Reinventing my game

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Reinventing my game

Post by BudKennedy »

Returning to bowling after a 30+ year hiatus has proven to be much more challenging than I had expected. My original thinking made me believe that since I had a solid set of fundamentals in the past all I would have to do is brush off the rust and my game would be back to normal. It did not turn out that way at all. First of all I, am a lot older now and the body isn’t as resilient as in the past and secondly the overall game of bowling has changed so much that it is a whole lot different than back in the day.

The first months of my return to bowling were focused on being able to make a repeatable approach and ball delivery. That turned out to be a hit and miss effort. Although things are much better now, they just aren’t quite there yet but I am encouraged by the improvements that I see during each outing. With my overall approach improving I was able to deliver the ball to the pocket but my ability to carry was not all that good. It was becoming evident that I should consider upgrading some of my equipment to better align with the much different lane conditions. In the long ago past the basic shot was down and in and usually somewhere between the 5 and 10 boards. The shape of the roll was a more continuous deal. Cranking on the ball was not something that was usual.

Back in the day the lanes were wood and the oil was applied by using a hand- held pump sprayer followed by a wipe down with a linen mop. Not a lot of care was taken to make sure the oil was evenly applied to include the overall length of the oil. I am not using the word pattern to describe this process because to my knowledge it wasn’t really being considered. I am talking a time period in the late 50s through the 60s before the automatic lane conditioners came into play. This made recognizing the transition quite a problem. Scoring in those days as a result of the conditions was all over the boards. If you shot a 600 series of any type it was a great day. Now a 600 is not such a much.

Now it has become obvious that I need to upgrade some of my equipment that is designed for the modern-day conditions that prevail. After a short study period and a discussion with my pro shop operator, I decided to buy a Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Hybrid. I wanted a ball with a better down lane finish but not too much. My expectation was for a more continuous shot shape that would enable the ball to be used for both strike shots and spare shots. For the most part it performs well in that category although it can be a bit too aggressive through the pins. This now allows me to move to a more inside line in the neighborhood of the 15 board. This angle seems to produce a better carry while still providing a little margin of error. Aside from the dreaded 10 pin most spares are more automatic and I still hope to avoid having to deploy a spare only ball in the future. Currently I just don’t know enough about conditions to know what a second ball would be.

From my return in February until now this is where I stand. Still a lot of work to do to polish up the rough spots in my game. Age factors and rusty skills are the culprits that I am dealing with. My recent illness has set me back a bit for now but I am on the mend and hope to be back on the lanes next week after 4 weeks away.
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Re: Reinventing my game

Post by EricHartwell »

Way to stay determined.
Getting back into shape, regardless of what sport or activity, is a journey and not an easy one.
Setbacks, whether it be illness or injury, are tests of ones resolve.
Roadblocks like this require your determination more than ever to push through towards your goal.
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Re: Reinventing my game

Post by TomaHawk »

Bud, your perseverance is to be commended!

Our shop sees quite a few bowlers 60 years old and up. They're not too shabby either. In fact, a 70 year fella shot 879 not too long ago, an 82 year old shot 765. So, while age is somewhat of a factor, it is not the deciding factor. It is mental acquity that really matters.

One suggestion though, in terms of equipment, in this age group, less seems to be best. With so many different brands available on the market today, it is easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest hook monster. (Try to resist the temptation).
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Re: Reinventing my game

Post by kajmk »

Bud, you have the attitude of a winner!
I've been out of the game a long time myself.
I wish you well. May your fervor for the sport never end.

Some points which may have already been covered.
As you know, aggressive equipment magnifies a bowlers release.
So slower ball speeds mean the ball will precess faster and enter the roll phase sooner and possibly roll out and be subject to too much deflection.
Our goal of course is to strike, our chances of a strike are best when our ball splits the 8-9 and falls into the pit having done so.
Practicing with a piece of tape on your PAP can make precession more obvious.

I remember a commercial with Dick Weber in which he said, "Winning never gets old". You sir are a winner.

Don't forget to check out the wiki!
Another good source of info is Ron Clifton's
May all beings everywhere be happy and free,
and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life
contribute in some way to that happiness
and to that freedom for all.

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Re: Reinventing my game

Post by TonyPR »

One thing that is often overlooked among bowlers that are returning after a long hiatus is to reevaluate your fit. Spans today is way more relaxed than what they were 30 years ago because ball technology now requires us to release into the lane instead of hitting up and making it hook. Also your hand most likely has changed a lot in three decades.
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