Top 6 Best Women's Bowlers of All Time

Best Womens Bowlers of All Time

Professional women’s bowling consists of tournaments where the player must roll a ball (usually between 8-12 pounds) down a narrow platform to knock over as many of the ten pins as possible. A perfect game is 300 points. The Professional Women’s Bowling Association, now the United States Bowling Congress, oversees women’s pro bowling and features some of the best bowlers of all time.


Who are the best women’s bowlers of all time?

  1. Lisa Wagner
  2. Aleta Sill
  3. Patty Costello
  4. Robin Romeo
  5. Leanne Hulsenberg
  6. Donna Adamek

1. Lisa Wagner

  • Lisa Wagner holds the record for most professional titles (32)
  • Named Bowler of the Decade in the 1980s
  • Wagner is the first woman to win over $100,000 in a season

Lisa Wagner was born in 1961 and is a pro bowler from Bradenton, Florida. She was named Bowler of the Year four times by the Bowling Writers Association and has earned 32 titles from the PWBA. She was also Bowler of the Decade in the 1980s. In 1996, she was inducted into the Women’s Professional Bowling Hall of Fame after winning the Women’s International Bowling Congress Queens Tournament, where she bowled an impressive 25 strikes. In 2000, she became the winningest women’s bowler of all time with 32 titles. Lisa Wagner broke another record when she became the first woman to win over $100,000 in a season. 

2. Aleta Sill

  • Aleta Still was the first woman to win over $1,000,000 in bowling
  • She is the only woman bowler to win the Triple Crown twice
  • Wagner is a member of eight bowling halls of fame

Aleta Still is a Detroit native and one of the most impressive bowlers of all time. She has earned 31 Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Championships and is the first woman to win $1,000,000 in bowling. She is one of two bowlers, men and women, to ever win the Triple Crown more than once. She has been inducted into eight bowling hall of fames, including the United States Bowling Congress and PWBA. She has been a bowling coach for nearly 30 years, and was voted one of the top 100 bowling coaches for 11 years straight by Bowler’s Journal.

3. Patty Costello

  • Patty Costello has earned 25 professional titles
  • She set the record for most titles won in a year (7)
  • Costello is a member of the USBC Hall of Fame

Patty Costello was born in Washington D.C. and built her pro bowling career in the 1970s and 80s. Though she did not start bowling until she was 16, she trained hard and won the Columbia 300 Open in the 1970s. Since then, she has earned 25 professional titles, including four PWBA Players Championships and three wins in the U.S. Open. Costello set the record for most titles won in a year, with seven. The Bowling Writer’s Association of America named her the Female Bowler of the Year in 1972 and 1976. In 1989, she was honored at the USBC Hall of Fame. 

4. Robin Romeo

  • Robin Romeo has 17 professional titles
  • She was the Women’s Bowler of the Year in 1980
  • Romeo recently became the first woman to make finals in the U.S. Bowling Congress Men’s Senior Masters Tournament

Robin Romeo won 17 professional titles in her 20-year Professional Women’s Bowler’s Association career. She was also the first woman to win first place at the West Coast Men’s Senior Tour. She set multiple records by qualifying for 77 consecutive tournaments and winning money at 80. In 1980, she was voted Women’s Bowler of the Year by the Bowling Writer’s Association of America. In 2020, she became the first woman to make finals at the United States Bowling Congress Men’s Senior Masters Tournament. She is now a proud member of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame.

5. Leanne Hulsenberg

  • Leanne Hulsenberg has won 26 PWBA titles
  • She won the PWBA Player of the Year award three times
  • Hulsenberg is one of four women ever to win over $1 million in her career

Leanne Barrette-Hulsenberg was born in 1967 in California and became a pro bowler at age 19. She is famous for her career in the Professional Women’s Bowling Association and for winning 26 PWBA titles. She is a three-time winner of the PWBA Player of the Year award. Hulsenberg was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008 and the PWBA Hall of Fame in 2019. She also won two Robby Awards from the PWBA for sportsmanship and professionalism. Hulsenberg is one of only four women to ever win more than $1 million on a PWBA Tour. 

6. Donna Adamek

  • Donna Ademack went pro at age 19
  • She has won 19 professional titles
  • Ademack was named Women Bowler of the Year for four straight years from 1978-1981

Donna “Mighty Mite” Adamek was born in 1957 in Duarte, California. By age 10, she was bowling over 200-point games. At age 19, she went pro and has since won 19 titles in her 16-year professional bowling career. Adamek was named Woman Bowler of the Year four times and won five major titles, including the Women’s Open in 1978 and 1981. She also won the WIBC Queens in 1979 and 1980. Adamek competed in doubles with partner Nikki Gianulis and won the WIBC title in 1980. In 1981-1982, she became one of four women ever to bowl three perfect 300 point games.

FAQ

Who is the greatest women’s bowler of all time?

Lisa Wagner is the greatest women’s bowler of all time because she holds the record for most career victories of any PWBA Tour, with 32 titles won. After winning the prestigious Women's Open in 1988 and WIBC Queens in 1996, she became the first woman ever to earn over $100,000 in bowling victories. Wagner was then crowned 1980s Bowler of the Decade by two major bowling publications.

Who has won the most PWBA Bowling Tours?

With 32 PWBA titles, Lisa Wagner is the indisputable champ for the most PWBA Bowling Tours wins. She won six of these titles during her legendary 1988 season. That same year, she went on to win the U.S Women’s Open and three out of four events of the summer swing. The PWBA considers Lisa Wagner’s 1988 career as the second-best women’s bowling season of all time. Patty Costello comes in at a close second, with 25 PWBA professional titles.

What female bowler has bowled the most perfect games professionally?

Liz Johnson holds the record for the most perfect games bowled professionally by a female bowler. She is the first bowler in PWBA history to bowl more than one 300-point game in a championship round. There have been only five perfect games in PWBA history. Johnson’s most recent perfect score was in May 2021 at the PWBA Lincoln Open. She is now tied for fourth place in the most all-time titles, with 25, alongside Patty Costello and Tish Johnson.