Your New Year’s Resolutions

Sensible strategies for better bowling in the new year

Your New Year's Resolutions

We love the holidays, but let’s face it: they can be stressful, what with all the planning and spending and overeating and visits to and from relatives. Thankfully, the holidays have come and gone, and the time for gift-giving, stale fruitcake, and general frivolity is slowly fading in our rearview mirrors.

The new year is upon us, and with it comes a choice: do we make the New Year’s resolutions we make every January—you know, get in shape, eat more kale…that sort of thing—or do we chicken out? It’s a tough call.

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place: I’ve done the work for you. Here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions that are everything you’ve always wanted them to be: inexpensive and easy to keep.

In the spirit of the season, here are my New Year’s resolutions. Feel free to use them, add to your own list, or start eating more kale.

I will clean my bowling balls EVERY TIME I bowl

I can’t tell you how important this is, but I’ll try.

Modern bowling balls won’t last forever. Even the hardest balls on the market are not nearly as hard as the rubber balls of yore. (I still use my rubber AMFlite Magic Line 3-Dot for spares. Old? I bought it in the mid-1960s.)

A bowling ball’s coverstock—its outer shell—is its most important component, contributing the most to its hook and hitting power. That’s because a modern reactive resin bowling ball—especially a reactive marketed as “high performance”—is, first and foremost, just a big, heavy sponge. And like a real sponge, it is porous and absorbent. It soaks up oil as it rolls down the lane, and it typically encounters a dry surface each time it rotates thanks to track flare. It’s that dry surface that contributes the most to the ball’s efficiency.

But there’s a dark cloud of bad news hovering here: when a bowling ball sucks up lane oil, it loses some of its hook and hitting power. As time passes, it loses more and more of that hook and ...

Phil Regan

About Phil Regan

Phil Regan, a USBC-certified Silver coach, has been teaching bowling since 1964. Retired from corporate life, he coaches bowlers of all levels in the northern California area and competes on the PBA50 and PBA Regional tours. Phil can be found online at