Using your total game to diagnose challenging lanes


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It amazes me how when checking weekly scores for this column, I’ll occasionally come across a bowler who has a really big week, then the next night or week, the same bowler follows it up with a not so great night.

Without naming names and bruising an ego or two, lets just say I’ve seen bowlers drop in series total sometimes as much as 200 pins from one night to the next or even drop 100 pins from a first game to the second on the same night!

Usually, when I hear bowlers trying to explain this massive decline across a few days, they are quick to point out that they just simply threw the ball poorly the second day, or my favorite, they blame the lanes and the oil pattern.

My thought to this is simple; if you’re going to own your successes, then you have to own your failures too.

I often wonder why it is that some bowlers are willing to take responsibility for their physical game, but fail to consider the intellectual side of their game, meaning reading the lanes and making the necessary adjustments.

Gone are the days when just because one night playing the third arrow out to about the 7-board resulted in high scores, meaning you can return 7 days later and expect the same results.

In the 1980s and before, when everyone rolled rubber, plastic and later urethane, the oil and pattern dictated how a bowler attacked the lanes and bowlers were at the mercy of the lane man.

Since the evolution of synthetic lanes and reactive resin bowling balls, the oil pattern is still important, but not as much as the topography of the lanes and where on the lanes other bowlers are playing.

The make-up of reactive resin balls makes them oil sponges that soak up oil with every revolution.

Put 8 bowlers on a pair of lanes, playing close to the same line, and it doesn’t take long for the original shot to be toast in sometimes less than a single game.

My next move would be going to the ball bag and getting a little weaker ball.

It makes sense to me that if the reactive resin is over-reacting on a drier lane, you might want to consider a drop to urethane, or even, gasp, plastic.

The bottom line here is, before you’re quick to blame a lapse in your physical game, be sure you’ve gone through all your options in your intellectual game.

From the local lanes, the big man on campus wasn’t a man at all, but came in the form of a lady, as Brittney Gaumond lit up lanes 3 and 4 to the tune of a 221-638.

While Brittney’s numbers were not the highest of the night, her 776 handicap series was.

The top scores came from Chris Farrell with a 246-668, Lake Krehel’s 236-662, Steve Spoonire’s 213-620, and Derrick Spruill’s 236 game.

Joining Gaumond atop the ladies’ top scores were Suzie Ange’s 150-425, Beth Marshall’s 149-422, Jackie Bradley’s 156 game and Kimberly Wiley’s 153 game.

After a slow start for high games, lightening struck THREE times during the No-Tap Doubles league last week as Mark Tarkington rolled a pair of 300 games joined by another from John Bradley.

At the end of the night, Tarkington had amassed a 4-game tally of 1145, followed by Bradley’s 906, JT Turner’s 242-904 and William Heckstall’s 259 game.

The ladies were topped by Brenda Cowand’s 207-706, Debbie Winslow’s 200-694, Caitie Davis’s 220-680, and Jackie Bradley’s 210 game.

Kenzie Vanscoy’s 104 and Trevor Nguyen’s 76 topped the Bumper League, while Christopher Vinson’s 268-727, Bryce Hawkins’ 257-651, Ben Hawkins’ 259-648 and Gary Allen Nistler’s 199 game led the youth guys.

Lindsay Porter’s 224-561, Elizabeth Scaff’s 183-491, and Kaylee Winslow’s 171-439 topped the young ladies.

Leading the adults were Lindsay Perry’s 258-693, Gary Nistler’s 201-546, Korey Gregory’s 217-518, and GS Pinner’s 210 game.

In closing, yesterday marked the day new teams can sign up for the fall leagues at Albemarle Lanes.

For more information on local leagues, stop by the lanes to have your questions answered.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling.