ASK BOB 7/1/2016

Q. My leagues are over summer is upon us again. My question is I am not a summertime bowler what is your suggestion for a guy or gal that likes to take the summer off but still needs to stay in bowling shape for next season?

A. This comes up every year at this time most of us bowlers cut back in summer. Not to the extent that you seem to do however. But to stay in some kind of bowling shape you will have to bowl some during the next 2 month’s. My advise every year is it is a great time to work on your arsenal go to the pro shop and have them check your equipment and get it cleaned up for next season. Get bowling balls resurfaced and have them get the oil buildup out of the balls that need it. Buy a new ball or two to fill out holes in your arsenal. This is a great time to buy a new ball. Business is slow and deals on equipment can be made. Then you will still have to practice some to stay bowling ready. Go to your center a couple of times a month and get in a few games to stay at least a little sharp. Even just 2 or 3 games will help. But also think about starting in August go in a get a lesson or two this can really set you up for next season.

Q. I am bowling in a summer league this year and the lanes seem much different from winter. They seem much slicker in the center but really take off at the break point. Then they dry out almost between shots around the 2nd game. What do you think is going on and what can I do about it?

A. Weather conditions in most of the country go through a big change in the summer. Much hotter. Dryer in some places and more humidity in others. This really plays heck with the shot. The lanes are probably being dressed the same but they will dry out quicker in the summer. This is a great time to try a few things to smooth out how you throw the ball down the lane. Many of us have a tendency to hit the ball a little too much. We try to do more than we should to get the ball to finish hard at the pins. This actually hurts our game overall. We need to smooth out the release, come out of the ball very clean and let the ball roll do the work. Hitting the ball to hard at release causes much of the over reaction that kills our game. We get more splits and just plain bad hits by trying to hit the ball at the bottom of the swing. When the lanes get dry we get a worse reaction. So my suggestion try loosening up your arm swing let the ball roll off the fingers with very little effort. In other words no extra hit. Let the lane take the ball to the pocket don’t force the ball to the pocket. You will still have to move on the approach and lane to get to the correct line but maybe not as much. Also believe it or not your pin carry will also improve. Summer is a great time to learn new things to improve your game for next season.

Q. I have bowled for many years and I used to always use a ball with 2 ounces or so of top weight and always ½ to ¾ ounces of finger weight. I also preferred ¼ ounce of side weight. I always tell the person that drills my ball. They just smile and drill the ball they never mention anymore what weights have been put in the ball. What am I missing? What has changed?

A. The new bowling balls have weight blocks that weigh much more than weight blocks of the past. The weights you mentioned are called static weights. They have very little meaning in the new balls. What counts now for ball reaction on the lanes is first the cover. Pearls don’t hook as much or at least later down the lane. Solids hook earlier and more. Also how you treat the cover polished or sanded makes a huge difference. The next biggest difference maker is the weight block you heve heard the term pin placement this gives the ball tendencies for where and how much it hooks. Lastly is static weight and the previous mentioned things pretty much override static weight The difference is because the balls today are just way more advanced than they were back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Next time ask your driller about the workings of the balls today it is always good to know so you can apply the knowledge to your game.

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