Article Contents

  • 1. The back end
  • 2. The midlane
  • 3. The heads
  • 4. It’s a wrap

Your knowledge, bowling equipment, and physical game are some of the greatest tools you can use to achieve the highest level possible in bowling. However, there is one thing many bowlers leave out. Imagination! By the end of this article, my goal is to get you to add imagination to your bowling skills and tools repertoire.

In this article, what most bowlers refer to as hook, I will refer to as shape. Shape is how much arc you are implementing in the back end of the lane, the movement of the ball in the midlane, and the amount of motion the ball makes in the front part of the lane.

Let’s break the lane down into three parts. The heads consist of the first 15 feet of the lane, the midlane is the area from the arrows to about 40 feet down the lane, and the back end is the last 20 feet of the lane. All of these distances are approximations as oil patterns can change the distances of the midlane and the back end. To kick things off, let’s start with some things that you really should try to avoid.

The back end

One of the most popular requests I get from bowlers is to have that snap hook look on the back end as indicated in the first photo (snap hook). Although this type of ball shape is impressive to watch, it is not a shape most bowlers, including professionals, score very well with. In addition, this type of shape on the back end has many drawbacks such as:

  • It is very speed sensitive.
  • It requires a great deal of skill and repeatability.
  • The carry percentage goes down since the angle into the pins is too acute.
  • There are few lane surfaces and/or oil patterns on which this shot lasts for more than a few shots unless you are on a lane by yourself.

So, it is my suggestion that even though it is impressive ...

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Bill Hall

About Bill Hall

Bill Hall is a Silver Certified USBC coach with Bill Hall Bowling. He has worked for the PBA Tour from 1980 to 1998 and coached internationally from 1998 to 2012. Bill has now returned to his home in Las Vegas and has recently introduced the new fitting technique Tri Grip. Bill is also the founder of Blend10 Bowling.