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Use and distribution of this article is subject to our terms and conditions
whereby's information and copyright must be included. BowlVersity Q & A Part 8 continues to share with our readers a few of the many questions we receive relating to articles posted on our site. This BowlVersity Q & A Part 8 article features three questions sent to us by our community guests. We would like to address these questions and provide the eighth in an ongoing series of articles known as BowlVersity Q & A Part 8.

We hope our responses to these questions below help you improve your bowling game. Most of the responses are to questions we received from bowlers ranging from beginners to 180 average players.

As we indicated in our first articles in this series, if you are an advanced player or a highly skilled and experienced player, you are most welcome to join in and offer your comments with the intent of sharing your knowledge from your personal experiences on the lanes with our fellow bowlers. We cannot possibly keep our responses to questions short and direct in content without likely omitting information which could expand the range of answers to a more acceptable level, thus another reason we invite you to share your thoughts by making a comment under the posted article and help us pass along useful ideas.

Here are the three questions for this article addressing issues many bowlers encounter:

Q. My friend tells me to take a bowling lesson so when I join my first league this season, I can improve my skills. How do I find a good coach and how much should I pay?

A. First, your friend is correct in recommending that you work with an experienced instructor. By taking just one lesson with a certified bowling instructor, you will learn important physical game fundamentals. You will learn to improve your ability to make a good approach, deliver your bowling ball more accurately, and make spare and strike adjustments. If you can find the time and resources to take a series of lessons, even better.

Sharpening your bowling skills will give you confidence entering into your first league competition. Everyone wants to improve their game and roll good scores so taking a lesson will put you on that path.

By checking with your local bowling center management, with your pro shop professionals, and by checking advertisements in local bowling periodicals, you can find names of experienced coaches. Contact several prominent coaches in your area and interview them on the phone.

It helps to find a coach who listens and understands your needs. Ask about the price of one lesson or a series of lessons. Ask if there are group classes you can enter where you save money and also get plenty of supervised practice time. In most local towns throughout the country, a lesson can cost you anywhere from $30. per hour to $100. per hour, depending on the individual coache's experience level and your immediate needs.

Q. How can I learn more about the bowling arrows and how to use them properly?

A. The seven arrows, or rangefinders, are guides located about 15 feet past the foul line toward the pins and are in a triangular configuration. The arrows are also commonly referred to as "dovetails." From bowler's right to left (for right handed bowlers), the arrow nearest the edge of the lane is referred to as the "first arrow" and is located on the 5 board of the lane surface.

The arrows are primarily intended for alignment purposes when targeting a given pin combination on the pin-deck. Generally speaking, it is easier to take dead aim at a target closer to you than at a target in the distance. Since the arrows are only about 15 feet from where you slide on the approach, it makes sense to use an intermediate target, the arrows, when sighting with your eyes rather than staring way down the lane near or at the pins.

Some advanced bowlers sight beyond the arrows or before the arrows, such as directly down at the foul line or down the lane in front of the pins. It is generally recognized, however, that using the arrows as an intermediate target works nicely for the vast majority of bowlers. In fact, most professional and top-flight amateur bowlers use the arrows as a targeting system.
Because of the lane conditions at most centers across the country using the USBC Red pattern as house conditions, the 2nd arrow is a good place for an initial alignment. The 2nd arrow is not necessarily the correct board to sight when targeting the pins, however. You may have to use a board located to the right or to the left of the 2nd arrow and make the correct adjustment with your feet positioning and where you sight in order to roll your ball and contact the pocket. Your adjustments will vary in accordance with on your type of delivery, the speed you roll your bowling ball, and the ball surface and the given bowling ball you select.

The process of alignment is often made easy by use of the targeting arrows.

Q. I am making a decision soon on purchasing my first bowling ball. What are the simple differences between plastic and entry level Urethane bowling balls so I can make my final decision?

A. The urethane ball has greater angle of entry into the pocket and covers more boards on a given lane condition than does a plastic ball. Urethane is the base material used on other classifications of more aggressive coverstocks such as reactive resin, hybrid, and particle coverstocks but additional additives are included in the formations of advanced urethane products.

What the industry generally refers to these days as "urethane bowling balls" is recognized as entry level urethane products which provide very controllable skid distance on the front end of the lanes, although typically not as much skid distance as plastic balls, and also provide a mild degree of hook potential on the back end of the lane. Overall, the urethane coverstock will hook a greater amount than will a plastic coverstock and transfer a greater amount of energy into the pins than will plastic bowling balls. Both types of coverstocks can be used for spare shooting, generally speaking.

We thank the bowlers who shared their questions with us for this article. We hope our responses serve a useful purpose. Feel free to offer your comments; they are most welcomed. Be sure to check the "Improve Your Game" link in "BowlVersity" on the home page of our site for future posts. Thank you.

Rich Carrubba

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