Article Contents

  • 1. What bowling ball do I need? What layout do I use? How do I play this pattern?
  • 2. The driver: the bowler
  • 3. Tires: the bowling ball’s surface
    • 3.1. Too much surface
    • 3.2. Not enough surface
  • 4. The engine: core dynamics
  • 5. The weather: our invisible playing environment
  • 6. Have a question?

With all the talk today of EVERY possible variable needed to strike – the right ball, the right layout, the right surface, AND the ability to read an invisible environment – you’ve really got to wonder how anyone EVER strikes!

In the big scheme of things and, taking a simplified view of the bowling world, our sport really hasn’t changed significantly for the masses. All that is required is understanding what YOUR bowling ball is doing on YOUR lanes, watching YOUR ball’s reaction, and responding to it appropriately. In short, your bowling ball tells you what the lane is doing. The pins tell you what the bowling ball is doing.

What bowling ball do I need? What layout do I use? How do I play this pattern?

A funny analogy comes to my mind when I hear bowlers asking these questions:

Question: Why was the man (bowler) banging his head into the wall?
Answer: Because it felt good when he stopped!

I think bowlers need to simplify. Let’s start by simplifying ball motion. We’ll do this by talking about the driver (you the bowler) of a car (your bowling ball) traveling down a road (the lane) and the effects of varying weather conditions (the oil pattern).

The driver: the bowler

The first factor in bowling is YOU, the driver. The bowling ball only does what you tell it to do – direction, ball speed, rev rate, axis tilt, and axis rotation are ALL predicated by how you deliver the ball. Drivers come in all shapes and sizes in today’s game. In addition to throwing the bowling ball, the bowler also needs to be aware of what the ...

Ric Hamlin

About Ric Hamlin

Ric Hamlin is a bowling industry veteran with many years of experience as an elite bowler, pro shop operator, and coach. Ric was the assistant manager of the Storm / Dexter / KR booth at the 1995 ABC National Tournament, the Director of Pro Shop Operations for the Coast Casinos / The Orleans from 2000 to 2003, Brunswick’s Northwest Product Specialist from 2003 to 2008, and he is currently a Sales Specialist for Steve Cook’s Bowling Supply. Since 2005, Ric has been the Assistant Coach of the Fresno State Bulldogs. He is the co-founder of Hamlin Yamasaki Bowling Concepts and he is the co-author of both Head Games: the Mental Approach of Bowling and Sports and (r)eVolve, a technical course on fitting, drilling, layouts and ball motion.