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Jeff Piroozshad's Expert Bowling Tips

-How To Play Difficult Lanes

8/6/2000 - By Jeff Piroozshad
     Do you struggle when the lanes are freshly oiled, but the backends are also freshly stripped and hooking very much? Especially on synthetic lanes, you can get a very inconsistent reaction. It will go from long skid to instant hook in what seems like a split second. If this is a problem for you, there are a couple of things you can do to make the lanes a bit more manageable.

     First, no matter how tempting it may seem, do NOT try to overpower the backend of the lane. Some people will get into a hook contest with the dry backends. They'll move left (right for left-handed bowlers) and try to cover more boards, putting more revs on the ball in the process. The problem with this strategy is the backends sometimes hook too early to get the ball out far enough to keep it on your side of the headpin. Then when you do get it out far enough, it hooks back so sharply that the ball reaction becomes unpredictable from one shot to the next. And that's not ever taking into account the carrydown factor, which you'll notice when your ball starts missing the headpin completely.

     A strategy I like to use, and that seemed to work for some of the Team USA bowlers in the practice session was to use bowling balls that roll up more, come up the back of the ball with more forward roll, or use layouts that promote roll-out. This way, you can let the backends do the work of hooking the ball for you, while you just worry about getting the ball through the first 40 feet the same way. Depending on how much oil is applied and how far it goes, don't be hesitant to sand down or shine up your ball as necessary. Surface tweaks can also prove to be effective weapons on this often tricky condition. Whatever your approach, remembering to let the ball do most of the work will be your greatest ally.


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