Bowling Ball Drilling

A Quick Look At Bowling Ball Drilling

The details of bowling ball drilling seem at first to be overly complicated. After all, isn't it enough just to have holes in the ball where you can slip your thumb and two fingers? For a beginner, maybe. Yet even a beginner at the local bowling lanes will, in choosing a ball to use, notice that some are easier to grip than others, and some are just more comfortable than others. Eventually, upon repeated visits to the lanes, the beginner will start seeking out that "favorite ball", from among a bunch of very similar ones.

At some point in time, the bowler finds bowling has become a fun thing to do, and decides to get his or her own bowling ball. Whether it's purchased in a store or received as a Christmas present, the first thing noticed is that it has no holes! This is a good thing however. If you get a ball with holes as a present, it's not going to be a very good present if the  holes don't fit just right.

This is where bowling ball drilling enters the scene. There’s quite a bit that can be learned about the subject, much of which fortunately, you don't absolutely have to know. But you will want to understand at least some of the more detailed facts if you’re an advanced or professional bowler seeking a competitive edge.

Bowling ball drilling can be viewed from two different perspectives. If you're a beginner, or a recreational bowler, relying mainly on technique to improve your game, you really don't need to get into all the details and terminology of drilling. You don't have to know about, or worry about, Mass Bias, Positive Axis Point, Center of Gravity, and Layout. That's the driller's concern. Your primary interests are about the span, the distance between the thumb and finger holes, the size of each hole, and the angle of the holes. You want to be able to carry a bowling ball comfortably, without having to squeeze your fingers, and release it easily, without your fingers hurting in the process.

You should have your bowling ball drilled either at a bowling alley's pro shop or by a professional driller. The person doing the work needs to be able to give you ball with a good fit, comfortable grip, and easy release. Once that's been accomplished, you don't really have to concern yourself about digging deeper into the technology and terminology of the drilling process.

For the expert or professional bowler however, how the ball is drilled takes on a whole new meaning. Now, the terms Mass Bias, Positive Axis Point, Center of Gravity, plus many more, come into play. A new bowling ball is not perfect, as far as the distribution of the weight of its core is concerned. Every ball is a little lopsided, only a tiny bit, but lopsided nonetheless. Drilling holes, thus removing material from one part of the core can contribute to this. So locating where the holes are to be drilled is influenced by, among other things, where the center of gravity is located, and what the mass bias is. The holes may be drilled to counter the effects of non-uniformities in the core’s make up, or enhance and take advantage of these same effects.

The pattern of the holes and their location on the ball is called the "layout". Each ball manufacturer has a number of layouts to select from, depending upon the ball action the bowler is looking for. A given layout may result in a ball that hooks earlier or later, or may cause the ball to perform more predictably on a well-oiled lane, or for that matter on a lane which has not been recently oiled. Other performance factors are taken into account as well.

When it comes to the finer points of bowling ball drilling, we're talking about drilling the ball such that it will give the bowler a competitive edge, through improved performance. This edge may be very slight, razor-thin in fact, but it only takes knocking down one more pin than the other guy manages to do, to win a match.