About 5 or 6 years ago, I took the Bowling This Month
three day (actually 2.5 day) clinic. At that time it was, I think, $375 early bird registration. Now I think its like $570.
I was averaging over 200+ at the time. And I can say honestly that I did not get much, if anything, from the class. The students were broken up into groups and since I had no prior clinic experience I did not put down a preferance for coach. I got Suzie Minshew and I was really looking forward to the clinic. At the last minute she could not make it and I ended up with a Silver Coach (I'm not going to name him) that spent most of his time on his lap top, rather then on the lanes with us. We were not allowed to go from group to group, coach to coach. Once you were given a coach that's where you stayed for two of the three days. I already knew how to do the one step drill so the hours we spent on that was wasted for me. I enjoyed the onlane time with Dr. Dean Hinitz who had a couple of mind of manner games concerning targetting and the gutter. Most of the class room time was spent talking about drillings (which I knew), and some lane surface differences. I was disappointed that there was no lane transition or spare shooting. It was just kind of a waste for me. My average did not go up nor did it go down. I think the clinic was geared more for those under 180.
I did do a two day clinic at a local center that has CATs. I got more out of those two days then the BTM
clinic. We had 6 different sport conditions and were tutored on how to play them by many coaches. You could go from pattern to pattern whenever you wanted as long as the pair of lanes didn't get over X number of people on it. We also had the CATs done and analized, which was really fascinating. We again had Dr. Dean Hinitz for lecture. That clinic at $225 was much more informative and valuable to me.
I have not been to a Ritger clinic or Ron Cliffton clinic, but I think they might be a lot more productive. Or at least I would hope so. For me personally, I got more out of hourly lessons even at the high rate of $65/hr. I had a silver coach that had been on tour and had actual experience in being over 200 and how to improve at that level. After a year or so of lessons from her, I edged over the 205 mark closer to and sometimes at the 210 mark. Today the clinic is $570 and that's over 8 lessons with my old coach at $65/hr. I KNOW I would get more information and better coaching for my money from her and 8 lessons.
Bottom line, I still advocate private lessons from a good coach, and the CATs analysis if its available to you. Everybody learns a different way. And I don't regret that BTM
clinic except that I wish I had had a better coach and that the coaches were more flexible in the created groups. I'm glad the Ritger clinic was good for you. At this point I would not recommend the BTM
clinic. But its nice to know that there are some clinics out there that are more beneficial.