QUESTION: I was a bowling proprietor for 20 years, have been giving lesson for over 50 years, ran a pro shop for 20 years, so I understand lane conditions and ball reaction. I am know 75 years old and of course canít perform as I use to.
When I started out in the business I went to all the ball drilling schools. Brunswick, AMF, Columbia, Don  Johnson  bowling camp and Bill Taylors Bowling Camp.  The only usable information came from Bill Taylor and Don Johnson. All the others were just basic. I have helped many bowlers with their game and ball fitting with great success.  John Handegard had quit bowling. I worked with him and got him back into bowling, where he excelled on the senior tour.
I am now bowling in a house where the lanes are set up for the proprietor to score. He has good timing but very little else. He stands on 13 and points the ball over the ten board. Heavy oil to the head pin and VERY dry out side 10. I donít have the speed to play his shot. My ball breaks to soon out side. I can use a plastic ball out side to hit the pocket, but canít carry. Everything else has over and under reactions.
The balls are much different now and I would guess the drilling layouts are too.  At Don Johnson's school we learned how to set the bowling balls up like a set of golf clubs, 1 though 9, with 1 going the longest and 9 breaking the earliest.
I am thinking if I had a ball that went very long with a strong back end,  that I could play down about the 8 board. I ball speed is only around 12 mph and my roll is about 2 Ĺ in. from the thumb.
I hope that I have given you enough information to help me pick out a ball and the drilling I need.
Thank You,
Tom Pederson

The suggestion of less ball speed and lane condition helps, but without knowing your axis rotation and axis tilt, I'm still guessing at quite a few things. What ball do you use now and how is it drilled? What weight is it? Do you know your Positive Axis Point? You're 2 and 1/2 from the thumb, how close are you to the finger?

Do you remember the Plastic Ball championships from the PBA? Those plastic balls had quite the drilling layout and were able to turn the corner very well. Putting the majority of the pancake in the finger/side quadrant then using a big high weight hole to get the ball legal will help with the entry angle problem. But that's another story/option.

The lane condition for the proprietor/manager/lane guy/mechanic is a real problem in this sport! You CAN develop lane conditions for THE BOWLERS.

Getting a sense of what you've tried will help, because you can go from milder three piece balls like Columbia Scouts to straight urethane like the Storm Polar Ice, Blue Hammer urethane, Brunswick Karma urethane and the Columbia U2 Classic (the latter 3 have less core than the heavier versions in lighter weights). Reactive resin balls will give you bite downlane but with your experience, I'd expect you don't need more angle from the ball, just length before it does the resin "button-hook" downlane, hopefully at the pins not way before them.

Please provide some more info, I can suggest balls and layouts. Thanks for the questions.

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

QUESTION: The ball I can hit the pocket with is a 16lb red hammer. I don't have any room, playing down the 7 board hits the pocket, but leaves a lot of ten pins,9 pins, 8 pins or 7 pins.. If I hit 8 or 9 I leave buckets. If I hit outside of 7 I leave 4-9 or go though the nose.

Finger center line to axis 53/4
Thump center line to axis 61/4
Center of grip to axis 51/2

There are times that I can use my 15lb reactive ball and can create room playing 19 to 7. I can pull the ball to 8 or 9-or ten and hit the pocket or miss right an still get back to the pocket. This shot is there when the proprietor isn't bowling.
I hope this is the information you need.
Thanks for your response


Sounds like the Positive Axis is over more than 5 inches and up some. Knowing you have more forward roll in your game, and with the buckets on shots a little tighter, not lots of tilt, use your earlier reacting roll and use more surface (rough enough to play more inside the oil line) and use a long pin (5 to 5 1/2 inches from your Positive Axis) and slower ball speed, stay inside the oil line and just have the ball roll up very late on the lane. When conditions are very black and white, they are just too touchy when you have less speed than revs. Stay away from the friction, it's not helping.

Also, when using surface to help slow the ball down and get it to start to transition to the hook phase, you may want to cover the rougher surface with a little compound or polish so you can use it for more than a game. The key will be: rough enough to transition late, hook than roll hard on the backend. Too much and it rolls out to early, too little and it doesn't get into the roll phase and you don't carry.

I'd suggest that you use something stronger, symmetric with a rolly Vertical Axis Angle. You didn't mention particular balls or layouts, if you could send me pictures with the PAP identified, I'll have a better idea exactly how the ball is rolling. Thanks for the questions. Please follow up.

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

QUESTION: From are discussion I decided to try a different hand poison with my red hammer. It is drilled straight up with just a little top weight. My release was 7 to 4. I changed it to a 5 to 3 release, the track is about 3/4in from the thumb and it worked. I am standing on 17 and looking at 6. Know I have about a three board area to play.
I canít see how to send a attachment on this site, how do I send you a picture of my other ball?
I teach my students to swing the ball, and reach the foul line with the ball just after the foot, thumb coming out at the heel. The bowlers that have the 220+ averages here are one full step ahead of the ball which makes they throw the ball. How does that work on normal lane conditions? Do you think it is something I should be teaching?

The modern game is built on speed and revs. Most strong players aren't very accurate though and when the need to, they have a hard time making/shooting spares on more difficult lane conditions.

Your hand position changed the axis tilt creating a stronger move downlane.

There is a part of the question submission that after you check the spelling of the question/statement you can add images. Can you get a digital picture of the ball (ideally showing the grip and pin location, and if possible highlight the first rotation/oil line of the track)?

Thanks, hope to hear back soon.


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