A few months ago, Palmer Fallgren suggested an article idea: have a normal bowler keep a record of the questions, adjustments, feelings, and concerns they have during tournament competition. Unfortunately BTM couldn’t find a normal bowler to do this, so we chose Palmer instead. Even in his tour days, no one ever accused Palmer Fallgren of being normal. What follows is his record of his ABC team event performance, which in places lets everyone know that the head coach of TEAM USA isn’t all that different from the rest of us.
Welcome to the ABC in Reno
Before we even boarded the plane to go to Reno, it was time to make our initial decision—what bowling balls do I take with me. In year’s past, I’ve experienced different lane conditions, but I listened to the grapevine, did my homework, and tried to understand what type of lane conditions we would be playing on in the Stadium this year.
I also talked to John Davis at The Foundation, an organization that is conducting research on lane conditions. He had made recommendations to the ABC to help with their request to try to have multiple angles to the pocket this year. This was an attempt to give all players and styles a shot.
Based on all of this, I chose six balls: Ball one was my Storm Spare ball. You can’t win at the ABC without making spares. Ball two was a red Pulse, a low-flaring ball with surface. Then I had three animal balls: a Speed Zone, a Quantum and a Boss. Last was my AMForce 1, a good ball for me because it’s low flaring and I kept that one a little shiny. This gave me two strike balls that I could go straight up with and three that I could use to turn the corner.
As I got ready to leave for Reno, I realized that I might just be able to get the old self going here, play outside the first arrow, and shoot a 2200. Did I say 2200? I think I meant 1900 because I haven’t been doing much bowling.
Anyway, moving ahead to tournament day. We don’t bowl until 10:30 at night. Fred Borden is my doubles partner. I also have the honor of bowling with Mike Hall, Rick Pittman, and ex-tour player Kent Wagner. We have a pretty good team. We’re going to have a team meeting tonight on strategy, how to bowl together as a team, since we haven’t bowled together before.
Before that even happens, I still have decisions to make about my equipment. The first thing I do is change all my grips. I want the feel of new grips. Then I go over to practice on Lane 81, the CATS lane, with coach Borden. We were all trying to tune our game on the CATS lane. It was like a Team USA reunion for a while with John Gaines, Chris ...
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