Sunday, August 28, 2022


Questioner: HERB                                 Date Asked: 2017-01-04 



Actual ball speed, are you measuring with a stopwatch or other device? Or from the score console above the lane? (The ball speed provided by lane equipment is notoriously inconsistent/inaccurate.) Also, the scoring system speed measurement occurs around 40 feet downlane. The ball has slowed significantly by then. 

Where are you trying to play? Straight down the lane or more across the center of the lane, out to the gutter and back? When the ball rolls, is the oil on the ball close to the gripping holes (within an inch or two), further away (3 to 4 inches) or more than 5 inches away? Do you bowl on freshly oiled league lane conditions or are you open bowling on your own? What time of the day do you bowl?

When I get a sense of what your ball does, I can suggest some options. What balls have you tried? Ball weight, pin position, finger tip or conventional? Are you bowling on wood or an overlayment? Most centers are synthetic lanes but some of the older houses have some technology that's more "challenging"!

Let me know as much as you can. Not everybody rolls the ball the same, the balls are dramatically different and lane conditions are strange sometimes. Thanks for the question, I look forward to helping you out.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I bowl straight down the boards at times and I swing at times ball speed stays the same. its monitored down lane. oil there is about 10 oil tracks on the resin ball 8 on urethane and 3 on plastic. fresh oil 2 leagues 6pm and 9am. I have 56 balls all types tried almost everything

First, if you swing the ball, it covers more boards and would be picked up by the lane devices as rolling slower than straight down the lane trajectory. If I can't get accurate information, I can't really understand what's going on.

That many flare rings suggest a lot of revs. Where are the flare rings in relation to the gripping holes? That will help immensely. What I asked before was: "When the ball rolls, is the oil on the ball close to the gripping holes (within an inch or two), further away (3 to 4 inches) or more than 5 inches away?"

Second, any reactive ball rolled slowly with a ton of revs, with that many flare rings was drilled by someone who has NO IDEA what you do to a ball. You want a low flare layout. Possibly a more understanding ball driller, or more experienced one, would help you better. Where about in the world do you live/bowl?

I am cautious to ask this because I don't want to offend you, but it seems you are searching for a magic bowling ball. Are you drilling all these bowling balls yourself?

Have you ever had bowling lessons or worked with a coach?  Sometimes, balls do wonderful things but they are tools, like a screwdriver or a wrench. If you can't deliver the ball with consistent ball speed and axis tilt and rotation, you will struggle with over-reaction and under-reaction, often in the same game. How long have you been bowling?

Are you a no thumb or two handed bowler (meaning seriously rev dominant)? What do you average? Since carry is an issue, are you good at your spares?

I commend your persistence with 56 balls. Are they all the same weight? What weight ball do you throw? Same fit? You didn't mention the lanes bowled on, I'm hoping you don't bowl on older wood lanes, or wood with a overlayment of soft plastic.

Bowling is not easy, some types of players make it look easy. Getting an accurate idea of what you do, is crucial. Some videos would be helpful. But I'm not a fan of just guessing. But if you can be more complete with answering my questions, you might have a or several balls I'd recommend already! You might just need a different layout.

Thank for the patience and I look forward to hearing back.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have been bowling for 50 years. my ball speed is always 13.5 to 14. the lanes I bowl on are synthetic. the oil lines on the ball start close to the holes but extend 4 to 5 inches away. I have had balls even drilled negative but still go too early. my driller has been drilling my balls for 30 years and is a respected driller. the advent of resin balls and todays oil patterns is when my problems began. now I seem to be relocated to urethane and plastic. it isn't the amount of hook that's the problem, but that they hook too early even with a 4000 finish. I never have under reaction always over reaction. worked with a coach last year he kept telling me too many revs for ball speed. cant get more speed. I have so many balls with so many different layouts none seem to work. averaging 200 with urethane or plastic, but not good enough today.

Thanks for the follow-up info. Negative in a layout often gets the ball to read the lane VERY early, not a solution, unless you are going for a roll out shot.

Your track flares closer to the gripping holes suggest that you are more up the back of the ball with less axis rotation, meaning the ball will hook earlier and not more boards overall. Does your driller know your Positive Axis Point (PAP)? Does he know the Dual Angle Layout System? Or Storm Layout System?

As a rev dominant guy, your info suggests that your PAP is over more than 5 inches, maybe more.  If this is the case your basic layout should have a pin 5 plus inches from your PAP, maybe MORE and likely the pin below your finger holes. Slower speed suggests that big angles are needed in the layouts (using the Dual Angle System), to compensate. Are the lanes you play on oiled consistently? Because it sounds like using 4000 grit is rolling to soon, maybe there is little or no oil where you prefer to play. Also, your slower speed might suggest a pearl ball (possibly with some surface adjustment to make it less violent in the backend), or shiny hybrid, with a symmetric core would help.

Lastly, some options, drill a mild reactive pearl, with a symmetric core with a big pin (5-6 inches from your PAP), with an 80 degree Drill Angle and 80 degree Vertical Axis Angle. That should get the ball down the lane, if it doesn't hit well change the layout to 80/50 and try again. Or Drill one of the plastic balls with cores, symmetric I hope, with a 5 1/2 - 6 inch pin,  use a 45 degree/80 degree layout and make sure he puts a weight hole on the PSA, to help with carry.

Ball speed could be a key, but if a coach tried to get you to roll the ball faster, and you can't that might be a problem. What did the coach encourage you to do? Try to take your first step short and quick, if you take four steps, first two steps short and quicker if you have a 5 step approach. Increasing your momentum is the easiest way to increase ball speed, and likely easiest way to duplicate the adjustment through out a league set. Always check each shot as you execute (for awhile)! Making this adjustment is easy two, three or four times. Doing it 30 times, will take significant concentration. Changing muscle memory is HARD. Do something 1000 times and you may need 2,3 or 5,000 more to not have to check that you executed properly each time. 

If you have any strong cover, strong asymmetric core balls, you just send them to me. I don't want you to even think about using them again, the lane is just too long for your current game!

If your driller is open to it, let me know, I would like to talk with him about your fit and ideas on how to change your roll, or help with the layout details. Sometimes info passed back and forth gets confusing. I can get a better sense of what you guys have tried, and what he sees from some of the stuff he's drilled.

Or take some vacation days come to Chicago and we can work on your game and your stuff. Thanks for the questions. Let me know more and keep in touch I'd like to hear how things are going. I can use some more nice comments for my testimonials page on my website. Good luck and good bowling. 

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