I suppose it depends on the airline, number of balls you are looking to bring, and the type of bags that you have. I've not had problems on Delta.
Here are some of the things I've done in the past:
When i had a 4 ball carrier, two balls went in the bottom and clothing in the top. Straps were used to be sure the top and bottom of the carrier could not separate. Can't remember if this was only in the 70# limit era or if i made it work at 50. Seems like it can work at 50# if you are careful to have nothing but balls and clothing and no dense items. I put bowling shoes in another bag.
I now have two triple ball carriers and will just use them as suit cases and ship the bowling balls--or put one ball in each bag and ship four. I have shipped the balls to a UPS store in cartons. The only problem with this is that the store may charge you a fee like $10 to hold it and then $10 per day that it is there. If you do this you must arrange this with the recieving store.
The heavier your luggage, the more risk of damage. Not to mention the hassle lugging the stuff around the airports. I would ask the hotel where you are staying if they will hold a shipment. This has worked for me with some items much larger and heavier than bowling balls and they had it behind the registration desk when i arrived!