Since taking on this column, I have developed as a bowler. From knowing when to make a ball change, to knowing when to make adjustments on the lane, to just my over all confidence. The one thing that still needs work, and lots of it; my spare game!

I’m sure starting an article like this, you’re thinking I really bowled bad last night, I didn’t, shooting a 588 (159, 242, & 187) but with 7 opens (most make able) I left a lot of pins on the board. Now, I’m not to the point where I bowl clean games or series yet. I have bowled clean games but I’ll follow that up with a bad open, but some of the spares I’m leaving are basic and I should be picking them up. One quick disclaimer, I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t practiced my spares like I should so the onus falls on me, but I can definitely see where I need to improve! Of those opens, only 2 were single pin misses (a 6 and a 10 pin) and only one split, the other 4 were make able spares that I usually can and do pick up.

Now it wasn’t all for a loss last night, after a dismal 159 opener (3 opens in a row killed a decent game), I bounced back with a 242, which included 8 strikes (5 in a row at one point). While I struggled some in the 3rd game on the left lane, I did finish with a 187 to finish with my 588. The last game, I made another move a few frames late and it cost me some pins. In total, 4th week in a row of an average increase, 2nd week in a row having a nightly average over 190, and confidence is much higher as I continue on. Also last night, we won 3 out of 4 points available (last 4 weeks our record is 13.5-2.5) and one of my teammates shot his career best game and series, shooting a 196 game and a 501 series. Good job buddy!

Quick stats update after another above average night:

  • Beginning of the night average: 182.64
  • End of the night average: 183.15
  • Spare conversion percentage: 56.2 (9/16) Splits 1 (0/1)
  • Single pin spare conversion percentage: 71.4% (5/7)
  • Make able spare percentage: 60% (9/15)
  • Strike percentage on the night: 51.5% (17)

As I started the column with, spares were my Achilles heel last night as with just one more spare conversion during the night, I have a 600 series. That simple! Certain things I’m going to focus on going forward to improve my spare game; playing some low ball games to practice corner pins, slowing down and focusing on where I set up when shooting at any and all spares, and while it won’t make all of the difference, getting a plastic spare ball to help improve accuracy. I’m currently using my Brunswick Diamondback and just flattening my wrist when taking spare shots, which hasn’t been bad, but with a overall spare percentage under 60% hasn’t been to good either. Just another area that there is room to grow.

Overall, I’m feeling very good about where my game is at. Are there things to work on, sure, but despite having things to work on, my game is progressing. I haven’t gotten over that 600 hurdle, but flirting with it every week is a step in the right direction. I know I have things to work on, there are always things to work on, but the progress that is being made is more than I could have hoped for!! Things seem to be falling into place!!

As I mentioned last week, the ball is finally rolling on getting my Jet Altitude put into action. My local driller watched me all night during league and we discussed what I am hoping to get out of the bowling ball. He did some additional research on the ball and after using that information and some of the information for Above 180’s very own John Baker, we were in the room measuring me up for the ball. Only thing we didn’t do last night was actually drill it, but by this weekend I should have a newly drilled Jet Altitude in my arsenall! A review of some sorts will be upcoming, but I can not wait until I can get a chance to throw this ball down the lanes!! Thanks again to Jet Bowling for helping me on my Journey, if you are interested in your own Altitude or another other ball from the Jet line, check them out here!!

Another solid night on the lanes! Still working towards that 600 series, but 4 consecutive weeks above average has the confidence at a all time high! Until next week… Keep on rolling!!