I wanted to take some time out to ask you how you’re doing. Have all the posts you’ve read make sense to you so far? If you are confused at all, welcome to the rest of the Bowling Community. It’s NOT as easy as it looks. You can’t just stand anywhere on the approach and toss the ball down the lane (like you may see lots of people doing during open play at the bowling enters) if you want to get a high score.
It takes lots of practice, devotion, and a real desire to get better. It’s like anything else, the more you really want it, the more you will do anything to achieve it. Do your best to fit in the necessary practice time, even if it means going in the evening after you’re a bit tired after a long day (Most leagues are in the mornings and evenings, but sometimes there may be a few open lanes).Or go on the week end and bring the family if you have to. You can practice staying focused on some of my basic principals with some distractions, which is how it is in the leagues anyway.If you have joined a summer league (which is only about 12 weeks), you can use that as practice for the upcoming winter league which usually starts in Sept. Most of the Winter leagues are about 34-36 weeks long.
Bowling is a game where you can't just figure out things in your head. You need to physically get out there on the lanes to try different things. Take notes on what you discover and review them often to refresh your memory. It’s not easy to remember everything, especially if you're a beginner.
Most importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!! If you can’t figure something out and it drives you crazy, move on to a different thing and go back to it at a later time. Come out swinging every time and keep going over the Basics I have mentioned in previous posts. Always start in the center of the approach (20th Board) and observe how your ball is working and where it's breaking (starting to hook). Then adjust by moving LEFT, RIGHT, FORWARD, or BACK. Don’t move more than a few boards at a time for each adjustment. Remember if you miss to the right, adjust by moving to the right. If you miss to the left, adjust by moving to the left. If you know you did things right, you could be dropping your shoulder. Move your bowling shoulder up a little at the stance and hold it that way through the release. It will eventually correct itself.
Spot check where you stand on the approach and look down at where you end up after you release the ball to insure walking up straight on the approach. A little wandering toward the target is normal but you don't want to end up more than 2 or 3 boards different. Wandering excessively can cause inconsistency.
Have you incorporated all or at least some of the exercises I suggested to stay strong and help with stamina so you can bowl well for all three games and not feel tired? Have you gotten that new ball you’ve been wanting? If you haven't gotten your own equipment, please try to do that as soon as possible. Consistency is the name of the game!!
I'll be doing some traveling the month of July and a bit in August, so join me back here in mid August when I'll be discussing "Washouts".
Good Luck and High Scoring!
There are about FOUR GENERAL OIL PATTERNS that will appear on the lanes and most of them are approximately 40 feet long.
2. CHRISTMAS TREE PATTERN- The Oil Machine applies the oil in the shape of a Christmas tree or triangular shape. It allows the lesser hooking bowler to play along the edge of the lane where there is less oil, letting the ball hook back nicely into the desired pocket area.The heaviest oil will be on boards 15-25. As the oil breaks down, try to make angle adjustments, meaning to adjust more boards at the stance and less at the target area. An example would be if you need to move to the left 3 boards, then only move your target 1 board left and the arrows. The pattern looks like this:
3. BLOCK OIL PATTERN-This one is also a simple pattern and the one most often used in bowling centers. The most concentration of oil is in the center part of the lane and less on the outer portion. This is also known as a “WALL”, where the wall of friction is on those outside boards. For a Hook bowler, this is usually a very high scoring pattern The ball needs to be placed where the oil is, angled to the edge where the friction increases (area with less oil), and then hook back into the pocket. This pattern can also be referred to as the “RED” pattern by the USBC.
4. REVERSE BLOCK OIL PATTERN- This is the opposite of the Block pattern. Here, most of the oil is concentrated on the outer boards with very little in the center. This is a difficult pattern for those of us that throw a hook since there is very little oil. The ball will hook a lot more and possible crossing over into the 1-2 pocket for a righty or the 1-3 pocket for the lefty. You would have to adjust by moving quite a bit left at the stance. If you throw a straight ball, you are in luck!
Remember to observe where the breakpoint is (where there is less oil), make small adjustments from there. The more you can practice these oil patterns, the quicker you will master them and in turn, the better your scores are going to be. There are lots of other oil patterns used mostly by professionals and in some amateur tournaments that I will be discussing later on in my blog.
Join me next week when we'll have a check point to see how you are doing so far! The fact that you have been reading my blog up to this point, shows me you really want to improve!!
Good Luck and High Scoring!
You throw your ball and it comes back on the ball return. You pick it up for your next shot and notice there’s a greasy circle all over it. You think to yourself, “ What is this stuff all over my ball”?
Years ago the lanes were made of wood, the first 15 feet was made of a hardwood like maple, to be able to withstand the impact of the ball coming onto the lane. The remaining 45 feet was made of a softer wood like pine which was less expensive. OIL was put on the lanes to protect this wood. Without the oil, your ball would spark and burn the lane from the friction!
During the 1940’s lanes were COATED with SHELLAC to protect the wood underneath from friction and impact of the ball. However, Shellac became more difficult to make during World War II, so they changed the dressing on the lane to Lacquer but this had a higher flammability, so they just decided to change the material the lanes were made of instead.
This lane OIL or Dressing placed on the lanes consists of about 95% MINERAL OIL and the remaining mixture is consisted of other solvents to help with ball friction and how far the oil gets pushed down the lane over a certain amount of games.
Even though today most lanes are not made of wood, oil is still put down mostly to challenge bowlers abilities by using specific OIL PATTERNS approved by the USBC (United States Bowling Congress). Oil also helps control how much the ball will hook. There are several different patterns that we will be discussing in some later blog posts.
Inside and outside TEMPERATURES can affect the oil and how your ball will react on the lane. I remember getting a really cold winter when I first began to bowl, and my scores were several pins down from what my normal average was. I was blaming it on the worker there who applied the oil to the lanes asking if he had put more down than usual. The guy in the pro shop told me they were putting down the same amount. I did a little bit of research and found out that it was this colder weather and the higher humidity we were getting with all the snow. My ball wasn’t hooking as much and was traveling down the lane farther before it started to hook.
The lane oil had become more congealed and the ball couldn’t begin it’s roll at the proper place as before. It was literally sliding on the oil causing me to get more splits than usual. The ball needed to be in it’s ROLLING PHASE when it hit the pins for the strike to carry.
So if the weather changes where you are, you need to pay a bit more attention to how the ball is going down the lane, and you also need to make more adjustments at the stance and where your is.
Normally your ball will start to hook into the 1-3 pocket (1-2 pocket for lefty’s) on the last 20 feet of the 60 foot lane, but if there’s a lot of oil or it’s congealed from colder temperatures, your ball will NOT be able to hook as much, but will SKID, so you must compensate for this by moving to the right at the stance.
Your ball picks up the oil and carries it down the lane (CARRY DOWN OIL) closer to the pins so after a game or two, your ball will start to hook later so you may need to move a little to the left.
The newer reactive resin bowling balls are made of URETHANE and tend to absorb a lot of this lane oil, I so it’s important to wipe your ball off every few frames to remove the oil. When the ball absorbs too much lane oil over time, it will NOT react the same. Try to clean your ball really well after about 12-15 games. They have ball cleaning products in the pro shop that you can use after your set of games is finished so your ball will be nice and clean before you bowl again. I would also sometimes SOAK mine in very hot tap water in the sink with “Dawn” liquid dish detergent for about 20-30 minutes and it cut through the grease really well. (I removed any hole tape beforehand). I was able to submerge the whole ball in the deep sink I had in my laundry room. If you have a small sink, just put in half at a time. By doing this, the ball will react when you first bought it for a longer period of time and you won’t have to buy a new one for awhile.
TIP: Most of the oil is to the CENTER of the lane. If you want your ball to hook a bit more, try standing to the right and aim between boards 1-5. Try this in your practice sessions to see what works best for you.
Please leave me any comments in the comments area, or any topics you'd like me to discuss here in my Blog. I have several we will be covering in the near future. I look forward to hearing from you.
Join me next week when I’ll be discussing some of the "Simple Oil Patterns" you will be encountering in league bowling.
Good luck and high scoring!!
Here are a few more basics that you need to know in order to keep improving your game. Practice these one at a time during your practice sessions and begin to incorporate them into every game. The more games you bowl, the more these principals will become automatic and you won’t have to think about them.
8. TIMING is #1 in Bowling so try to COUNT YOUR STEPS as you are walking on the approach so you get a nice rhythm and you do the same thing each time. When I don’t count, I find that my timing does get off and I end up going a little too fast, or too slow. Your consistency changes if your speed keeps changing.
9. LOFT TO THE SAME AREA ON THE LANE- You need to really REACH OUT and LOFT the ball about 2 feet out onto the lane after the release. DO NOT drop it right at the foul line. If you throw a large hook, it will probably end up in the channel by the time it would have reached the pins. To practice this, you can place a small towel on the lane a few feet from the foul line and keep practicing to land your ball smoothly onto the towel.
10. LAND YOUR BALL SMOOTHLY onto the lane, not into it hard or you’ll lose striking power by the time the ball does hit the pins.
11. Keep your EMOTIONS IN CHECK! This means if you miss a spare or a needed strike, try not to lose your cool and get angry. I used to do this all the time when I first started bowling and ended up doing poorly because I let my anger get the best of me. I would stay focused on what I did wrong rather than what I needed to correct for the next frame. Remember to take each frame separately. If you had a bad shot, just try to figure out what you did wrong before it’s your next turn so you won’t have a repeat of what you just did, and just move on. Don’t dwell on past frames since you can’t re-do them. Take a few deep breaths to help you stay calm and focused!
12. Getting a GOOD LIFT on the ball is really important. Try to keep your middle fingers a little stiff so they stay in a slightly bent position. If you can, try and touch the back of your right shoulder (Left shoulder for left handed bowlers) each time after you release the ball which will also insure a good LIFT. Good lift also put more revolutions on the ball which equals more action down at the pins.
13. TRUST IS A MUST OR YOUR GAME IS A BUST! What this means is to trust your ball to hook back into the pocket area, as long as you got it over your correct target. You don’t need to force it or do anything fancy with the ball. DON’T try to AIM it , just do the normal 10:00 or 11:00 release and give the ball a chance to work.
14. THINK BEFORE YOU GET UP ON THE APPROACH- Once you know where you are going to stand and where your target should be, then step onto the approach and just “FEEL” the shot.
Some of these basics are easier said than done, but you need to stay focused and in control to be successful in bowling. Only you can control your game, so learning these things early on will help you to improve more quickly.
Join me here next week for a discussion about “Lane Oil”.
Good Luck and High Scoring this week!
Early in my Blog, I discussed what should be happening on each step of a “Five Step Approach”, but these are only the motions. There are lots of other things that are involved besides these body movements. Take your time learning my BASIC PRINCIPALS and only do a few at a time in your practice sessions so you don’t get too overwhelmed.
2. BEND YOUR KNEES slightly at the stance and walk with them slightly bent up the approach to the foul line. When I first started to bowl, I bent them at the stance, straightened them back up to walk, and then bent them again at the foul line. I think the less you do, the less mistakes you will make.
3. Be STEADY at the foul line. What I mean by this is to have a solid foundation on the sliding left foot (Right foot for the left-handed bowlers) so you don’t get thrown off balance. This is also important for accuracy. If you are off balance, you may miss your target.
4. Keep your SPEED CONSISTENT. In the past if I had a crucial shot coming up and the adrenaline was flowing, I would tend to rush the line and go too fast. Be aware of this and take a few deep breaths to help relax any tension in the muscles and go a bit slow.
5. Keep the TRAILING FOOT more in back of you rather than to the side. It will keep your body more square to the lane and target. I’ve seen many a bowler put their leg out excessively to the side and it looks like their body has been contorted to the point where they may be hurting their back over time.
6. If you are missing your spares by only a little bit but know you got the ball out over the correct arrow or board, you may be DROPPING YOUR SHOULDER slightly. To help prevent this, I actually lift my right shoulder slightly at the stance (left shoulder for lefty’s). Doing this keeps it from dropping it at the time of the ball release.
7. HOLD YOUR POSITION and balance at the foul line. Stay low and have your body in an upright position after you release the ball until the ball hits the pins. Standing up immediately looks sloppy and unprofessional. Holding the position makes you more attentive to your target.
Join me next week for Part 2 of my Basic Principals.
Good luck and high scoring!!
In my opinion, this is a very important part of bowling. Lots of people who have bowled for years do NOT know about this subject. For all bowlers, please be courteous of other bowlers whether practicing on your own, or in a bowling league. I do think it’s up to the team captains to let his team mates know about the following:
1. Being ready to bowl when it’s your turn so you don’t hold anyone up. If you need to use the rest room, get a snack, or bring a money envelope over to the league treasurer for examples, please let a team member know so if they want to skip your turn and keep the rhythm going they can do so, and then you can just take your turn when you have returned.
2. Staying on your own approach and lane and don’t wander off your bowling area onto someone else’s lane. I have seen this happen and people almost running into each other, how rude!
3. When having several balls in your bag, please do NOT keep them all on the rack at the same time. Keep them down below the rack or in your bag until you need one of them, and then switch. Some people get upset if there are too many balls up on the rack because when the balls come back they can come up the ball return very quickly and knock one of them off and hit someone’s foot!
4. The bowler to the RIGHT the right of way because sometimes bowlers get up onto the approach at the same time. Over the years, sometimes when I was already set up to bowl, another bowler stepped up onto the approach, and totally threw me off. I wasn’t expecting it and I felt rushed and ended up with a lousy shot. If this happens to you, let them go and just step back. Then set yourself up again so you will have a great shot. It took practice, but I have disciplined myself to do this. After you finish bowling that frame, you can politely go over to the person and explain the bowling etiquette or tell the team captain to do so.
5. NOT yelling or talking loudly if a bowler is set up to bowl. It’s extremely distracting.
6. NOT eating or drinking when in the sitting area or near the lane. Do that over at the tables provided in the back part of the lanes.(It’s also good practice that if you bowl with your right hand, practice eating with your left hand and visa versa. You might not be able to hold onto the ball after eating some greasy French fries!).
7. Leaving wet boots and shoes out of the bowling area. Stepping in any moisture can make bowling shoes stick on the lane and you might go over the foul line or fall onto the lane.
8. NOT using someone else’s equipment without asking them.
9. NOT putting your hand down in the ball return if a ball is stuck. Contact the front desk area who always has a mechanic on hand that will do the job.
10. When someone on the opposing team gets a strike or makes a difficult shot, give them a high five and don’t “Boo” them even though you want your team to win the game. Always show good sportsmanship. People don’t like a sore loser.
11. Lastly, NEVER ask a bowler if they have ever bowled a “300” game (which is 12 consecutive strikes and the highest score one can achieve in the game of bowling) if they are getting a string of strikes. If they never have, it’s considered a “Jinx” and they will most likely miss the next strike. They will also blame you, and rightly so. Bowling a 300 is not an easy thing to do and I would love to see anyone do it, even if my team has to lose the game! The first time I saw a 300 game bowled was in a tournament I went to in Mexico City. It was really exciting!!
There is one other thing I think is worth mentioning. Always do your best and be honest about your game. There are people some refer to as "Sandbaggers". This means that they are very good bowlers but don't always do their best. They only bowl their best only when a game calls for it. They keep their average low on purpose to get a large handicap and when a game is close, then they bowl well so they can win the game. We all want to win games, but please do NOT be a Sandbagger. You are not really being fair to yourself because you will never know what your real average would be by resorting to this unfair tactic.
In general, always do your best and be a good sport. Be courteous to other bowlers in your practice sessions and in your league!
Join me next week when I will be discussing my “Basic Principals”.
Good luck and high scoring!
In bowling, and as in any sport, to perform your best and have good stamina, it’s important to be in good physical condition.Bowling itself is a great exercise because you can burn about 250 calories in an hour using an 8-16 pound ball and you can actually build some muscles in your biceps by holding the heavy ball, and the quad muscles get stronger walking along the approach and holding your form after the ball is released. The exercises I have listed below help keep my fingers, arms, wrists, and legs in good shape, which in turn helps me to achieve higher scores.
1. Finger Pulling: Clasp the fingers of both hands together and try pulling them apart holding them for about 10-15 seconds
2. Tricep Stretches: Touch your back with your right hand. Then grab the back part of the elbow and pull gently for a nice stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. I usually do this at the lanes just before I bowl to help get my muscles loosened up and release any tension.
3. Palm Stretch: Hold your palms together and press down with your right hand and push up at the same time with the left hand. Hold for the count of 15 or 20 seconds.
4. Aerobics: Bowling is an "anaerobic" exercise meaning that you don't really sweat much while doing it so I feel it is important to get some aerobic exercises in during the week. They are a great and fun way to stay in shape and I try to do them at least 3 times a week for at least 20-30 minutes which allows me to get a good cardio workout. I used to get tired by the end of the 2nd game but now I have more stamina and energy for that 3rd game, and my score is much higher. Walking is also a great way to get exercise and easy on the joints if you're not walking really fast.
5.Ball Squeezing: Hold a small rubber ball in your right hand and squeeze it with your fingers 10 times. Then hold the last squeeze for at least 10-15 seconds. Repeat with the other hand. This gets your fingers stronger to help hold onto the ball, especially if you use a finger tip ball or plan to get one in the near future.
6. Bicep Curl: Buy a pair of 5-10 pound dumbells or some resistant bands. Lift with each hand to the count of 10 to start, then work your way up to 20 or more. You can also do some push-ups if you like. Do weight lifting every other day, because it’s important to let your muscles rest a day in between. You can do weight lifting every day if you are working different muscle groups each day.
7. Deep Knee Bends: Put your arms out in front of you and lower your body into a deep squatting position (as if you were going to sit down in a chair). Don’t let your knees go past your toes or you could injure your knees. Repeat this squat 10 times and work your way up to 20-30 repetitions. When you get good, you can hold weights in your hands and do them. This will help the quadrisep muscles to get stronger, to help you have a deep knee bend when releasing the ball onto the lane.
Try getting yourself into a good exercise routing so it becomes part of your day like brushing your hair and washing your face. You can also do some stretching, deep knee bends, and arm circles at the lanes before you begin league practice to loosen up a get some of the muscle tension out from a long day and it also helps to prevent any injuries. I know exercising will help your scores improve like they did for me. Reading my blog shows me that you are a bowler that really wants to improve, so why not get into better physical shape as well. I believe that in the long run, looking better and feeling better will also help your bowling scores to get better!
Join me next week when I will be discussing an important topic that some bowlers have no clue about, even people in leagues, “Bowling Etiiquette”.
Good luck and high scoring this week!
Now that you have practiced your timing (the walking and arm movements together) and you feel comfortable on where to stand for your strike ball, it is time to discuss the “BALL RELEASE”.
Remember to insert the fingers into the ball first and the thumb last and you can put your opposite hand under the ball to help support its weight, or rest your elbow on you hip to help support the balls weight. As you walk on the approach, remember on the slide to try to get low with a deep knee bend and have the body upright and shoulders square to the target you want to use (use the 2nd arrow as a starting point).
To RELEASE the ball, release it smoothly onto the lane as you get to the end of the slide and on the DOWNSWING when your hand is down by your left ankle. Pretend you are landing a plane and loft out onto the lane, NOT into it, as the ball will lose power if it hits the lane too hard. The THUMB comes out first, and then you can LIFT with the fingers that come out last. Remember to place the trailing foot out behind you or just slightly out to the left, and the left arm should go to the side to assist with your balance (opposite for left-handed bowlers).
The idea is to try these different hand positions on the release to see what works best for you during your practice sessions.
When lanes change from oily to dry after a game or two, you may want to use the straight hand position if the ball starts hooking too much, so you’ll have more control and more accuracy.
Take notes in your notebook during your practice sessions to help you recall what you did just before you start bowling on league nights. There’s lots to remember and easier to just review your notes from time to time.
Join me next week in discussing some exercises to help improve your stamina and strength ultimately improving your scores. Good Luck!
1. Rubber Balls They don't really make these anymore because lanes are no longer made of wood. They came in a hard or soft shell.You could probably get one at a yard sale, but most bowlers want to keep up with technology changes which helps them score higher, so today they prefer polyester or urethane bowling balls.
2. Polyester Balls-These balls have varying degrees of Hardness. Softer balls will start hooking sooner on the lane, and the harder surfaced balls will travel a bit farther down the lane before they start to hook.
3. Urethane Balls- As time passed, the makers of these bowling balls realized that it made more sense to make a ball out of the same material that the lanes were made from. This material is much stronger and the balls hit the pocket with more power, but at the same time can be more difficult to control.
There are basically three parts of a bowling ball:
2. CORE: The core of a bowling ball is a liquid polymer resin blend which is poured in and around the weight block in this second mold. The molds are all the same size, but the concentration of the materials in this liquid is what allows the weights of the bowling balls to vary. This core takes several days to completely dry. Look at your bowling ball if you have one and find the little dot which is the PIN. It shows you where the top of the core is. Then the ball is taken out of this mold and put into a third mold.
3. SHELL: The shell of the ball is made of a liquid urethane which is pumped into this third mold. This liquid can come in a variety of colors and some even add scents like lemon, and blueberry! The liquid only takes about 5 minutes to harden and then the ball is removed from the mold and ground smooth with a lathe machine. A hole is then drilled to mark the position of the weight block (Where the PIN is), and this area is filled in with a colored resin (usually yellow or white). It is also put on a machine that finds the “Center of Gravity” and indented slightly with a “punch” tool. After 24 hours, the ball is completely dried and hardened enough to have the company logo engraved which is filled in with a colored paste.
Lastly, the ball goes through spinners with hot, soapy water and polishing rollers. The completed ball is placed in a plastic bag, boxed up, and shipped out to bowling center pro shops all over the country. Some of these companies can make 5,000 balls each day!
They have a video online if you are interested in seeing what these molds and weight blocks look like.
Most bowling balls have three holes that are drilled at the pro shop for a custom fit when you purchase a ball. There was also a fourth hole drilled for balance. But as of August 1, 202 this fourth hole was declared illegal in US competition by the USBC-United States Bowling Congress. Check with your league president about this. You might need to get this weight hole filled in with a resin material at the pro shop.
Join me next week when I’ll be discussing “The Ball release”.
Good Luck and High Scoring!
Bowling is a game of “Consistency”. The more consistent you release the ball correctly, the more you stand on the correct board, and the more you release the ball correctly and get it over the correct target every time, will always add up to higher and more consistent scores! Using the same equipment every week will also help you achieve this consistency and will help you get to that desired 200 average! If you are using an alley ball right now, it has probably been difficult for you to locate that same ball every week. The best thing to do is buy these products online or visit your local pro shop (located in most bowling centers) and get the equipment you will need to get you to that next level. The pro shop is great because he/she can answer any questions you may have about any of the products listed below.
The pro will drill the finger and thumb holes to a custom fit. Sometimes the cost of the drilling is included in the price of a ball. If possible, it’s best to get a new ball several weeks before you begin a league so you will have some time to practice with it. Let the pro know if you throw a hook or not. If you don’t, you may want to learn how to throw a hook and can get a lesson or two from this professional so he/she can see the type of “Bowling Style” you have and recommend the proper ball for you (we will discuss bowling styles later on in the blog). Bowling balls vary in price, and I live by the saying “You buy cheap, you buy twice”, so I recommend getting a good ball right from the start. I will be discussing bowling balls in detail in next week's blog.
If your fingers are strong, I recommend getting a finger-tip-grip- drilled. This allows your fingers to be inserted only up to the first joint but will allow you to get more “Lift” on the ball when releasing it (we will discuss lift at a later time). You can also purchase a see-saw-towel so you can clean your ball and store it inside of it in your bowling bag.
2. Once you have the ball, next you need a good pair of “BOWLING SHOES”. They have so many nicer styles nowadays than when I first started to bowl. Some look like sneakers and are just as comfy. Sometimes i’ve seen kids trying to bowl in socks, but the lane has “Oil” on it and you could fall and get hurt, so get yourself a good pair of these special bowling shoes since you will be using them every week and for at least 2-3 hours in a bowling league. Bowling shoes have a special sole on them that allow you to slide as you release the ball to help the ball land smoothly onto the lane. Try NOT to step in any wetness while wearing them or you will stick on the lane and might go over the foul line. (If renting shoes at the bowling center, make sure you wear socks since thousands of people have worn them before you.) Shoe rental prices at bowling centers can range from $3-$4 every week, so it makes more "cents" to buy a $40 pair of shoes that only you will be wearing and after 10 weeks, they will have paid for themselves. Leagues are about 36 weeks in winter seasons and about 12 weeks in summer leagues.
3. SHOE COVERS:
These have elastic around them so you can slip them easily over your bowling then if you need to use the restroom, you won’t step in any water.
4. WRIST SUPPORT:
A wrist supporter helps the wrist to stay strong and not to “Break” or bend down when you deliver the ball onto the lane since the ball is heavy. There are several different kinds to choose from. I have always used the “Mongoose” which has a piece of metal in it for a stronger wrist support, while allowing me to be able to shift my hand in different positions for the release. Some can restrict movement of the wrist, so ask the pro at the shop to recommend a good one for you.
5. BOWLING BALL TAPE:
After you purchase a ball, the pro will drill the finger and thumb holes for you but like to drill them a tad larger which allows for occasional finger swelling. I like to use the tape so I can get just the perfect fit each time I bowl.
I use the “White Gripping Tape” in the thumb hole to help me get a more snug fit and a better grip on the ball. Just don’t make it too snug, some days you might need a few pieces and some you may not need any. To apply the tape, have a small pocket KNIFE in your bag to help you get it into the hole easier and insert with the straight side facing down toward the bottom of the hole and on the side that the inside of your thumb will be facing (so you can feel the tape as you are releasing the ball). They also sell a thinner black tape that you can use on the opposite side of the white tape so you can get the grip that feels just right for you by combining both.
6. EASY SLIDE:
In my bowling bag I keep this product on hand so if the bottom of my bowling shoes should get a little wetness on them, I can dry them with a towel and then pat the area lightly with the easy slide on the sliding shoe (left shoe if you are a right handed bowler and the right shoe if you are a lefty). If you put too much on, you may slide over the foul line.
7. ROSIN BAG:
I also recommend getting a Rosin Bag. This will help your fingers and hand to stay dry so you will be able to hold onto the ball until you are ready to deliver it onto the lane. Just hold it in your bowling hand for a few seconds to help whisk moisture away before you insert your fingers into the ball.
8. DEFENSE SKIN PROTECTOR:
Formerly called “Nu-Skin”, is a must have in your bowling bag. If you get a cut or sore on one of your bowling fingers, you can put one of the little patches on over the area with the liquid provided, . It dries very quickly and you will be able to bowl as if there was a new piece of skin on your finger because it will no longer hurt.! The patches are super thin, allowing your fingers to still fit properly into the holes in the bowling ball.
9. It is also important to have a small BOWLING TOWEL or microfiber towel in your bag to keep your hands and fingers dry. The bowling centers do provide little blowers (fans) near the ball return on each pair of lanes for this purpose, but you can use the towel. to wipe your ball off of lane oil and debris after a few shots too.
10. Bowling Ball Cleaner: Sometimes you get debris on the bowling ball that a towel just can't remove. I recommend soaking your ball in a sink with hot water and adding "Dawn liquid detergent". Let it soak for 20-30 minutes to get some of the oil out of the ball that it absorbs from the lane. That can help get some of the oil off the ball. You can also purchase special liquid cleaners at the pro shop called "Monster Tac", "Tac Up", or "Reacta Shine". You can spray these products onto a paper towel or a small regular towel and wipe the ball thoroughly. Clean your bowling ball before you bowl, you are not allowed to once the competition begins according to the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) rules. You can also clean it with a mixture of equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol or just use some windex and a towel or paper towel.
11. Lastly, you will need a BOWLING BAG to keep all of your equipment in. They sell them online or in the pro shop and can accommodate from 1-6 bowling balls! I use a 3 ball carrier to take back and forth with me to the lanes. If you are lucky enough, they do rent lockers that provide only enough space for a few bowling balls, or a 1 ball carrier. You can leave the heavy ball in it and just take you bag with your other things back and forth with you.
I also recommend getting a small spiral notebook that you can keep in your bag. You can take notes as you learn more in your practice sessions and refer to them on league days when needed. Read your notes often, especially when learning new things.
Good Luck & High Scoring!!
Join me next week when I’ll be discussing bowling balls in detail.
Hello!! I'm not a professional bowler, but I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.