The Transylvania Times -

Can You Learn Bridge In A Day? - Brevard, NC


June 22, 2017

The nation's top bridge teacher, Patty Tucker, says "yes" you can start playing bridge in just five hours. Named 2016 Player of the Year, Tucker delivered her "Learn Bridge in A Day" class on June 19 and by early afternoon she had 29 new players playing bridge.

Monday's class attracted 32 adult students plus 18 experienced bridge players who came to support Tucker and become certified to teach the class. Taken by more than 10,000 people nation-wide, this class was sponsored by the WNC Unit of the ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) and held at the Broadmoor Clubhouse in Fletcher.

Pam Harpootlian, co-founder of the Brevard Bridge, served as one of Tucker's table helpers and became certified to teach the class. Harpootlian moved to Brevard in December 2014 and sought out other bridge players.

"Bridge is a great way to make social connections," she said.

She and Linda Burrell resurrected the Brevard Bridge Club, which now holds bridge games three times a week at the French Broad Recreation Center. They also hold bridge classes and have their own website.

Tucker is president of the American Bridge Teacher's Association, last year's Player of the Year and a Grand Life Master, the highest rank of bridge players.

"I'm liking bridge a lot," said Joyce Collins, Rosman resident, who came to try out the game.

Bridge is increasingly popular with people who want a social pastime that's stimulating and challenging. Many are attracted by research findings at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard and other medical schools revealing that bridge helps reduce mental decline and strengthen memory.

Warren Buffett, a bridge lover of financial fame, says he wouldn't mind going to jail if he had three cell mates who played bridge. Martina Navra-tilova, tennis star, claims bridge improves her reasoning, quick thinking and concentration.

Tucker agrees with these bridge benefits but claims, "The real benefit of bridge is that it broadens people's horizons. They meet people they would never have met in the normal course of their lives. They get a second family."

When asked why she devotes so much time to teaching bridge, Tucker said, "Why would I not share such a wonderful experience?"


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