a state title and we set a state record for juniors back then and it just stuck. I don't know why. I just started telling everybody to start calling me Guppy."[2] In 1973, Troup turned professional,[3] and joined the PBA Tour for the 1976 season. In his first two years on the tour, Troup had little success, and was unable to secure financial backing from a sponsor, forcing him to use personal savings to continue competing in 1978.[2] That was his first full season on tour, and he won his first PBA tournament that year in Battle Creek, Michigan. The victory in the Kessler Open gave Troup an $8,000 first-place prize, doubling his season earnings to that point.[4]

In 1979, Troup set a PBA Tour record with six perfect 300 games.[2][5] He was unhappy with his performance the following season and considered taking a break from the circuit, but continued playing and won a tournament in Waukegan, Illinois and finished second in the Greater Buffalo Open in consecutive weeks.[6][7] Early in 1981, Troup broke an ankle.[8] Although the injury caused a significant reduction in his playing schedule, he managed to earn more than $23,000 that year.[9] In 1982, Troup won the first event of the year in Anaheim, California.[8][10] The win was the first of three for Troup that year. The second came in July at the Molson Bowling Challenge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Troup's first-place prize was $13,000, but he received only $11,050 because of a 15 percent tax on PBA Tour bowlers earning $5,000 or more in Canada; he said after the event that he was "ticked off".[11] His third win in 1982 was in October's Northern Ohio Open, and his earnings for the season exceeded $80,000.[12]

Early in 1983, Troup earned a win at February's Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas, the sixth PBA Tour tournament he had won in his career.[13] He then entered a down period, not qualifying for a televised final for more than a year. That streak came to an end at the 1984 US Open.[14] Troup defeated his first three opponents in the stepladder finals to reach the championship match against Mark Roth, but lost by seven pins as he was unable to roll a tenth-frame strike which would have secured a title. He did win $20,000 for the second-place finish.[15] Later in 1984, Troup had a four-tournament stretch that included three televised finals and a win in Columbus, Ohio.[16] He again earned more than $80,000 that season.[17] Troup's eighth PBA Tour victory came in 1985 at the Austin Open.[18] By 1990, he had curtailed his playing schedule following the birth of his son.[17] Troup joined the PBA Senior Tour in 2000 and was voted the circuit's Rookie of the Year.[19] He is in semi-retirement as of 2014, and holds multiple jobs at a school when not on the PBA Senior Tour.[1] As of 2008, Troup had 41 victories in PBA regional tournaments, in addition to his eight national tour wins.[3] In addition, he finished as a runner-up two times in national events and had 12 other top-five results.[1]


Troup has been known for wearing flashy outfits while bowling; the Pittsburgh Press' Bob Kravitz called him the PBA Tour's "gaudiest dresser".[16] He said of his style of dress that "People tuned in to see what kind of pants I'd be wearing. They didn't care how I bowled."[17] Troup has supplemented his attire with accessories that have included gold jewellery and sunglasses.[16] Other items he has worn have had fish images on them, including pants, shoes, and earrings.[3][17] Troup also has a strike celebration, a forward hip movement that he named the "Gup Thrust."[3] In 1988, sportswriter Frank Deford called Troup "about the only pro bowler these days with a flamboyant public persona."[20]

Personal life[edit]

Troup resides in Taylorsville, North Carolina as of 2014.[21] He is married,[3] and has a son, Kyle, who became a PBA member and started bowling on the PBA Tour.[22] Kyle won his first title in May 2015 at the PBA Wolf Open in Shawnee, Oklahoma. This win made Guppy and Kyle Troup the fourth father-and-son combination to each win titles on the standard PBA Tour. (Dick Weber/Pete Weber, Don Johnson/Jimmy Johnson and Don McCune/Eugene McCune are the others.)[23]


  1. ^ a b c Grasso, John; Hartman, Eric R. (2014). Historical Dictionary of Bowling. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 298–299. ISBN 9780810880221.
  2. ^ a b c d Atheney, Bob (30 August 1980). "Guppy Troup Hopes To Make A Big Splash". Evening Independent. p. 7-C. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f McFarling, Aaron (1 June 2008). "Guppy Troup: Still the big-fish bowler". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Troup captures 1st championship". The Bryan Times. United Press International. 7 November 1978. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Troup rolls record 5th perfect game". The Ledger. Associated Press. 5 July 1979. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  6. ^ "He Rose From The Gutter". The Evening Independent. Associated Press. 18 August 1980. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Berardi Champ". The Vindicator. Associated Press. 20 August 1980. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  8. ^ a b Wolf, Fran (6 March 1982). "Tenpin Topics". The Gettysburg Times. p. 11. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Guppy's No Fish". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Troup Is Bowling Titlist". The Vindicator. Associated Press. 10 January 1982. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  11. ^ Fathers, Ken (28 July 1982). "Light cheques steam winners". Windsor Star. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Troup looks beyond latest win". The Daily Sentinel. Associated Press. 20 October 1982. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  13. ^ "Troup Rallies To Win Pro Bowling Tourney". The Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 6 February 1983. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  14. ^ Woelfel, Gery (22 March 1984). "Troup alive and well on tour". Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  15. ^ "Open Win Relieves Roth". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  16. ^ a b c Kravitz, Bob (25 November 1984). "This Bud's for Troup, bowling's super flake". Pittsburgh Press. p. D18. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d Sherrington, Kevin (12 March 1995). "Bowlers Worry About Pba Tour's Decline – Life on Tour Hard Enough Without Worrying Whether It's Worth It . ." The Dallas Morning News. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  18. ^ "Troup wins crown". The Bryan Times. United Press International. 24 July 1985. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  19. ^ Krupka, Jim (30 December 2000). "Glass and Troup capture top Senior Honors". The Morning Call. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  20. ^ Deford, Frank (25 January 1988). "Frank Deford Goes Bowling". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  21. ^ Marusak, Joe (24 April 2014). "Pro bowlers to compete in Mooresville". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Kyle Troup". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  23. ^ Schneider, Jerry (26 May 2015). "PBA Kyle Troup Wins PBA Wolf Open For First PBA Tour Title, Joins Father Guppy as PBA Tour Champions". Professional Bowlers Association. Retrieved 27 May 2015.