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George Freeman's Expert Bowling Tips

-Pesky Approaches
04/17/2001 - By George Freeman
      Every bowling center's approaches are different.  Different factors affect how each approach affects the bowler--outside climate, air conditioning, and age just to name a few.  Some approaches will be tacky (sticky), and some will seem like ice.  How can you keep a consistent feel from approach to approach?  Here are some helpful tips.

      Keep a wire brush in your bag.  This will come in particularly handy if you happen to be unfortunate enough to step into something you shouldn't have--gum, water, ketchup, etc.  Any foreign substance on the bottom of your shoe will severely effect your slide.  Use the brush to scrape the bottom of your shoe from heel to toe.  This will help take away some of the tackiness these substances will create.  Before you go out and throw your next shot, walk up to the beginning of the approach, and test your slide foot.  You'll be able to gauge how well it is working, and use the brush as appropriate.  I do not endorse using powder on the soles of the bowling shoe, this will create a residue on the approach, and other bowlers who were sliding normally will then be slipping, making their bowling much tougher.

      If you can, keep more than one pair of bowling shoes with you.  In the old days, serious bowlers would carry three or four pairs of shoes with them, and use them depending on what the approaches were like.  These days, however, many shoes come with detachable soles and heels, and can be adjusted to match the approaches much easier.  However, I still feel that having a pair of shoes in reserve is a must if you are a serious tournament or league bowler, in case of emergencies. You can never be too prepared.

      Probably the most important piece of equipment to your game is the bowling shoe.  Without a solid foundation, all the other factors aren't really factors anymore, so pay attention to your shoes.  Your game will thank you for it.


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