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Author Topic: Advice for long time layoff  (Read 2110 times)

HWooldridge

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Advice for long time layoff
« on: June 15, 2012, 02:11:39 PM »
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?

 

ImBackInTheGame

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 02:27:00 PM »
Is the Freeze not doing what you want it to do?

Information like speed, rev rate, lane surface and oil pattern will be helpful for suggesting other balls.

As for new vs used, I've seen balls that have been plugged 4+ times that still roll well.  I personally don't like to plug more than once, but that's a personal preference.

HWooldridge

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 02:45:47 PM »
Ball speed is 14-15 mph, have no idea on rev rate, oil pattern is whatever the house puts down (I realize that's not helpful but it's all I know at this time), oil amount seems to vary from week to week.  Both balls are full fingertip with no inserts.  The Freeze seems to have a narrow tolerance range for speed and target; too far right or a little faster and it slides past the pocket, but it's also easy to hit high on the head pin if I take off too much.

Thanks for answering on the ball plug question - I also know this is a tough question to ask on the 'net so I probably need to spend time with a pro and let someone watch me for visual advice.

ImBackInTheGame

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 02:54:25 PM »

I also know this is a tough question to ask on the 'net so I probably need to spend time with a pro and let someone watch me for visual advice.

That is what I would suggest.  Talk with the pro shop operator, have him watch you throw a few shots and make some suggestions for another ball.  It sounds like you're getting a little "over/under" reaction with the Freeze.  I don't know a lot about the ball but I think it's highly polished and gives a skid/flip type reaction which can be very inconsistent.  A surface change may be all that is needed to smooth out the reaction and make it a little more predictable.

HWooldridge

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 03:15:37 PM »
I did talk to the pro last night about the Freeze (he was too busy to watch me) and he said the factory finish was 4000 grit with extra polish on top of that.

MI 2 AZ

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 05:14:22 PM »
Hi, welcome to the site.  That's quite a long layoff to resume bowling again and a lot has changed since then.

Used or new?   I have bought both many times and don't really see an issue with used ones personally.  It is a great way to try different balls at a good price and if you wait and read the for sale posts on this site, you can find some great deals.  What I have found that works best for me is to try to find used balls with a span that is close to mine, that way I usually only have to slug the thumbhole. 

15 vs 16?  Decide on which weight you want to use.  Keep in mind that you are going to get older and most older bowlers drop a pound in ball weight at some point.  I dropped to 15 in my 40's and I cannot use any of my old 16's now.  At one time, with rubber and plastic, it was considered better to use as heavy a ball as you could, in order to get better pin carry, but that is not necessarily the case now with the reactive balls.

If the Freeze is 4000 plus polish, that is not something that I would have recommended to someone getting back into the game or a beginner to use as their only strike ball unless they had very slow ball speed.  For most, a medium solid would cover more lane conditions and would have more surface adjustment options (sanding or polishing as needed).

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Half a century of bowling and still learning.

Need bowling information? - Please check this:  BR FAQ

notclay

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 07:44:39 PM »

If the Freeze is 4000 plus polish, that is not something that I would have recommended to someone getting back into the game or a beginner to use as their only strike ball unless they had very slow ball speed.  For most, a medium solid would cover more lane conditions and would have more surface adjustment options (sanding or polishing as needed).


+1 here. 
The Freeze is a very good ball, but I'd recommend something like 500 - 1000 plus polish, or 4000 without the polish. Every ball needs to find some friction before it can make a move, and 4000 plus polish probably won't read the mid-lane at all unless you are bowling on extreme dry.

On the weight issue, my experience is that most bowlers will release the 15 lb. ball better and more consistently, which is why they usually score better. With today's balls having the exact same core from 14 to 16 pounds you really don't need the extra weight. I'm 50 years old and throwing 15's, but not getting any younger, so I'm so glad I switched away from 16 years ago. By the way, my average raised about 20 pins after going with 15 lbs.

Either way, good luck to you as you return to the game we love.
Lane W. Carter
Brunswick Regional Staff

www.allstarbowlingandentertainment.com

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer and not of Brunswick Corporation.

HWooldridge

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 10:44:56 PM »
Thanks very much for the responses.  I think I got burnt out in high school and that is a shame because I really love bowling and have been enjoying myself immensely in this league.

I also appreciate the FAQ link - that answered a lot of questions (I had looked for something like that but missed it in my searches).

With regard to ball weight, I understand the logic and was not aware that cores are the same from 14-16 lbs.  I try to stay in shape and have been fortunate to retain most of my upper body strength but the years are ticking by and I'm sure the day will come when a 14 feels heavy.  Perhaps switching to a 14 now would increase ball velocity quite a bit and help with pin carry so that's something else to consider.

Thanks again,

Hollis Wooldridge

notclay

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 05:43:58 AM »
Hollis,

I would go to 15 lbs. That should be a sufficient weight decrease and you'll be fine for years to come as long as you're in relatively good shape. Save the 14 until you are much older.

Most research that I've seen says that on your great shots the 14 will perform similar to the 15, however, on your "not so perfect" shots (I have plenty) the 15 will carry better.

Although the cores are the same, you cannot ignore physics. The heavier "mass" will knock pins down better. The difference is that (in my experience) most guys will release the 15 better than the 16, which compensates for the one pound drop. Two pounds is a much larger margin, so wait until either age or injury causes you to make that final drop to 14 pounds. Best of luck to you.
Lane W. Carter
Brunswick Regional Staff

www.allstarbowlingandentertainment.com

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer and not of Brunswick Corporation.

HWooldridge

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 09:35:48 AM »
Thanks, Lane.  I found 3 used 15 lb balls I want to buy (if the seller will call me back).  One is a Python, one is a Motiv QZ1 and the last is a TZone.  Those will give me something to try in the short term.

Hollis

MI 2 AZ

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2012, 03:06:57 PM »
Hollis, here is a link that may help you with some of the basic ball info:

http://www.bowlingfans.com/jeff/ballreactionbasics.html

and in case you need to reference some older balls, here is another link that has a spreadsheet of a lot of ball reviews to use in comparison or reference:

http://home.earthlink.net/~litefrozen/index.htm

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Half a century of bowling and still learning.

Need bowling information? - Please check this:  BR FAQ

HWooldridge

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Re: Advice for long time layoff
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2012, 03:47:16 PM »
Hollis, here is a link that may help you with some of the basic ball info:

http://www.bowlingfans.com/jeff/ballreactionbasics.html

and in case you need to reference some older balls, here is another link that has a spreadsheet of a lot of ball reviews to use in comparison or reference:

http://home.earthlink.net/~litefrozen/index.htm

Thanks very much - I'm a data junkie and enjoy reading technical info.