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Looking for an opinion...
  #1  
Old 06-06-2017, 01:02 PM
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Looking for an opinion...

Thread title should have read - Looking for some help. First a little background. I have bowled for over 40 years in either scratch or competitive handicap leagues. I averaged over 200 in the plastic then urethane era and in the 220-230 range since resin was brought out in the early nineties. I was a member of some of the top-flite teams in the state for many years winning numerous state and local events. Our scores consistently ranked in the top ten in the country (when those actually meant something). I was never a high rev or power player. I depended on accuracy and consistency (when that meant something also). Through the years I have accumulated (25+) 300 games and (15+) 800 series. So at one time I had some game.
For the last few years I am experiencing the worst slump of my life. While I still bowl in sport shot leagues and average in the low to mid 190's. My problem is the normal THS. I have struggled to average 200. Sure we all go through slumps but 2 years is more than a slump. My home house has 2 patterns that are used during the day. In the mornings we use a 40' pattern for the numerous senior leagues. We then switch to a 42' evening pattern to keep up with the charcoal briquettes that most of the players use. The volume is a little heavier at night. On the senior pattern I can (and do) strike at will during practice sessions, but I am throwing shot after shot for a couple of hours. I work in a pro shop at the house and am gifted with all the practice I want and I take full advantage of it. My problem is the longer league pattern coupled with the 5 minutes in between shots.
The long and short of it is due to my lower speed (about 13.5), average rev rate and inabilty to generate much axis tilt without spinning the ball, I have no carry. It is not unusual to leave 7-8 ten pins a night (weak & solid), 4-5 blower sevens and the obligatory solid 8 and 9. I don't miss spares because outside of a couple of 7-10 or 4-9 splits that I leave every set, this is almost all I leave. My usual set consists of the aforementioned leaves with probably 15-18 strikes. Ho-hum another 625 series. I don't claim to know anywhere as much as some of the people on this site, but I understand enough about the game and deflection to know why I leave these.
I probably drill up a half dozen balls a year looking for that magic one (again, another perk to having a pro shop). I have even tried a couple of lessons with a top notch coach. His observations were as follows: good targeted shots that were thrown decently (not great but decently) and up the back of the ball. The ball does read the lane fairly early and through the midlane but very seldom stands up at the end. It really doesn't get into a good roll at the end. Whether I use something weak and play outside or something stronger and play in, the results are basically the same. Actually I have given up using any type of strong aysymetrical or ball with surface due to the fact that when I move in, I have to send the ball away from the pocket and it just doesn't recover very well. My games usually involves a symetrical down the track and pray.
I know that as we get older our games change and things happen but I don't feel that I throw the ball that poorly (if I threw it like crap, I would be the first to speak up). I can understand (but not like) the no-thumbers and 2- handers and their spray and pray philosophy. I am an old dog but I am not opposed to learning new tricks. Just a little late, by 10 or so years, to change to this.
I am sorry for such a long post and I never go on these types of boards and ask for advice, but I have reached the point of desperation. Any input would be appreciated. I don't want to give it up but that is an option that I have considered. Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Last edited by bowlinggene2005; 06-06-2017 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Add text

Re: Looking for an opinion...
  #2  
Old 06-06-2017, 05:17 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

It's not that hard to change your grip to put more middle finger and less ring finger into your release and add axis tilt. There are multiple ways and as a PSO, you know what to do. If you use grips, it is easy and cheap to put a lift in the middle finger and an oversize oval into the ring to get a flavor of it.

You can try 70 x 3 1/2 x 30 to get more length and pop.

You can get deep inside and not toss the shot way out into the dry to get length in the oil and then not ask the ball to move so far on the back.

Whatever you do, don't forget that waning performance is part of aging andyou are probably bowling a handicap league anyway.

ENJOY
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Re: Looking for an opinion...
  #3  
Old 06-06-2017, 05:26 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

I agree with revz on the layout. Try something you haven't tried before because you were sure it wouldn't work.

Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:09 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

Maybe a drop in ball weight will help you generate some more speed and revs. Not A coach by any means but that was my first thought.
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Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:38 AM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

I don't mean to come off sounding negative or anything, because that is not my intention. To be honest, I'm rather jealous of your abilities and accomplishments. As a bowler in a weekly league for 43 years straight, and with my weekly set being nearly all of my bowling practice, I wish I had a 300 game and an 800 set in my resume. I have yet to average 200 at the end of any season, but I guess that's why I'm still bowling. I'm trying to get better at it. It sounds like you are wanting to do the same, so I really respect that. Your description of your "present" games, sounds like my weekly sets, on my good nights. We all know that everyone has a bad night once it a while, I blame those on my "bio-rhythms". I've been bowling in a dry house for many years and learned to deal with it because I wanted to stay with the people in the league. The dry house issue has been fixed, and I can use stronger balls now, but that requires a huge change in bowling style. But that's part of the game, figuring out what's not working and what is and trying to improve every time you bowl. It sounds like you have the means of figuring out your issue better than most people do, but it sounds like your ball is relatively slow and not giving you good pin carry. My advice would be to use a straight wrist position (not cupped), and release the ball with your thumb at a 10 or 11 o'clock position, give it some "hand" at the release, and maybe with a little more speed (if you can find it). And the "down and in" shot is the one nearly all of the 200+ bowlers in my league use. But then again, from what I read, you should probably be giving me advice!

Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:32 AM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

Sorry for the delay in responding but now back from vacation. Revs, Arch, X-Phile and Eramyl -thanks for the tips, but in general, the problem I have has come about in the now longer patterns the houses have put out. Who would have thought that two feet more on a house pattern could mean so much to my game. I have tried many different layouts in 15 and 14#, including something pretty close to your suggestion (which if I remember correctly was a very over under reaction). I continue to work 2-3 times a week on the shorter pattern on one lane and the longer one on the other to try and figure out the best way to attack the problem. Unfortunately, when you practice by yourself on a pattern, it doesn't give you anywhere near the nuances created by the 9 others guys on the pair during a league. The fresh, on a typical night at my home house, is a strike fest for shadows and half of the first game then a massive carry down occurs. This is where my problem starts. I have three high rev players on my team that make it very tough for me to move left (they have usually migrated farther left by the time I jump in). The other guy on my team (who is a great friend but stubborn bowler) usually uses some type of sponge and plays right down the track then will switch to another sponge when the first starts to hook too much. Don't get me wrong, I have had some success the last couple of years on the longer pattern, but nowhere near what I expect out of myself. Revs, I know that getting older does have its' charms, they are just hard to deal with sometimes. Thanks for your help guys.

Re: Looking for an opinion...
  #7  
Old 06-12-2017, 04:24 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

I have not bowled in awhile, but although my last book was 203, I can tell you that the reactive era has not been kind to me. I have had trouble with the transition game for years. I was not used to having to move 5-10 boards a night. The game is more physical today. Look how great a shape some of the newer and younger players are today. Not a finesse' game anymore.
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Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:49 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

I know this may sound like the opposite of what some may think, but adding an lb to ball weight may help some. The the last season I bowled last year who team was in a funk, I ended up doing what I normally do to try and get out of it, up a lb to 16 for me and moved to older school balls, Ebonite wolf series for me, I do love my Clear wolf, my pin carry went up a good deal as well control. Now for the part that may also make sense for others, My other teammate, which is 90 years old, lower ball speed coming off a heart attack the past summer was also in a funk, after a few weeks of seeing me post well with my older stuff brought out a heavier older ball and his carry improved a ton a well, yes his ball speed dropped a tad, mind you for his age he could toss around your speed the year prior. Just a suggestion as it sounds like you may have a ton of stuff around and try something a bit heavier as long as it does not hurt you physically that is. Most of my heavier stuff is 90's equipment and works well. The only issue I can see some peeps do not like the idea of weight switching, but just a suggestion if other options fail.

Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:43 AM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

That's a great idea. Never thought about it that way. Thanks, I'll let you know what happens.

Re: Looking for an opinion...
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Old 06-13-2017, 02:40 PM
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Re: Looking for an opinion...

I agree with SilverPack. Whenever I'm in a rut I find going back to older equipment puts me in the mindset of getting back to basics. Mentally it makes me rely on my game, instead of the equipment. Plus it's fun beating all the league bowlers with their shiny new equipment using stuff from 10-15 years ago.
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