One of the questions serious bowlers are asked by recreational ones is, “How do you do that?”, referring to making a bowling ball hook, or curve, as some refer to the movement of the ball in an arcing pattern from close to the gutter, back to the strike pocket.
There are a few things that come together to create a bowler’s hook of the ball. Characteristics of the ball itself contribute greatly to this reaction; ball coverstock and positioning of the grip to the weight block are two of the greatest attributes. As important though, is the grip itself, and most of your more successful keglers employ what is known as a fingertip grip.
The benefits of using the fingertip grip are the ability to apply a more effective roll on your bowling ball, develop a decisive hook motion with your ball delivery, and increase your rev-rate, which provides more power when your bowling ball impacts the pins.
A fingertip grip is just what it says it is; a grip using only the tip of the fingers, up to the first knuckle, as opposed to inserting nearly the entire middle and pointer finger into the ball.
Here are a few “tips”, no pun intended, for bowlers looking to make the switch from a conventional grip to the more successful fingertip grip.
For starters, the fingers should be inserted into the ball before the thumb, and inserted down to the first knuckle joint, the weight of the ball supported by the pads of your fingers from the tip of your fingers to the first joint.
Next, the thumb should be inserted into the thumb hole of the ball down to the second knuckle joint as to allow the ball surface to rest on the palm of your hand and to the full extension of your thumb. A reminder to our league bowlers; beginning next season, if you are not using your thumb hole, you can no longer have a thumb hole.
Finally, when releasing the ball in your delivery, you’ll want your thumb to exit the ball first, with the fingers lifting through the ball to employ the roll and ball motion needed to create the hook you are looking for.
Ironically, the topic of writing about a fingertip grip was conceived from a conversation taking place behind lanes one and two last Tuesday night during Fellowship League while John Bradley was mowing down the pins for his first 11 shots during the opening game. The final shot though, maybe going a bit high, resulted in a stubborn 6-pin and Bradley’s second 299 of his career, matching his high game from December, 2004.
Bradley finished the evening adding games of 232 and 213 to easily claim the top series of the week, a 744. Congratulations, John on a fantastic evening.
Jevon Simpson punched out a nice 244-657 to trail only Bradley, while Lee Owen took the third highest series, a 237-633. Paul Lacher turned in a nice 254 game to make the high scores report.
Kaytee Simpson splintered the rack for an impressive 228-609, while Brittney Krehel and Bobbi Jo Tarkington followed with 200-524 and 202-523 respectively.
The Martin Luther King League witnessed numbers it hadn’t seen in a while when Mark Tarkington (267-740) and William Swinson (256-723) both rocked 700-plus series. Fred Hill had some heads spinning while kicking off the night with the front 8 strikes for a big 269 game and Paul Lacher was at it again, adding a 256 opening game.
Brittney Krehel’s 181-526 topped the MLK ladies, followed by Mary Hill’s 188-523 and Patsy Sanders’ 167-419.
Prior to his Tuesday night flirt with perfection, John Bradley posted a 234-639 in leading the men of the Monday Night Mixed League just ahead of William Swinson’s 222-618, and Steve Spoonire’s 219-585. Korey Gregory mixed in a 225 to find its way on the high score manifest.
Debbie Winslow’s 168-467 led the ladies from Monday night along with Bonnie Sawyer’s 166-431, Linda Barrett’s 154-414, and Karen Ashley’s 188 top game.
Ocie Manos found the pocket frequently to pace the All American Ladies with a 183-525. Pat Dooley followed with a 161-447, along with Maria Madonia’s 424 series and Sharon Yonek’s 159 game.
Bryce Hawkins pulled within less than of a pin for high average during the youth league with his 178-520 this past Saturday, just ahead of Christopher Vinson’s 194-514. Jacob Davenport’s 472 series and Brandon Jackson’s 198 high game.
Lindsay Porter brought her A-game to lead the young ladies with a nice 167-420, just ahead of Elizabeth Scaff’s 143-418, and Cheyanne Hardison’s 144-453.
Until next week, good luck and good bowling.