Are you a fairly new bowler who uses an alley ball or just has one of those plastic balls? Has your average improved only a little and you want to get your game up to the next level? Have you only been using a ball with a "Conventional Grip", or have you been working out and can now handle a heavier ball, or has the ball you've been using just not working the same as when you first bought it? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then it is time for you to purchase a new ball!
A new bowlers average will always improve because they usually don't know much about the game. Some of them may not want to spend a lot of money on equipment until they know they like the sport, which is quite understandable. But if you have been in the sport awhile and you are still using a cheap ball, you need to get yourself a better one that has some STUFF on it! Please re-read my blog post from 5/3/21 about bowling balls.
When you buy a new ball at the pro shop, the proprietor will customize the ball and drill it to fit your fingers perfectly which is usually free of charge. You can buy a discounted bowling ball online, but then you'll have to pay for the drilling and shipping anyway. I prefer to purchase it in the pro shop because I like to ask him/her questions and he/she may ask you some questions to have an idea on your bowling style and the type of ball you throw, so the ball can be properly drilled to perform the way you want.
As I have mentioned in several of my previous blog posts, using the same ball week after week helps with CONSISTENCY which will definitely help improve your average!
If you're at the point where you are getting all the basics down pretty well and your average has improved in the last few years, you may notice that the ball isn't performing the way it did when it was new. Buying a new ball will help you get up to that next level and if you really like the ball, buy a second one immediately if you can afford it. I loved a Storm ball I had bought years ago but then they discontinued it and I was disappointed because I couldn't buy another one. So I just wanted to give you a heads up about that not to make the same mistake I did. I think the best bowling balls to buy are the "Reactive Resin" type with a Weight Block inside which helps the ball to hook, giving a lot more action at the pins.
The heaviest ball you can buy is 16 lbs. If you feel that your ball is too light, then switching to a heavier one can get through the pins better and also have less pin deflection. You won't leave the king pin (5 pin) as often which will result in more strikes!
Also, just having another ball in your bag to assist you on different lane conditions is another good reason to purchase a new ball. When I was a beginner, I only used one ball that hooked for both my strikes and spares. I missed a lot of 10 pins and then decided to get a plastic ball that just went straight. My average went up about 20-30 pins a game because I just used that ball for the 10 pin and was making a lot more of them. So if you have a plastic ball now, keep it in your bag for the occasional 10 pin leave. Or if you currently have a ball that has a small hook, you can purchase a new ball that hooks more and use it for the first game when the oil is heavier, and then when the oil begins to break down, switch over to the lesser hooking ball.
Let's say you've been in a slump and have had the same equipment for a long time, you may want to treat yourself to a new ball, bag and shoes which may give you the boost that you need right now for a fresh outlook that would help you get out of that slump and make look forward to the league and practice sessions again instead of dreading them.
Buying a new ball has always been exciting for me. I may not get one as often as I should (because they are pricey), but you should be purchasing one about every 2-3 years (depending on how often you bowl), but you can prolong the life of your ball too if money is an issue at the moment (check out my blog post from 4/4/22).
A new ball may be a little frustrating in the beginning but just be patient with yourself. Take enough time to practice on how to adjust for the strike and spare from where you were standing with your old ball. Mark things down in your notebook and remember to feel confident before using it in your league play.
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Join me back here next week when I'll be discussing different finger positions you can try out in your practice sessions.
Good Luck and High Scoring!!
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Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, 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.