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When Is A Straighter Bowling Delivery Better


It is not always most advantageous to try and get the maximum hook reaction on your bowling ball. It is important, however, to know when to straighten your delivery to achieve consistent ball motion and a high percentage of pocket hits.

In this modern era of high technology bowling balls, the temptation is to find out how much hook you can generate using the latest bowling ball equipment. Also, it is tempting to use a drilling layout so you see the strongest angle of entry into the pins.

Using a bowling ball with a high track flare and drilled with a super strong layout is a combination which may not be in your best interest if you want to get a consistent ball reaction and contact the pocket as often as possible.

Truth be told, there are dangers in hooking the bowling ball too much. If you are not a power player who can open the lane up by using an extremely wide delivery angle to get the ball to recover to the pocket, then you may wish to avoid getting caught up in trying to hook the ball more than normal. Instead, reduce your hook and take a slightly straighter path to the pocket.

If you are a “Stroker” or perhaps a “Tweener” delivery style player, then there will be times when the lanes call for taking something off of your rev-rate and axis tilt and go straighter up the lane to avoid an over-reaction on those wet/dry oil conditions.

Many house oil patterns favor a great deal of oil application in the center of the lane and far less, virtually no oil (maybe 1-3 units of oil), toward the outside edges of the lane. These type of oil patterns are very common today and lead to a ball reaction which either skids too far if you start the ball in the heavy oil and comes up short of the pocket or reacts to quickly when delivered in the very dry part of the lane and then hooks across the pocket.

These over-under ball reactions we hear about make it tough to get a consistent read on the lanes and are challenging in making a decision when under the pressure of competition as to where and how much lateral adjustments are needed. Also, when oil carry-down occurs after a game or so of league competition, the back ends tighten up a bit and trying to hook the ball too much makes it tricky to maintain a consistent ball reaction.

In the case of the over-under reaction, if you are a “Stroker” or “Tweener” delivery style player, you may wish to take a little finger rotation out of your release and allow your ball to flow off of your hand to reduce your normal rev-rate and axis tilt. This will result in a straighter delivery path down the lane than usual.

You may want to also have a bowling ball with less than high track flare potential and perhaps a medium Differential rating so your ball will not be “too snappy” on the back end and hook unpredictably from the break point to the pocket.

The point here is that less of a strong ball reaction may produce more positive results in ball motion control on certain lane conditions.

Many power players realize the importance of controlling the back end ball motion and will use a ball with a low track flare potential and take something off of their already powerful release techniques so the net effect is ball motion control.

Regardless of how you deliver the bowling ball, the strategy is to play the oil pattern as wisely as possible to give you the most forgiveness when you miss your mark so you still hit the pocket with a good chance at striking.


On TV, we see the professionals back off of maximum revs and maximum hook and play the lanes with a straighter than normal delivery angle when it is required to do so. Try to avoid getting infatuated with hook but rather fall in love with the highest percentage of pocket hits as possible each session. There is a time and a place to grab the strongest and most aggressive bowling ball you can find and apply the maximum hooking action your delivery style allows. Not every time, however.

Learn when to back off and straighten your delivery angle to the break point and make sure you have bowling balls which are compatibly drilled to match your intended path to the pocket.

If you are a serious player, it is vital to develop a good working relationship with your pro shop professional so you can keep your bowling balls prepared to match the lane conditions you encounter most often.

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