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How To Adjust To A Bowling Fingertip Grip, Originally Posted: 2/3/2012; Updated: 5/13/2024

If you are a bowler who is trying to raise your average and has recently switched from a conventional grip to a fingertip grip, then you may be searching for information about how to adjust to a bowling fingertip grip. Learning how to adjust to a bowling fingertip grip is key in making consistent deliveries. The benefits of using the fingertip grip are the ability to apply more effective roll on your bowling ball, develop a decisive hook motion with your ball deliveries, and will increase your rev-rate and which provides more power when your bowling ball impacts the pins.

A good grip enables you to properly release the ball. Here are a few tips provided courtesy of in gripping a fingertip bowling ball followed by a few tips to help you get used to controlling a fingertip grip:

1. the fingers should be inserted into the bowling ball before the thumb. Care should be taken to fit your fingers into the holes of the ball in the same manner each time you are getting ready to bowl.

2. in a fingertip grip, your fingers should be inserted down to the first knuckle joint and the weight of the ball will be supported by the pads of your fingers from the tip of your fingers to the first joint.

3. the thumb must be inserted into the thumb hole of the ball down to the second knuckle joint as to allow the ball surface to rest on the palm of your hand and to the full extension of your thumb.

4. when your hand is placed properly into the holes of the bowling ball, there needs to be more gripping pressure on the finger pads of your hand than on your thumb pad.

5. Spread your index finger away from the gripping fingers will cover more surface of the bowling ball while keeping your "pinky" (little) finger positioned against your ring finger of your bowling hand. Spreading the index finger will stabilize your grip on the bowling ball.

To develop into an accomplished player, you must learn to release the ball effectively. Your thumb must be released before the fingers so the fingers may impart the rotational action which causes the bowling ball to travel down the lane with an effective rolling and hooking motion. Gripping too tightly, particularly with the thumb, will slow the action of your hand at the moment of release. It helps to learn to grip the ball properly from the onset.

Here are a few tips to make a good release of the ball using your new fingertip grip:

1. position your hand directly behind the bowling ball through the entire back swing and forward swing motion so the palm of your hand faces the pins as your hand enters the release zone.

2. rotate your bowling fingers only very slightly just after your thumb exits the bowling ball, perhaps from about the six o'clock position on a clock dial to four o'clock position (right handed bowlers - opposite for left handed bowlers). This rotation action produces sufficient bowling ball axis tilt and imparts an effective forward rolling action onto the bowling ball yielding a moderate hook motion from the break point down the lane to the pocket. It does not really require much finger rotation to impart good rev-rate and enough axis tilt to help your ball transition properly in the mid-lane and again at the breakpoint to the pins. Many "stroker" players and "up-the-boards" players do not rotate the ball a great deal and develop into extremely accurate bowlers.

3. avoid over-rotating your fingers in an attempt to make the ball hook a great deal. This type of overturning motion causes the elbow to rotate around and outside the bowling ball and results in a poor delivery. Overturning the ball is a common mistake to all bowlers, pro bowlers included. You can reduce this overturn motion by training your hand and bowling elbow, through practice, to remain in position behind the ball until the hand reaches the release zone, your thumb exits the ball, and your fingers rotate the ball. Your swing should continue upward toward a full-finish follow through position.

4. your thumb must exit the ball slightly before the fingers at the "moment of release" as you are entering the sliding step of your approach. Leading the release with your ring finger on your bowling hand in an upward motion is another useful technique used by good players to avoid rotating the ball early.

5. when first practicing with a fingertip grip and trying to adjust to the new feel, wear a wrist support device. The device will help prop your hand and avoid the wrist tilting back during the release of the ball. Tilting the wrist back slows the thumb from exiting the ball in relation to your fingers. The wrist support device will prop up your wrist to regulate the moment your thumb leaves the ball so your ratio of effective releases increases. recommends you consult your pro shop professional or a certified bowling instructor to monitor you bowling deliveries until you develop a good bowling ball release technique and get accustomed to using the fingertip grip.

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