First of all, hello to everyone - looks like a good site and forum.
By way of introduction, I am now 53 but bowled in the AJBC when I was in high school and carried about a 212-215 average. Do the math and you'll see this was obviously back in the 1970's and at that time, I used a 16 lb Dick Weber Powerball and a 16 lb Columbia Blue Dot. After high school, I stopped bowling regularly until last year when I joined a league with some fellow workers. With a minimum of research, I bought a 15 lb Columbia Freeze for a strike ball and a 15 lb Ice for spares but can now get no better than about a 152 average. Last night, I bowled 149, 204 and 159 - the low scores were primarily missed spares.
I realize a lot of this is simply practice and am willing to put in the time. I am also in above average physical shape and have no trouble throwing a 15-16 lb ball for multiple games. I usually leave 8 or 9 counts for spares and when I don't, it's usually because I dropped the grip or let off on the speed and let it break past the head pin.
Bowling seems to have gotten much more complicated than I remember and the array of balls available makes my head hurt. However, I'm still competitive and want to get back to a 200 average so am looking for input on other possible ball choices. Recently, I was offered a couple of Hammers and a Rhino for almost no money so I'd still be money ahead if I needed to plug them. All are 16 lb balls - which almost nobody seems to want anymore (I've asked around a bit). Should I simply stick to buying new ones or do people get decent mileage out of plug and redrill jobs?