What is a good bowling ball fit? I
know this is a subject that drives bowlers and pro shop operators
One approach might be:
Select a ball that you do not care a lot about. This ball may be
plugged and redrilled several times while your search for grip
valhalla. You won't use it in any competition, it's purpose is to
experiment and try to find the best grip for you.
Make incremental changes noting positive, negative, or no perceived
All the pitches and the span depend on you, there are guidelines but
your grip characteristics, sizes, flexibility, skin dry or moist,
strength are analogous to a fingerprint.
A possible scenario might after the first drilling it feels a bit
better feel and results have improved. After the second
drill 2 things are still getting a bit better. This would progress
until the results started to get worse.
Once they get worse you retreat to the best one which should be the
I'd also experiment with different tapes, from those inside the
holes to those applied to you, see what works best for you, but be
aware of changes in the hand during play. As part of a proshot
routine, do a grip check, need tape in or out or just a change for
If so do it rather than roll a bad shot and say I should have
adjusted the thumb hole.
Ron Hoppe wrote "any bowler has a right to ruin their own hand".
I'd stress comfort and well being.
I believe you want a fit that makes the ball tend to feel like an
extension of your hand. The bowler still needs good release
technique and trust to let the ball come off when and where it
should. This is something that should be dealt with at the
Ask the driller what his or her conception is and how to tell if the
fit is good, how to tell when you need tape, ask them to grasp your
arm with the pressure required to hold and free swing a well fitted
There are some tests that can be done right at the proshop.
It's my feeling that off the press the fit is going to be close.
getting closer to perfection might take a few tries.
Now when the bowler trys to roll a few shots at the shop, that
bowler may have bad technique that prevents the ball from being
released. So then the driller can either try to get the bowler to do
it better or alter the grip to one that could be worse than it just
was. I would be that this happens.
Mind you I am not a ball driller.
Some additional thoughts about
going "ball hunting"...
-DO YOUR RESEARCH! With the Internet, you should already know what
ball you want down to 2-3 choices. If you walk into a pro shop
without knowing what brand/ball you want, you'll likely walk out
with a very expensive "mistake". For some good
information I would check out the
Ultimate Bowling Guide eBook, there is a small price for it, but
it's well worth it in my opinion.
-Know your ball speed/rev rate. Having a lower ball speed probably
means the more aggressive coverstock/core combinations aren't going
to work for you. Having a higher ball speed means a less aggressive
coverstock might not come back at the end. Any information you can
provide a pro shop will help you get what you need
-Simple thought: Is the ball you are looking for a)for a specific
tournament condition or b)just looking for a high scoring house
condition monster? It's unlikely a tournament specific ball will
work well in league, and equally unlikely your fully leveraged
league monster will translate well into a tournament condition that
And if I'm saying all of this, you can rest assured it's because
I've made all of the above mistakes and "wasted" around 500-1000
bucks on bad decisions. Do your homework and the same won't happen