Still searching for more bowler’s resolutions to pick up your game?


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Still searching for more bowler’s resolutions to pick up your game?

After last week’s column on setting new year’s resolutions by taking better care of our bowling balls, I’m sure everyone rushed out to purchase the newest USBC approved bowling ball cleaner and make an appointment to have their ball rejuvenated and resurfaced.

But now what? What can you try on the lanes to see your scores begin to climb? This goes back to some practice procedures and strategies.

One idea I recently read-up on a little was 3D targeting. This one definitely requires permission of the bowling center, but I personally know the guy who works the counter at Albemarle Lanes on every weekday, except Wednesday, and I’m sure he would help you arrange this.

Through 3D targeting, colorful, removable adhesive tabs are placed on the lane to represent a target. If you’ve always relied on targeting a specific arrow or dot on a lane, adding the additional target will give you an additional dimension in your practice shots.

If you’re interested in trying this, stop by the lanes sometime and see me. I can help you schedule a time to try this when we can set you up on an end lane.

Ironically, my next bit of simple advice is to not become so obsessed with hitting a specific board on every shot. If you start actually trying to dissect splinters of boards, you’ll drive yourself crazy.

First of all, most lanes aren’t made of boards anymore, so splinters don’t even exist, second, not even the best pros hit the same board on every shot.

The next time you watch the pros on television, try to see where their ball crosses a predetermined spot on the lane. What you’ll start to notice is while they aren’t hitting a pinpoint spot every time, they are hitting within a board or so each time. They’re targeting an area of the lane.

Another helpful hint to help with your game is to start to view your spare leaves through rose-colored glasses. One of my favorite bowling expressions is “You strike for show, but you spare for dough”, meaning games are usually won or lost by who makes or misses their spares.

Instead of seeing a 2-4-5 spare leave or a 4-7 combination, zoom in and focus on the single pin which is going to lead to the spare conversion. Excluding the disastrous splits we all face occasionally, nearly every spare a bowler faces can be seen as a single-pin spare.

This strategy can even be employed on corner pin spares, the 7 and 10 pins. Instead of trying to hit that single pin right in the middle, play a little mind-game and shoot for the imaginary pin in front of that pin, the 4 or 6 pin. If you hit the 4 or 6 pin in the middle, you’ll have enough room to cover the corner pin also.

While Monday Night Mixed and Tuesday night’s Fellowship League took a second week off for Christmas and New Years, the rest of the local leagues shook off a little rust and hit the lanes again this past week.

Clarence Burke topped the men from MLK league with a picture of consistency as he tossed games of 190-196-191 for a 577 series. Chris Farrell added a 220-567 to finish just ahead of Lindsay Perry’s 207-567, and John Bradley’s 214 game.

Debbie Winslow’s 188-524 paced the ladies from MLK, followed by Amie Wallace’s 157-451 and Jill Serik’s 159 game. Sherry Huntley, who entered the night with a 110 average, claimed scratch games of 129, 131, and 140 to tally a 670 handicap series.

Susie Thomas posted the high scores of the week from the ladies-only leagues as she bagged a 188-515 during Wednesday night’s Albemarle Rollers. Sylvia Holley claimed a 154-410 while Kathleen Thomas and Patsy Sanders had nice games of 175 and 154 respectively.

Stella Miller’s 185-504 paced the Thursday morning All American Ladies just ahead of Mary Beasley’s 154-432 and Sharon Yonek’s 155 game.

Tristan Hardison paced the bumper league with games of 87 and 74.

Bryce Hawkins led the youth boys with an impressive 219-545, followed closely by Thomas Adams’ 195-521, Christopher Vinson’s 181 game and Ben Hawkins’ 479 series.

On the young ladies’ side, Lindsay Porter led all with a 147-410, to go along with Elizabeth Scaff’s 138-363 and Violet Olds’ 123-326.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.