Lee Owen: Of all the ways to throw a ball, is a hook the best?

By Lee Owen

The Daily Advance

0 Comments | Leave a Comment

Watching some archived PBA tournaments on Xtra Frame this past week, I was amazed at just how many different ways there are to throw the bowling ball.

Still, even with all of these options of delivery, it all boils down to hooking it or throwing it straight.

I recently had a new league bowler see me throw a ball and he complimented me on how much my ball hooked, even though it didn’t strike.

He then got up and threw a crushing strike with the straightest ball you could imagine. I walked over and told him, “your shot was so much better than mine,” and he just couldn’t believe it.

I realized just how much TV bowling has influenced the game, and people think that they can’t throw a good ball unless they are throwing a hook, and that is not the case.

Of course, if you can throw the hook and be consistent, then it is clearly the best option, but even for a local 200 average league bowler, sometimes, hooking it isn’t even the best option.

It is important to know how the pins mix up based on the entry angle of the ball to the pocket.

That is why a hook is so good, because it gets you to that angle that is optimal. You can still get close to that angle with a straight ball, simply by moving over to one side or the other and throwing it straight in at an angle to the pocket.

I have had nights in league where the hook just isn’t working and have gone to an angled straight ball and shot deuce. The way the ball looks going down the lane doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is the score in the boxes on the computer.

So the next time you are apprehensive about trying out that old straight ball, don’t hesitate. It could be what keeps your average up and adds one more tool to your bag of tricks come tourney time.



Of course everyone always brings their “A” game when they bowl my team, and this week was no exception. Marvin Burnham, who averages 163 and has improved vastly over the season, failed to strike in the first frame of the night but after that, carried strikes all the way to the 10th frame, finishing with a huge 251, almost 100 pins over his average! Congrats Marvin.

For the rest of the league, Mark Tarkington topped the board overall with his 645 series, followed by a 226/644 from Chad Freeman and a 224/607 from Stephen Marshall.

The women were led this week by my wife, who had a great night, with a 194 game, followed by a 171 from Michelle Pearson and a 160 from Julie Transue.



After what appears to have been a rough week on the lanes, Terence Riddick came out on top with a nice 234 game, followed by a 226 from one of the nicest guys out there, Elbert Sawyer, and a 224 from Garry Williams.

One the ladies side of the coin, it was Stephanie Winslow leading with a 203, followed by Amie Wallace and her 197, and Debbie Winslow with a 191.