Reviewing The Tri-Grip Drilling Method
By Joe Cerar
So, what’s all the buzz about this new measuring/drilling technique called Tri-Grip from past PBA ball driller Bill Hall? I’ll share my thoughts and trepidation about my experience using it these past few months. Be advised: no elements of how-to-measure the Tri Grip system will be released in this article. I do this out of respect to Bill Hall and his trademark protection. I will say however that the system utilizes both offsets and different pitch parameters not commonly used.
I first heard about this system about a year or so ago on Facebook and the internet. Since I’m naturally somewhat skeptical about new fitting or drilling techniques, I kind of blew it off thinking “Let’s give it some time”. Well, after about a year passed, I decided to investigate it further and give it a try. I decided this after reading positive after positive posts about the benefits and advantages it offers over the typical T-grip drilling method. Most of the positive posts spoke about the “better” feel and “release” it potentially offers. At this point I still remained cautious as we all know there are few quick fixes in this game we all so dearly love. Plus there is likely no “one-size fits all” measuring system either!
After purchasing the Tri Grip system, from Bill Hall’s web site for $200, I decided to do extensive testing with the help of my expansive customer base. I offered free plugging and drilling to the first 25 customers who were interested in trying Tri Grip. After the first 25 players came through the door, I also added an additional 30 to 35 customers who paid to try this system. I made certain to have a wide variety of player styles to help assess this system: strokers, tweeners, power players, high and low axis tilt, high and low axis rotation, younger and older, right and left handers and low medium and higher average ranges, whew!
After weeks of customer and personal testing, I began tabulating all the responses as well as viewing video of individual release styles. The results were astonishing, over 90% of the testers reported positive results! Comments were made such as: “it reduced my grip pressure, it helped me stay behind the ball better, it allowed me to position my hand more naturally, it increased my rev rate, it helped me execute more consistently and cleaner at release point and more”. On a personal note I felt it has helped me release the ball with little to no grab at release. And we all know how important that is! The few who didn’t care for the feel expressed: “it had little effect, it caused me to release it too fast or it didn’t feel any better in my hand.”
Other notable converts to the Tri Grip system are Jeff Richgels, 5 time USBC champion and USBC singles champ Ron Vokes. Jeff Richgels said “After some trial and error with pitches, the Tri-Grip has given me a great feeling fit that allows me to get under and behind the ball better than I have in years. While I haven’t had any extended competition like a PBA50 Tour stop to truly test the Tri-Grip’s impact on my endurance, I am cautiously optimistic that it will lessen the stress on my creaky 3-operation wrist and allow me to bowl with less stiffness and pain in extended competitions. I now have several balls with the Tri-Grip and if all goes well I will be switching my arsenal over when I get time — hopefully by the end of the year.” Ron Vokes said “My rev rate increased big time. I also was able to stay behind the ball better and exit the thumb cleaner. My son, CJ also loves it and it has helped him from topping the ball at release point”.
Now as stated earlier, there is no “one-size fits all” measuring system. I have made many tweaks to the system for each individual player. Even Bill Hall states “Players may need to make some adjustments as necessary for the perfect fit. Communication with your ball driller is essential.” But the basis and concept for the Tri Grip is sound and offers many benefits. Bill’s Tri Grip video can be purchased at www.billhallbowling.com. Also make sure you check out our interview on Above180.com with Bill Hall by clicking here.
I decided to try the Tri Grip system. The closest listed pro shop was an hour away. Scott Brunner in Portage, MI. I had Scott plug and re drill an old ball so I could get the feel for the Tri Grip. I liked how the ball sits in your hand better. I can’t say with this first ball felt that much different to me in the release but I felt comfortable with it. Since I had a tournament coming up I asked Scott to drill me a new Roto Grip Hyper Cell with the Tri Grip. I bowled with it that night in a league where I see a little more oil and shot 278-298-265=841 out of the box. While throwing that night I can say that I was definitely coming out of the ball cleaner without much squeezing. I think me being comfortable was a big reason I was able to throw what I did.As for tweaking, Scott didn’t take my pitch out as far as he normally would because I was coming from close to 0 pitch, so as I go forward I will slowly have him migrate the pitch.