I abandon the bowling "curve" and my scores improve immesely
More than a year ago I was relatively dominant in our local bowling league. I was the champion for 11 weeks straight and most of the people that I played against were getting defeated by 50 points or more. It got to the point where aside from a couple of our participants, people knew that even getting ranked in a game against me almost certainly meant defeat. We got to the point where I had most of the medals including the high score and the championship belt and sometimes I would have the tag-team championship as well.
Then Covid shut down our bowling alleys for 8 months. Upon return I seemed to have completely lost my bowling mojo and I have lost badly in the one and only time I was chosen to contend for the championship belt.
There was one thing that I was doing that nobody else did though: I do NOT use the thumb hole but instead cradle the ball and only use the finger holes.
not me, I don't do selfies and couldn't while holding a bowling ball anyway
The big advantage of bowling like this is that I can get that curve that the pros get in order to hit the pins right in the pocket of the 1/3 pins and this increases your chances of getting a strike. Also by using this still you can miss the pocket and instead "swipe" the pins on the left hand side in a "drive by" of sorts and they all fly right which also increases your chances of getting a strike or at the minimum, getting many more pins that you would by other means.
This cannot be accomplished by bowling straight.
There are some caveats though. Other than the head pin, I didn't have a great deal of accuracy because in order to hit the head pin, I had to put a lot of spin on the ball to hit his pocket
If i ever had any leftover pins on the right hand side of the lane, there was very little chance I was going to pick them up because my curve would always throw the ball far to the left. For some reason I was able to control this a lot better before the forced break, but ever since we came back, I have been bowling rather average scores. I totally lost it.
About two weeks ago, I decided to abandon the curve and instead focus more on a straight throw and as it turns out because of how I hold the ball, there is a slight curve that happens anyway. This is far less likely to have an explosive smash on the pins but it is also something that I can aim almost anywhere on the lane. This improvement is reflected in my scores
I've said all the time that it is far more important to be able to pick up spares than it is to be a guy that get's 5 strikes a game because the other week I managed to get 6 strikes in one game and only managed a 150.
Of course a lot of this has to do with the completely abyssmal way in which I started the game in that second picture out, but it also had to do with the fact that I was not converting spares at all.
Even though I only had 1 strike in the first game above, you can see that my spare pickups lead to me having nearly the same score as the second game a full 4 frames earlier.
I ended up finishing that game with a 174 and this is nearly 50 points above my average. On that same day, after abandoning the curve, I started to do worse as the day went on but I got a 148 and a 140. I am happy with both of these scores.
Last week at our weekly Thursday event I got a 204 and it would have been a lot higher had I not missed my spare pickups on the last 2 frames. The nerves got to me since the entire bowling alley was now behind me watching since I had marked in every single frame up to that point and also had a Hambone - which is 4 strikes in a row.
Unfortunately the lanes scrub your frames after you bowl your last ball so you'll just have to take my word for it but know this: you are not getting to 200 points without doing very very well in the first 8 frames.
So from this point forward, even though it is less impressive to watch for an outsider, my "straight games" is going to become my permanent game. People love to see the curve but unfortunately it is just too difficult to control. I used to have a bunch of people ask me "how do you do that curve?" that no longer ask that with my new style. But I would rather have consistently good scores than just be a side show that on occasion gets an impressive strike.
I don't think I could ever abandon the curve. I went so many years with just bowling straight always, then my friend taught me how to curve in high school. I haven't stopped bowling that way since, even if I'm not always 100% accurate that way. I still like to bowl straight for single pins to clean up for a spare, but it just doesn't feel right doing it on a first bowl.
You must reclaim your former glory. I wonder if they think you are taking it easy on them?
the curve is still there to some degree because of the way that I hold the ball. I just abandoned swinging my arm out to the side and losing a lot of accuracy. Sometimes the spin that remains is a bit annoying when I am cleaning up single pins because as you may know the lanes are not oiled for a few meters in front of the pins and this is where the ball catches. I just have to learn to adjust!
It's crazy how your skills diminished in such a short period of time. Surely you can get back to being the king soon!
I used to bowl with a guy who would throw the ball straight as an arrow, but he had so much power behind it, it didn't really matter because the pins basically exploded and knocked all the others down. I never had a very pronounced curve, but mine was slight and I was able to start on the right marks to get the ball to go where I wanted to. Most of the time! I am glad you found something that has maybe brought your "mojo" back!
There are at least 3 people in our league that does exactly what you are stating. They do have a better chance than someone that bowls light or slow but by using so much force if you miss the pocket, you are more likely to end up with a split mess than the oldies that roll the ball so slow I'm surprised it knocks down any of the pins.
We had like a 80 or 90 year old lady on our league. She was spry for her age, but when the ball hit the pins it was almost like it was begging them to fall over.
if she was anything like the oldies we have in our league, the other players go nuts when she got a strike I bet.
Yeah, she was actually a pretty good bowler for her age. I guess when you have been doing it that long... She could put back the beer too!
I get it but still rely on spin and the right hand side is no problem as I will then bowl from way out on the left creating the angle required to come in straight. You have to feel comfortable with the style you use and if this works then practice more and improve it as that is all it takes.
picking up 9 or 10 pins is a real headache when you can only bowl right to left. I have to start far over to the left and then hope the spin catches, but not too much, right at the last minute. Either way I try to avoid gutterballs even if i miss the pin I am aiming for. You can't hit shit from the ditch!
That is very true as gutter balls don't give you anything and is a waste.
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