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Bill October 13, 2007
South Beloit

When you play the first or second arrow do you have your ball drilled a surtain way do come up the back of the ball

Hi Bill,
I will use the same ball and drilling for throwing the ball straight or hooking it. It is my release and speed which makes the biggest difference on how much the ball hooks.

Frank October 11, 2007

How's it going Walter Ray?

I have some questions about equipment.
1. I tend to use 1 particular type of layout on each ball in my arsenal. I like the pin in a strong position 1 or 2 o'clock which is similar to your favorite pin position. I have found that this pin position allows the ball to flare a lot and early which causes the ball to layoff a bit on the back end. I have found that this layout makes it a lot easier for me to control the back end reaction. I'm curious if this is the same reason you like this particular type of pin placement?

2. If the coverstock is the most important part of a balls reaction then why not just buy 3 of one's favorite ball and change the cover between them (which I have done). For example I could have 1 polished, 1 sanded to 2000 grit and 1 sanded to 500 grit. Do you think this is an OK idea or do you think it's more wise to have 3 totally different strike balls?

Thnks in advance for your reply.

Hi Frank,
I tend to like these layouts as I feel it gives me a strong reaction on the backend as I throw the ball straighter than most of the other players. I think playing with the surface of the ball is the most important and 3 varied bowling balls as you describe should cover most lane conditions.

Jeremy October 6, 2007

I am trying to prepare myself for a junior tournament that puts down the US Open pattern (or close to it). Knowing that it is a flat pattern, accuracy and spare shooting are 1 and 1a in keys to bowling well (not to say that they aren't relevant in all the other events on sport shots). My question is what general type of equipment do you use on majors, especially the US Open? I prefer to bowl up the boards without a lot of rev of tilt (that's why some say, including myself, that I throw the ball like a girl; as long as it gets it done, right!). Do you use a lot of surface (180-500 grit) or finer surfaces (2000 or higher grit or even polish)? Do you use balls that read heavy mid-lane and/or tame the back end? Pin up/down? Strong pins (3 3/8" or around there) or control pins (5"+)? I know that we still throw the ball differently, but I just want a general starting point. I have bowled this tournament the other 2 times it was held, and I felt that I had a decent array of equipment, but I just bowled bad, no way around that. Thanks for your input and keep the ringers to pitching shoes!

Hi Jeremy,
I will use the same bowling balls for pretty much most lane conditions. If we ever were to bowl on really short oil patterns then I would have to look at possibly something quite a bit different. A tough sport pattern will let you know your mistake shots as opposed to a typical house shot where mistakes can go to the pocket quite easily. Repeating shots is much more critical on these demanding conditions.

Richard October 3, 2007

Good Morning Walter Ray,

You are definitely the best bowler ever.

That said,Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump because he was the first person to jump over the bar backwards. When I was bowling in the 60's and early 70's we used the same ball for both strikes and spares. Technology has changed the game a lot since then. Do you know who the first person was to use different balls for spares and strikes?

Hi Richard,
I don't know who the first bowler was to use different balls for spares and strikes. But if you don't throw the ball really straight at spares, I highly recommend having a spare ball.

Daniel October 2, 2007

Hello. You have certainly been an inspiration. I have a couple of questions: 1) Is there a difference between a plastic and polyester ball in regard to a spare ball?; 2) Should the spare ball be the same weight as the strike ball? Thank you for your time.

Hi Daniel,
Polyester is a more technical name for plastic. Your spare ball doesn't have to be the same weight as your strike ball, but if it is a lot different it could change your timing. But with practice it should be something that wouldn't bother you.

Cory October 1, 2007

This site is pretty awesome. Keep up the good work.

I'm a down and in bowler and I've been averaging around 180 for a couple leagues in a row now. Through most of the weeks in my league the lanes are pretty wet (probably thanks to the Tennessee humidity) but there will be a few dry weeks that my average and I go down hill. I've got a 15 lb ball with a reactive coverstock, and a 16 lb sanded Urethane ball that both cut across the head pin and go Brooklyn in dry conditions. When I try moving in to the left and throwing out to the right, I'm just not as consistent as I am with more of a straight line approach, so most times I'll try and muscle the ball hoping I can keep my same line and just get the ball to skid down the lane a little farther before the revs take hold and hook it Brooklyn.

Sometimes it works, but sometimes I find that the more speed I try and put on the ball, the more side rotation I put with it, and so the ball gets down there quicker, and I feel right manly, but I'm still missing left. So my question is, could I be better served to get a lighter, polished urethane ball to keep around, and keep trying to make my adjustments with speed, or should I just suck it up and move to the left?

Hi Cory,
Having a polished ball for really dry lane conditions is a good idea, but it is also a good idea to learn how to move left and play for that hook. If you ever go to a tournament where hooking the ball is a good idea, you want to be able to that with some confidence.

Charley September 12, 2007

After 30 years away from League bowling I have found the lanes and equipment much different. I have a dispute with a fellow bowler who claims my Brunswick "Automatic Scorer" call is a rubber ball. I told him I believed it was one of the first acrylic balls and included an off center weight. He also disputed the off center weight as not available then. Can you answer the specifications questions on this ball or direct me to a site that may have the specifications?? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hi Charley,
I don't know anything about the Automatic Scorer. I would contact Brunswick if they are the manufacture of the ball. Yes, bowling has changed quite a bit in 30 years.

Jerry September 4 2007

I was wondering if it would be advantageous if the thumb was drilled a little to the right for a more consistent hook. In other words, will the ball hook a little more if the thumb was drilled slightly to the right or maybe slightly to the left?

Also would it help to put an insert into the thumb for a more smooth release?
Thank you
Hope you have a fantastic upcoming season.

Hi Jerry,
I am not a ball driller, so I don't know what affect drilling your thumb hole to the right or left would do. I would ask a pro shop operator.

Fred August 30, 2007

Hey Walter Ray,
You've always said that your favorite drilling is a pin placed around 1 or 2 o'clock. When using this layout, does pin out distance (distance between CG and Pin) matter? Secondly, what other term is this layout called (i.e. label, leverage, axis, etc.)?

Hi Fred,
It does matter where the CG and Pin are, but I don't really worry about that. I am not a ball driller, so I don't know for sure, but I would guess that most of my drillings are label. I don't really care as long as I like the way the ball goes to the pocket and strikes.

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