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#156267 - 10/08/11 06:24 PM Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating
VFF57 Offline
Legend

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 1636
A/S/L: 50's/M/NJ
I started going to a different Pro Shop inside a center where I usually don't bowl. Good driller, but I hate the lanes. They're always dry and dirty when I bowl there. Well today I went to that shop with my son to get a thumb slug put in his ball and one of mine. While we were there I figured we might as well bowl a couple games to see how the slugs fit and evaluate some surface adjustments I made on a couple of my balls. I asked the guy at the counter about the lane condition and he said they were oiled. Big mistake, I paid $3.99 a game just to be aggravated because the lanes were so dry every ball in my bag and my son's was taking off. Then my son's ball jammed up in the pit and came back covered in greasy dirt. About the middle of the third game I quit because I had enough of muscling the ball to keep right of the head pin and adjustments were futile. After today, I will never bowl in that house again!

The only good open bowl deal around in my area is at a house that offers freshly oiled lanes for 2 hrs @ $9.95 on Sunday's. That's about the only open bowling I'll do anymore because other than that I just don't enjoy the experience especially at $3.99 or more a game. I'm sure it's fine once in awhile for recreational bowlers who are there to eat pizza and drink beer and throw house balls. No wonder many of these places are going belly-up. They refuse to make the serious bowlers happy and they can't bring in the recreational bowlers often enough because of prices and lack of interest.
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High Series 803
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Motiv: Raptor P7
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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#156268 - 10/08/11 06:33 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
spillup24 Offline
High Roller

Registered: 10/02/10
Posts: 349
A/S/L: Philadelphia, PA
I agree...The only open bowl I do is Sunday Morning. Rent a lane from 8:30 to 11:30 for $28. They are fresly oiled.

Any other time is a waste

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#156271 - 10/08/11 07:09 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
B-Hammer Offline
Legend

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 1818
A/S/L: 30/M/Bellingham WA
My home center tries to keep the first eight of 30 lanes reserved for league bowlers that want to practice, unless all the other lanes are filled up and also tries to keep them in close to league conditions. In the winter when parties are more frequent this isn't always possible, but I appreciate the effort.

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#156272 - 10/08/11 07:33 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2127
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
I hate bowling on nasty lanes. My main house usually has some oil out, but if I go visit my parents, their center doesn't oil for anything but leagues. Over the summer, they only had one league running, s six days a week there was NO added oil. Awful conditions.
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#156273 - 10/08/11 08:13 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
looseleftie Offline
Hall of Famer Contender

Registered: 01/31/09
Posts: 882
A/S/L: 45 m
My centre oils each day around 6pm just before the adult leagues begin.. So u know pretty much what u get depending on when u bowl throughout the day.. During some school holiday breaks, if some leagues close down they may miss oiling all together, making the lanes, almost unplayable...

Re open prices, for social bowlers u can be looking at $8 a game... They really sting the social bowler, little wonder they don't back the following week, or even several months...I do think that AMF has caught onto this, so they offer school holiday special vouchers and accomodate a bit better.. Still, the amount of business that walks into their centre, and leaves again, thats the real crime!!

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#156274 - 10/08/11 09:35 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
helloyo53 Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 76
A/S/L: 16/M/Ontario
My house oils I believe in the morning and then late afternoon, so I usually can fresh to fresh-ish oil. Plus, I'm lucky enough that my centre offers a very valuable discount for league bowlers for practise. Instead of the 3.25 per game, it's 1.25 for each practise game, so I take advantage of it a lot!
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#156275 - 10/08/11 09:36 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
VFF57 Offline
Legend

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 1636
A/S/L: 50's/M/NJ
Quote:
My home center tries to keep the first eight of 30 lanes reserved for league bowlers that want to practice,


I wish more centers would think logically and put aside reasonably oiled lanes for league/serious bowlers. This way when someone walks in with reactive balls they will actually be able to use them. I rather bowl on a tough sport shot than dry lanes. I don't need anything easy just some oil so I don't have to bowl with plastic or a lot of speed. Now if it was a buck a game I would maybe have a different mindset and use the dry lane for shooting ten pins or practice hitting a mark. Paying 4-5 dollars a game for poorly maintained lanes is just unacceptable to me.
_________________________
League:
High Game 300
High Series 803
-------------------------
Motiv: Raptor P7
MoRich: Aggressive Motion
Storm: VG,Crossroad,NP
Hammer: Spike,Psycho,Raw Anger,
Cherry Vibe,Taboo Plastic/Spare,
Black Hammer
Columbia: White Dot

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#156277 - 10/08/11 09:38 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
Badam Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 81
A/S/L: 39/Male/Indiana, USA
I've ranted multiple times on this very topic. Most centers in my area offer special or VIP rates for league bowlers. The main problem typically being that only time to take advantage of these VIP rates is M-F before 6:00pm, when most people are at work. I've joked before that these "VIP specials" are basically like the old sign at a bar that reads "free beer tomorrow". Essentially, I have to take a day off from work or be a retiree to take advantage of these so called "benefits" that the centers tout in their league advertising.

The bottom line is that these bowling centers profit margin comes not from the league bowler looking to practice, but the casual bowlers and cosmic bowling teens/twentysomethings who are willing to pay top dollar to throw a house ball down the lanes and act like an idiot under a black light and disco ball on Friday or Saturday night.

This is the case for me anyway. I work full time and have a family. I can't typically get to a center M-F before 6:00pm when they fill up with leagues. The same goes for my brother and teammate. The best time for us to practice is usually late Friday nights after we've spent time with our families. Consequently, we battle the cosmic bowling crowd. Fortunately, we are regulars at a couple of local centers and both do their best to accomodate our desire to get some practice time in away from all the chaos. I would say that 95% of the time we are succesful at scoring a pair of lanes, away from the cosmic craziness and without the steep price. It's not always easy though. I know other regulars who are in good with the management and do their practicing in the wee hours of the morning after the center closes.

My best advice is to get to know the employees at your center who work during the hours in which you are able to practice. Talk to them, treat them well, and generally, they'll do their best to take care of you. Another strategy (if you can deal with old wood lanes) is to find a little hole-in-the-wall, mom and pop type alley in a nearby small town. There are plenty of these places around that usually have lanes available that don't cost an arm and a leg.


Edited by Badam (10/08/11 09:46 PM)
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#156278 - 10/08/11 09:45 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: VFF57]
Atochabsh Offline
USBC Bronze Coach

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 6567
A/S/L: 50/F/California
I agree it is so frustrating. It is so hard to find a center that has a half way decent lane condition for practicing.

It is so odd that centers alienate their league bowlers for additional bowling other then league. But that's what they do. If you have a fairly busy center of 32 lanes then you have about 1000 bowlers. By not having any decent lane condition for them to practice on, you are just taking their money once a week when you could get it more then once. Not every league bowler is going to practice, but they definately won't practice under non oiled, ultra dry conditions. Do centers really make so much money on ignorant recreational open play that they can negate their league bowlers' needs? I know centers that only oil for league and then only oil enough lanes to cover the amount of lanes used for that league.

Erin

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#156282 - 10/08/11 11:05 PM Re: Open Bowling can be Over Priced + Aggravating [Re: Atochabsh]
Rocket Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 1959
A/S/L: 45/male/Ohio
We are lucky our center figured out a year ago to oil the lanes for open bowling and lowered their prices to $1.50 a game with specials at $.75 a game. All 24 lanes are usually full during the fall and winter months.
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