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Bowling/No back end on Freeze Hybrid

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QUESTION: My wife Laura and I had not bowled in 20+ years, but recently were talked into coming "out of retirement" to join some old teammates.  I used to average about 175-180 and she 160-165, decent for the once a week bowlers we'd become before we retired from bowling in 1991 (due to a couple of injuries).  Both of us were using old black balls (mine an AMF Classic Pro-Roll and hers an ancient Brunswick Black Beauty).  To no one's surprise but ours, we found out these now perform pretty close to "straight" balls on today's lane surfaces (I, a lefty, was throwing a finger-tip pretty much straight up the second arrow (8-10th boards) with a late tail into the pocket and she pointed the ball up from the right-hand corner over the right 2nd arrow , although she is right-handed and throws a conventional grip with a full-roller). We were told by everyone that the solution was to purchase new reactive resin balls, so we did so at the pro-shop of the lanes where we bowl.

Coincidently I was recommended to, and chose a Columbia Freeze Solid and her a Freeze Hybrid.  My story ends happily with my Solid finishing so strongly that I've moved my basic starting position on the approach one dot right of center and spotting the ball two boards left of the 2nd arrow.  In the first 20 or so games I've thrown with the ball, I've thrown 5-6 games over 200, including a 253 and a 288!  

Hers is the problem story . . .  the new Hybrid does NOT perform significantly differently than her old black ball, barely reaching the 1-3 pocket when thrown as she always did, still barely more than a straight ball with few rotations. We both expected to see a little stronger finish and more rotation.  Was that an unreasonable expectation given the Hybrid's modern weight block?

The "Pro" at the pro shop says that the ball is performing according to how she releases it and since she's throwing a full roller, without her changing her release, the only way he can create more "potential to hook" would be to remove the polished surface off the Hybrid (though it's still up to her, he says, to make it hook).  

In researching the internet, I discovered your web site and saw that a reader had asked a question about "Full Roller Pin Placement" dated 1/5/10.  Though his question was about a Storm ball, the Columbia web site confirms your answer to him . . that the pin (orange dot on her Hybrid) should be placed about 3 3/8" SW of the center of the grip.  

I measured her ball as best I could as an amateur and found hers to be only 2 3/8" SW (pin to center of grip), i.e. almost an inch less than recommended!  Will this make a significant difference?  Would the ball "finish" stronger if it were re-drilled for the additional inch?  

She is very discouraged, bowling poorly (couldn't break 130 in first 2 games she tried it) and says she'll never use the new ball.  Should we have the surface "dulled" or have the ball re-drilled or both?  If so, how should it be re-drilled to increase the "finish"?  What would you recommend we do?

Thank you very much for your advice . . . . FRED (and LAURA)

ANSWER: Fred and Laura,
A surface adjustment would be my first thought. How hard does your wife roll the ball? You mentioned shes "rev" challenged, so since a full roller covers the entire circumference of the ball, one revolution takes some time. The shorter pin distance should help the ball roll a little earlier, but a stronger leveraged, full roller layout with an enhancing weight hole could help strengthen the downlane reaction.

Did the driller mention a specific full roller layout for Laura? The hybrid is a combo of solid and pearl reactive coverstocks. If Laura throws hard, it may have been the wrong choice for her.

Thanks for the question. Let me know some more info and we can pursue more options.

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

QUESTION: Thanks so much for your amazingly quick reply!  Though we've never measured her speed, her backswing never even comes close to shoulder height and I'd doubt she throws more than 12-13 mph (12+ lb. ball).  

The driller watched her roll a few frames to confirm she was still throwing a full roller before he drilled the ball, but did not discuss a specific pattern (other than he needed to use a pattern for a full-roller).

I don't understand what you mean by a "stronger leveraged, full roller layout with an enhancing weight hole", but hopefully the driller will, but to be sure I understand you correctly, are you saying that, if anything, the fact that it was drilled at 2 3/8" SW of center should have helped the ball roll a little earlier.  Isn't it usually desirable to get it to finish later and more sharply?

Thanks again for you courtesy and desire to help. . .  FRED

ANSWER: Fred,
The earlier pin position in the ball layout would cause the ball to start rolling too early for Laura's speed. I expected she had more speed, thus the earlier pin position. I prefer a strong core/pin position and surface adjustments for full rollers.

The Freeze series is a good combination of cover and core for most bowlers. When you get into special situations like the full roller delivery, you are asking a lot from an entry level ball, especially a 12 pounder with a modest core at best. You might consider some lessons to help her develop a stronger delivery.

Thanks for the quick follow-up. Glad I can offer some help.

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

QUESTION: So to be sure I understand what you mean by "earlier" pin position, are you saying the actual pin placement at 2 3/8" is appropriate for her speed or would she have been better off with it at 3 3/8"?

Apart from recommending lessons for a stronger delivery (which I don't think is realistic for her physical limitations), regarding the surface, should we leave it as is or remove the high-gloss surface

Thanks again . . .  FRED?

Answer
Fred,
Early, for a player that rolls the ball slowly, usually doesn't provide enough backend reaction on anything other than oily lanes. I'd take your wife onto the lanes and see her roll the ball. Gauging speed, axis tilt and axis rotation to match the layout to her skills.

A pin positioned further away would influence the ball later down the lane, with Laura's slower speed. Putting the pin in a leverage position (3 3/8# would maximize the core to help reaction, but if her speed doesn't get the ball down the lane far enough, then a longer pin is a better choice. The distance would be dictated by the amount of oil, preferred path to the pocket and her skills.

Don't change the cover. If anything keep it shiny and/or use a delaying polish #Extender, Black Magic, Xtra Shine, etc.) application to help the ball skid more. More skid helps retain energy so the ball has more left further down the lane.

A lesson would basically introduce her to a different hand position. In many customers, the full roller "grab" reflects an ill fitting ball, with the ball owner working too hard to hold onto the ball and opting for the suitcase position to relieve some of the effort needed to control the ball.

Is she looking for hook? Or are you hoping to get her ball to work harder to help her improve?

Good luck with Laura's issues. Thanks again.

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