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George Freeman's Expert Bowling Tips

12/11/2000 - By George Freeman
     Ever hear of a "one-house bowler"? Someone who can bowl really well in one bowling center, but as soon as they go somewhere else, their scores suffer tremendously? 99% of the time, this comes from a lack of versatility. Bowlers bowl in the same bowling center day after day, week after week, and most bowling centers do not vary the oil pattern at all during the season. Therefore, bowlers get used to bowling the same way every time, and never have a need to try anything new. When they go to another bowling center for any kind of event, more often than not they try to play the same part of the lane that they do in their home center. Many times, this results in some bad scores, because their home center has made them lazy, and they are not used to trying other avenues of playing the game. How does one avoid being a "one-house bowler"? Well, here are some quick tips:

     Practice in other bowling centers. Every bowling center plays differently, lane surface, age, temperature, etc. All these things effect how the lanes play. If you live in an area that has more than one bowling center within a reasonable driving distance, it would be greatly beneficial to practice at least once a week in each bowling center. Not only will this give you a broader base of experience to draw on, bowling on different bowling approaches will help you when you go to tournaments that have different surface approaches.

     Play more than one line. When you go to practice, especially if you live in an area where you do not have many bowling centers within driving distance, it is important to not get locked in to one area of the lane. If the normal house shot demands you play third arrow. Practice a few games playing the gutter, then practice a few games playing second arrow, etc. Don't worry about scores, you don't practice to try to score as high as you can, you practice to try to get better so that when it IS time to bowl for score, you have as many tools to draw on as possible. The best players in the world can get onto any surface, any condition--oil, dry, wet/dry--and be competitive no matter what.

     Being versatile, especially in today's game, is invaluable to being successful. You may not become a superstar overnight, but you'll be taking steps in the right direction.

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