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Ask Bob (December 2016)

by Bob Korth

Q. I have been pulling the ball lately
way more than I should do you have any idea to help me solve this problem?

A. There are many things that can cause pulling the ball. Timing, squeezing the ball causing an late release, and turning early (chicken winging). There is one other problem I was not aware of until a couple of months ago. This is pushing the shoulder forward on the push away. This pointed out to me by my friend Chris Warren. Chris was watching me struggle in practice with this very problem. He saw that as I tried to push out to get the ball moving I was pushing my shoulder forward toward the head pin. This puts you swing in a bad position. Makes the entire swing move toward the Brooklyn side. He has a simple fix for this problem I had never heard before. Instead of pushing the ball forward he said pull the ball back toward your body for an initial move. Then forget about your swing and just let your body follow your arm-swing. You just walk beside the swing. Your shoulder does not get closed up during the swing and because the swing is more open you get a higher back-swing and more speed without even trying. So for me it cured three problems at once. Better swing track, more speed and a more free arm swing. To find out which of these problems you have you will have to do video to see if you can pick out which of these is going on, or find a coach in your area to see if they can pick out the problem.

Q. I quit bowling and went into the Navy in the early ninety’s. I have just taken the game up again. I started league with 2 bowling balls. A plastic white dot, and a Roto Grip urethane ball. I can't get either one of these balls
to hook or even finish in the back. I never had a straight ball. My teammates suggest a new ball does it really make that much difference?

A. Yes, it will make all the difference. Keep the plastic ball for spares and the urethane for super dry conditions. But go to your local pro shop as fast as you can and invest in a couple of reactive bowling balls. Have the pro shop person watch you throw the ball to get a idea of what will help you the most. Since the early ninety's the game has changed a lot. Most lanes are now synthetic instead of wood. The oils have changed to keep up with ball changes. Maintenance of the lane is much better with the machines that clean and oil the lanes. The older bowling balls are just not strong enough to keep up. And thank you for your service.

Q. Why is it not legal to bowl in a league or tournament with both the right or left hand but is OK to bowl with both hands?

A. There has to be a regulation on right or left hand because of averages. If you were allowed to bowl with either hand at any time the USBC could not keep track of your true average. You can bowl in one league right handed and another one with the left. You must shoot the entire league first ball and spares to get your true average with that hand. You will have a R/L designation in the average book. Two handed is different if you watch closely at a two hander they are in actuality a one hander. At release they let go of the ball with only one hand. They just keep the other hand on the ball during the swing. But only one hand is in play at release.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.

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