Here you are, at last! The roar of balls screaming down polished wooden lanes, the thunder of pins toppling, the delicious fragrance of the cafe and cheers heralding the triumph of a teammate... intense!
You've bowled enough to know that it's a serious sport. Closing your eyes, holding your breath and hoping for the best as you hurl a house ball towards the waiting pins is not your best choice...and you know it.
But just how does that "pro" in the next lane over make his bowling ball do those awesome tricks?
His ball screams from one side of the lane to the other, only to come out of nowhere, right into that sweet spot and "STRIKE!" again and again.
The answer is simple. By taking advantage of the ball's center of gravity, he gains incredible control over how his ball moves down the lane.
How does the center of gravity work?
Out of all the factors that can affect how a bowling ball moves down the lane, the center of gravity is the one that can make the biggest difference to the beginning bowler. Look at the balls in the pro shop. You will notice a small, off-color dot. This mark denotes the center of gravity on that ball. Just beneath this spot are a couple of ounces of extra weight, which allow the ball to roll straight when the finger holes have been drilled. The ball would wobble down the lane without this extra weight.
Clever bowlers realized that by drilling the holes slightly off of the center of gravity, the ball would be heavier on one side, shifting the center of gravity to that side. The ball would react differently when thrown, hooking to one side or the other, ensuring better control of the ball and hitting more pins, depending on the placement of the grip holes. Amazing!
How can you take advantage of the center of gravity when bowling?
Your local pro shop can help. When you go to purchase your bowling ball, simply have your pro watch you bowl. He has the experience to know just how much "off center" to drill your ball depending on where you stand, how strong you are, the weight and makeup of the ball you choose, how you throw and whether you are right or left handed. He will know just what you need. And the best part... Most shops will drill for free when you purchase your ball!
Taking advantage of your center of gravity is the first step on the path to become a serious bowler. The difference in having a ball with a center of gravity set just for you makes the single biggest difference to a beginning bowler and will help unleash your potential...taking you that next step in your bowling performance. With bigger scores to prove it!