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Bowling Senior Tour - Champions Q&A Part 1 continues presenting Editorial articles by featuring interviews with Senior Pro Tour Champions recently competing at the South Point Bowling Center in Las Vegas in the 2013 USBC Senior Masters Tournament.

While in Las Vegas recently to cover the Senior USBC Masters Tournament, I had a chance to catch up with four select PBA Champions and ask each the same three questions separate from one another. This article is the 1st in a three Part Series where the four Champion Bowlers are asked a question separately, the same question, with all four responses appearing below.

It was very tempting to only interview the most select “Star Players” on the tour for these interviews. Players such as eventual Senior Masters Champion, Pete Weber and others, I thought perhaps asking other select players with well-rounded bowling careers might serve us best in getting thoughtful and insightful answers to these questions. Hopefully leading readers to some very useful information.

The four Champions selected were Ron Winger, Barry Asher, John Petraglia, and Randy Pedersen.

Ron Winger, 5 time PBA Senior Tour Champion, was chosen because of his 50 plus years as a competitive professional bowler and because he is likely the most productive Senior Player over the age 70 today.

Barry Asher, a 10 time PBA Tour Titleist and PBA Hall of Fame Player, was selected because he was regarded as one of the best pure players the game has known. Also, because he is active in the industry today as a proprietor of a full-service Pro Shop in Fountain Valley, California.

John Petraglia, a PBA Hall of Fame Player, was selected because of his impressive longevity and he has been a former multiple-time President of the PBA, has 14 career PBA National Titles plus several Senior Tour titles to his credit. He has won the Triple Crown of Bowling, and is the only man in history to win PBA Titles in six decades.

Randy Pedersen was chosen because he has insight into the game from two perspectives, as a PBA Hall of Fame Player and a Champion on the Senior Tour, in addition to being the TV Analyst for ESPN on PBA Tour Telecasts.

All four players were asked the same three questions as previously indicated. The first question I asked each player is as follows:

“Do you use many varying bowling ball drilling layouts or do you use only a select number of favorite layouts when drilling new equipment?”

Here are the four responses to this question:

Winger - “I prefer standard layouts. I use layouts typically with the pin under the ring finger and the CG (Center of Gravity) kicked out toward my PAP (Positive Axis Point). Because of my high axis tilt, the pin down layout reads the lane smoothly and helps me control my ball motion.”

Asher - “I use my favorite layouts and recommend standard layouts to my customers because of the enormous differences in surface textures offered in today’s bowling balls. Bowling ball surface friction matching the oil patterns is the name of the game.

Petraglia - “I rely on 2 or 3 favorite layouts, but they seem to vary somewhat from year to year. As oil patterns change, I have to find 2 or 3 replacement layouts to match to the changing lane conditions. I have a separate set of favorite layouts when bowling on most house lane conditions, which are very different from the conditions provided by the PBA or other tournament groups.”

Pedersen - “I use my favorite layouts because I want no surprise ball reactions. Each bowling ball has a different length and hook potential and the surface textures vary and can be altered. So using stabilizing drilling layouts works best for me.”

It can be plainly noticed that all four Champions prefer favorite and known layouts, which typically can be designated as standard layouts. Since each bowling ball they drill is designed for given ball motion opportunities, the pro bowlers want recognizable ball reactions and want the ball to read the lane in the mid-lane smoothly and not over-react on the back ends.

A good lesson we can gain from these answers to this particular question about drilling layout preferences, is that finding a layout or two which works consistently well where you bowl should likely be also used in future bowling equipment. Don’t stray too far from what gives you the most success when selecting drilling layouts.

Be sure to look for the next in our three part series where our same four professionals respond to the next question we prepared.

Thank you.

Rich Carrubba