How a tiny piece of tape can make a big difference


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

If you look through a bowler’s bag, you’ll find a number of items specifically needed for a successful night on the lanes.

Besides the bowling ball(s), bowling shoes, a shoe brush, a towel or a shammy are among some of the most important items.

But, perhaps one of the most important items found hidden in the bowler’s tool box, is perhaps the most inexpensive of all, a few pieces of tape. Just a simple, cheap piece of white textured tape, or smooth black tape, can make or break a league night or tournament block.

One of the most important and basic attributes of the game of bowling is the ability to place this small piece of tape in a strategic spot of the thumb hole to give the best and most comfortable feel for the bowler. Installing this piece of tape in the wrong place can lead to an inconsistent feel and for some bowlers, the need to squeeze the ball during the delivery.

To determine the correct angle to insert your tape, picture a clock face over your thumb hole with straight up towards the finger holes being 12 o’clock. Next, extend your bowling arm out in front of you, with the palm facing down. Pay special attention to your thumb. For right handers, the bottom of your thumb is facing 1:00. That’s where you want to place your tape. Southpaws would be opposite, or 11:00.

I suggest to place your first piece of tape near the top of the thumb hole, then as needed, layer the tape, going a little deeper with each additional piece. If you need more than a few pieces to make your grip comfortable, you might want to consider making a visit to the pro shop to consider being refitted.

You’ll also want to change the top layer frequently. As more games are bowled, the top piece of tape will get dirty and a little slick from dirt and lane oil.

The only way to make a thumb hole more comfortable would be if it was made to specifically fit your thumb. Not just close, be exactly like the bowler’s thumb. That might sound a little crazy, right? But maybe that’s not as crazy of a concept as it appears. Maybe that will be a topic to cover soon.

From the local leagues this past week, John Turner, from Monday Night Mixed, punched a 242-668 to take the top honors across the entire house and all leagues for the week.

Steve Spoonire’s 241-629 and William Swinson’s 244-617 along with Boris Beatty’s 265 game joined Turner’s honor roll performance in leading the men from Monday.

Sharon Hoffler’s 202-518 along with Stephanie Winslow’s 194-497, Linda Barrett’s 188-491, and Patsy Sander’s 191 game finished atop the ladies’ performances from Monday night.

Boris Beatty continued his big week on Tuesday night, bagging a 247-644 to lead Fellowship League. Lake Krehel’s 248-616 trailed only Beatty, while Jeff Barefoot (218-608) and Murdock Spencer (231 game) had impressive outings as well.

The ladies’ side of Fellowship was topped by Kaytee Simpson’s 243-580, along with Ruth Odell’s 182-525 and Bobbi Jo Tarkington’s 180-439.

Chris Farrell struck early and often while recording a nice 247-656 to lead the Martin Luther King League. Starley Darnell and Garry Williamson followed, both firing series tallies of 621 on the night. Williams’ included the high game of the night, a 262, while Darnell included a 234 single game effort.

Bobby Winslow’s 242-615 and John Turner’s 215-600 finalized the men’s top scores from MLK.

The ladies from MLK were led by Debbie Winslow’s 177-521, Brittney Gaumond’s 178-495, and Amie Wallace’s 160-439.

Ocie Manos’s 189-499 during All-American Ladies was the top from the all-ladies leagues. Patsy Saunders’ 182-487, Stella Miller’s 164-449 and Sharon Yonek’s 184-449.

Tristan Hardison’s 109 game topped the bumper bowlers while Bryce Hawkins’ 205-526,Thomas Adams’ 177-504, and Gaston Pinner’s 163 game topped the youth guys.

Lindsay Porter’s 146-379, Elizabeth Scaff’s 144-376, and Kaylee Winslow’s 128-338 topped the youth ladies.

The youth bowlers also had their annual Easter Candy Tournament this past weekend with the top handicap scores claiming chocolate bunnies. Congrats to Gaston Pinner (657), Aedan Thompson (655), and Bryce Hawkins (631) on claiming the top three spots, while Jason Nistler (228) for claiming the top game of the bowlers not finishing in the top three.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.