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#56184 - 05/08/08 03:53 AM Learning to hook with house ball...
z33Tec Offline

Registered: 05/07/08
Posts: 29
A/S/L: Rochester, NY
Hello everyone. I just got back into bowling a few months ago and have been using a straight shot. I used to bowl in a couple leagues when I was younger and always threw a straight ball. I have been averaging around 150 with my highest game so far being 169.

I would like to develop my game more and learn to hook the ball. My problem right now is that I don't have my own ball. I have an old ball from my uncle that is a fingertip ball but it is made of the old fashion hard rubber. I mostly use a 16# house ball.

My problem right now is that I have watched many videos and read many tips on how to throw a hook but when I go to practice at the lanes, I can never really get the ball to hook. I can get rotation on the ball but it never grabs the lane. It rotates all the way down the lane but continues to go straight. Is this because I am using the plastic house balls? The hard rubber one that I have also won't grab the lane at all. They both rotate while continuing down the lane in a straight shot.

The technique I am using is called the "Natural hook" I believe. It might also be considered the stroker. I am trying to have my thumb and index finger form a V and then have that V pointing at the lane on release. I don't really get crazy rotation on the ball like some people that I have seen but I would think that it would hook at least a little bit.

I will be getting my own ball in a few weeks as a graduation present but until then, what should I do? I feel like my practice is basically pointless until I have my own ball that can grab the lane. I tried using a 2 finger grip that my friend uses and I could get the lighter balls to hook doing that, but I don't think that this is the proper technique to use. I don't see any sites recommending a 2 finger grip.

Any tips are appreciated. Thanks.

*Note: my original post said that it could not be found in the database. Not sure what this means. I apologize for reposting if I caused the issue.*

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#56185 - 05/08/08 04:49 AM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: z33Tec]
Luksa Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 261
A/S/L: 29/M/Slovenia
If you intend to buy your own ball later, don't use the two finger bent elbow technique to hook a house ball. Bad habits are really hard to break. Hooking a ball is pretty easy if you start the right way (a coach can get you hooking your ball in an hour or so).

If you buy a new ball, you may be able to hook it right away, since you say you do get rotation on the ball.

If you just want to bowl with house balls and really want them to hook, just try to lower your speed by starting your swing lower and by taking shorter steps (start your approach closer to the foul line). Also, don't throw the ball in the middle part of the lane. Go closer to the gutter where the lane is probably dry.

For hooking house balls, lower speed and a drier lane are the key.

If I were you, I'd go buy a new ball and get some coaching. You will enjoy the game a lot more.
HG: 299
HS: 779 (3 games), 1453(6 games)

Bowling klub

#56211 - 05/08/08 11:09 AM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: Luksa]
TenPin_ Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 505
A/S/L: 32/M/TX
I was going to respond to your first post but noticed it said not found, not sure what happened there.

I second what Luksa said, don't get into the habit of using just two fingers to force a house ball to hook. There is a reason house balls don't hook...they aren't designed to. They have a hard cover that skids across the oil, and no weight block to help them to hook. I have sold a few reactive balls to recreational bowlers who learned to throw with two fingers using a house ball, and they are really struggling to adapt to using their thumbs to throw the ball. When they throw with just two fingers like they are used to, the ball will often over react and they can't hit the same target consistently (not to mention can't pickup their spares).

That said, yes you can get a house ball to hook throwing it properly (with fingers and thumb) but it generally requires a low speed and dry lanes (as Luksa said). I don't often bowl with a house ball but when I do I step to the right and throw across about the 10 board, mostly just pointing it towards the pocket. I don't try to get it to hook more than a couple of boards unless I know the lanes are very dry, then I might try to cover 5-8 boards with it (still not very much), and I have a decent amount of rotation (I am a tweener). Basically, don't force it to do something it's not meant to do.

In regards to your new ball, make sure you get a reactive ball! Don't get a plastic / polyester ball, as it is basically the same as a house ball and isn't designed to hook. Also be sure to have it drilled fingertip. You can throw a hook with a conventional grip drilling, but will get more out of fingertip.

Edited by TenPin_ (05/08/08 11:13 AM)
USBC Bronze Coach

#56232 - 05/08/08 03:08 PM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: TenPin_]
z33Tec Offline

Registered: 05/07/08
Posts: 29
A/S/L: Rochester, NY
Thanks guys. I don't really know what the best ball would be for me to start with, but I was looking at the Ebonite NV and it seemed to have good reviews. I'm not sure if that would be too advanced for me to start with though.

I don't usually use the two finger method. It was just one method that I found that could actually get the house balls to hook. I will continue using the proper technique for now and try throwing it up the side of the lane like you guys suggested. I would like to get a coach eventually.

#56233 - 05/08/08 03:12 PM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: z33Tec]
CoachJim Offline
USBC Silver Coach

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 4665
A/S/L: Reston, Virginia USA
z33Tec, welcome to the site.

Look into an ebonite Bash or clash, they are cheap and are very good balls that work well for bowlers of all skill levels.

#56239 - 05/08/08 05:23 PM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: CoachJim]
z33Tec Offline

Registered: 05/07/08
Posts: 29
A/S/L: Rochester, NY
Thanks CoachJim, I will take a look at those.

#56315 - 05/09/08 01:25 PM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: z33Tec]
NewYorkDave Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 167
Trying to play with a house ball is incredibly frustrating. I'm dealing with this right now because, although I have a ball, I need it drilled and the Pro Shop is on "summer hours" now. Their schedule and mine just haven't synced up yet.

I just got back from some lunchtime bowling with a co-worker. I threw a house ball, the best fit I could find. I could not get a decent, well-controlled shot to save my life. My co-worker, who brought his own ball, outbowled me by miles.

#56321 - 05/09/08 02:34 PM Re: Learning to hook with house ball... [Re: NewYorkDave]
z33Tec Offline

Registered: 05/07/08
Posts: 29
A/S/L: Rochester, NY
I agree. I want to progress my game but it seems the only thing I can do to bowl a decent game with a house ball is throw the old straight shot. I should have my own ball in a few weeks though. Until then, ughh...


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