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Ask Bob – July 2017


Q. During my practice sessions I bowl
well. Everything seems to go perfectly. Speed is good, I hit my target most times. I repeat shots and pick up most spares with ease. When I bowl in league or in a tournament all of this changes. It seems as though I have forgotten everything I ever knew about the game. Nothing goes right. I have not been able to figure out what is going on. Do you have any ideas?

A. In practice there is no reward for the shots we make. So we stay loose and staying loose and relaxed is the key to good performance. Sounds like to me that when you get to league and to tournaments you are getting tight. When the approach and swing gets tight we begin to try too hard. We start helping the ball, we squeeze the ball, we steer or aim the ball. Then our whole game comes apart. Nothing goes right. Then the harder we try the worse it gets. Next time in league try visualizing your practice sessions. Try to have more fun and not work at scoring. Wo at just hitting your target and be happy if you do, no matter the outcome. Have fun with your teammates keep things light. Just relax and have a good time. If you can put making big scores aside you can relax and the big scores will come.

Q. I notice that a number of the pros have recently gone back to using a urethane ball on their strike shots and with good results. Under what lane conditions is this
a good move to make? Thank you.

A. Most of the Pro's using the regular urethane balls have a lot of hand and a lot of speed. By going to urethane they can move right or left if left handed further toward the gutter on dryer lane conditions. This allows them to hit the pocket more often. Then they help carry by increasing entry angle. This can also work on a tougher shot were under/over is a problem. Urethane hooks less and is not as sensitive to the oil pattern as reactive. The draw back is urethane does not finish as hard as reactive so it takes more hand and angle to score.

Q. It is the dog days of summer. What should I be doing to get ready for the next bowling Season?

A. Now is the best time to practice, lanes are open most of the time. Get lessons to tune up your game, the pro shop people have more time to spend with you. You might even be able to arrange a discount. It is also a great time to have the pro shop look at your arsenal and fill in with new balls to round out the spots in that arsenal that might be missing. This time of year you can get sales on balls that are left from last year, or get a new one just being released. New balls for the next season are being released now.

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