Setting New Year’s resolutions for a bowler


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I love the holidays, but let’s face it: they can be stressful with all the social events, over spending on gifts and hosting parties, and overeating during visits with family and friends.

Luckily for all of us, the holidays have come and gone, and the time for merriment, dry canned cookies, and general craziness is slowly becoming a distant memory.

With the new year being ushered in though, we have a new pressure-filled decision to make.

Do we make a New Year’s Resolution, you know like eating healthier, or just go ahead and break every rule of common sense and decency in the first week to just get it over with?

If you’re the resolution kind of person and want to possibly improve your bowling game, here’s a short list of possible resolutions you may want to consider.

The first thing you can do, and it won’t cost you a dime, is to remember to clean your bowling ball after every shot and at the end of your bowling night.

As I shared a few weeks ago, the most important part of the ball is the coverstock, and keeping it clean, will prolong the life of your ball.

The next “resolution” for the avid bowler could be to not let your older bowling balls die and go to bowling ball heaven, or the back of the closet.

In addition to the regular cleaning a bowler should do, an occasional visit to our local pro shop can help extend the life and improve the performance of your ball.

Pro shops can use a high speed ball spinner along with special grits of screening pads to do a deeper cleaning than just using a clean towel and ball cleaner. They can even apply heat to “bake” the saturated oil from the ball.

Doing your own regular ball cleanings along with the occasional tune-up from the pro shop leads me to the next resolution: only buy a new ball when you need a new ball.

Bowling ball companies are using technology and innovation to combine coverstocks and weight blocks to produce new balls every month. In a single year alone, the major ball companies can produce over 100 new balls. Using an average price of about $175 for a new ball, buying every ball that comes out would come close to the same amount as buying an inexpensive new car! I’m not suggesting to ignore the latest ever-improving technology, but no one needs a membership in the “ball of the month” club!

When the time does come to buy that new ball though, you may want to contemplate my final resolution for the new year; get a new grip. Over time things change, and your bowling ball grip is no different. Pro shop operators can simply copy a grip from your current ball, but it’s a good idea to occasionally have your grip evaluated and make changes when needed.

As all of the local leagues took last week off for the holidays, here’s an update of the top averages and performances thus far this season.

The top numbers for the season so far appear to come from Tuesday night’s Fellowship League which is also home of the top bowler in the Albemarle area, Mark Tarkington.

Tarkington holds the high average at 216, while Lee Owen has top game and series at 279 and 746 respectively.

Kaytee Simpson has a clean sweep of the ladies’ leaders with a 202 average, a 269 game and a 702 series.

In Martin Luther King League, Chris Farrell leads the pack with a 196 average, and a 678 scratch series. John Bradley has the top game so far for MLK with s 266.

For the MLK ladies, Debbie Winslow’s 173 tops the average list, to go along with Stephanie Winslow’s 234 high game and 589 scratch series.

Rondell Christian top the men of Monday Night Mixed in all categories with a 192 average, a 269 game, and a 677 series.

Stephanie Winslow leads the ladies from Monday night with a 173 average, a 237 game and a 621 series.

Ocie Manos holds the top average of All American Ladies at 156, while Stella Miller has top game and series at 210-583. Stella is in the thick of the high average race at a 155.

Susie Thomas’s 148 average leads the Albemarle Rollers’ ladies. Top game from the Wednesday night ladies session so far has come from Pamela Griffin (217) while Sharon Hoffler holds the top series at 500.

Ben and Bryce Hawkins hold the top guys’ average on the youth league at 160, which is partly why it’s no surprise that Bryce holds the top game at 237 and Ben holds top series at 601.

On the young ladies’ side, there’s a similar scenario as Violet Olds and Elizabeth Scaff sit atop the average board at 117, while Violet holds the top game at 206 and Elizabeth holds top series with a 439.

Until next week, good luck, good bowling, and Happy New Year!