Archive for June, 2009

Jun
30

Bowling On A Budget

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Bowlers often use money as the limiting factor as to why they can’t bowl well.  Whether it is affording the equipment, lane time, leagues, association fees, or Big Lebowski t-shirts, it’s easy to point the bad bowling finger at a lack of funds.  That said, more often than not the real reason for the struggles is that said bowler doesn’t put the time in, but in some cases I will concede financial woes can sometimes hamper your bowling success.  I cringe at the thought of hearing a youth bowler say “Coach, bowling is too expensive, I think I’ll take up Pilates with my Aunt Betsy instead.”

You love your Aunt Betsy, but it just isn’t worth it.

While I’d agree to an extent bowling CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to suck your wallet dry.  When I was in high school I only worked a bit over the summer, yet I still managed to afford to bowl on a modest budget all year long and avoid doing Pilates (I wonder if Pilates even existed when I was in high school).  Anyhow, here are some of the strategies I used to keep my wallet fat and my thumb swollen:

  • Buy bowling shoes. I’ll assume most of the people reading this already has some super fly bowling shoes, but if not, make sure you pick up a pair.  A decent pair of shoes can be had for $30 and often less if you catch a good special.  Even if you bowl once a week and the rental is $3 each time (I’ve seen it as high as $5) you’ll have your shoes paid off in a matter of months.
  • Bowl at off peak times. Friday and Saturday night are amateur nights at the bowling center with disco balls spinning, flashing lights and the like.  You’ll also be surprised to find that under the black-light you were actually unsuccessful at getting that tropical punch Kool-Aid stain out of your shirt.  Good luck getting in a focused practice session, not to mention the fact that games will cost double what they would any other time.
  • Join a league. Often times bowling centers will give discounts to league bowlers.  The discount can often cover the cost of the league even if you bowl just a few times per week.
  • Sign Up for email lists. Many local bowling alleys have websites where you can sign up for email lists and even physical mailings.  This guarantees you’ll be kept in the loop on specials and discounted bowling.  Alternatively you can call local alleys up regularly and see if they have any specials going on.  While you’ve got them on the phone ask if they advertise and maybe you can score yourself a coupon in the local paper.
  • Stop Striking. What? Blasphemy! The addiction to that sound of all ten pins being pushed back into the pit will make this one a tough sell, but this is a surefire way to get more for your money.  On your first shot rather than aiming for the pocket shoot for some spares.  Aim at a 7 or 10 pin (or similar pin combinations) and then for your second shot take aim at the pocket.  This ensures that you get two shots every frame.  Feel free to have at the pocket on all your shots in the tenth frame.  The only downside to shooting spares on the first shot is difficulty determining carry, but between the tenth frame and mixing up your spare shots you should have a pretty good idea. I’d advise you refrain from using this tip in competition as your teammates are likely to throw rosin bags and rental bowling shoes at you.

Who throws a bowling shoe?

  • Get used bowling balls. Since your Aunt Betsy stopped bowling in a league with your Uncle Charlie, his equipment has been gathering dust in his closet.  Take it out, dust it off and take it to your local pro shop to get it plugged and re-drilled.  If your Uncle is unwilling to part from his bowling ball you might want to run down to the shop anyway and see if you can pick up last years bowling ball at a discounted rate.  I’ve even had some good luck buying blemished balls which typically react the same, they just don’t look quite “right” because someone goofed during the manufacturing process.  My favorite ball to this day is a blemished Zone Classic that looked more like a pastel purple at easter, than the plum color it was intended to have.
  • Rejuvenate the equipment you have. Rather than shelling out for that shiny new bowling ball (or dull one), take the equipment you already have and do some maintenance.  Your friendly neighborhood pro shop has equipment to restore the surface of the ball and a way to get out all that conditioner it absorbed.  Maybe next time you’ll think twice about rolling your ball on that devastating 44 foot shark oil pattern.
  • Check your pro shop pricing before you check online. It’s easy to think that the huge savings online retailers offer on bowling balls will save you some dough, but often times it ends up costing more when you factor in the cost of drilling the bowling ball.  The cost of drilling is often included when ordering a new bowling ball at your local pro shop which will could net you a comparable or better price as well as a happy pro shop owner.

Got a tip for how to save some dough bowling?  Post a comment below this way we can all benefit!

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Jun
26

Jim Gaffigan Talks Bowling

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It’s Friday and this is one of my favorite comedy routines on bowling. Some bowlers find it offensive, but the reality is this is how many laymen see the sport in many instances. Hopefully that will change in the future. What do you think about his assessment of bowling. Leave a comment.

I went bowling, I don’t mean to brag. Really there are 2 types of people that go bowling. There are people that really really love bowling and there are the people that are like wouldn’t it be hysterical if we went bowling.

For most of us bowling is the activity you do after you’ve done everything else. Well, we could go bowling or we could just hang ourselves. Why don’t we go bowling? No one is ever jealous when they hear you went bowling. Oh you went bowling, glad I couldn’t make it.

Bowling’s great, you gotta love a sport you can eat while you play it. You never see that in tennis. Hey before you serve lemme dig into these nachos. It’s a different sport, there is an ash tray built into the bowling equipment. Poker doesn’t even have that. And that hand dryer thing. If you are sweating while you are bowling, you’re out of shape. If you’re out of shape and you’re bowling, you are probably a professional bowling.

Nothing really healthy about bowling. It has to be the germ-a-phobes nightmare. Here, put on these moist shoes 10,000 people wore. And stick your fingers in these dirty holes. Now you have the flu. How dirty are those holes. It’s not like those balls wear out. They probably haven’t manufactured a bowling ball in a 1,000 years. Someone is out there using Fred Flintstone’s right now. That is preposterous.

I don’t own a bowling ball cuz I’m not a weirdo. Yeah I want to volunteer to carry around a 50 lb ball. Can you put it in a big ugly purse? That’s how I want to meet the ladies. Couldn’t help but notice you staring at my purse. It’s filled with a big blue ball. Mind if I follow you around the parking lot. I’ll just be humming…hmmmm…ball in the bag. That’s the worst song ever.

I always have to pick out my bowling ball. I can never find the right one. I’m like, this one is too heavy, this one is good but it’s pink, my fingers don’t fit. How do they decide on those finger sizes, they are either for a 5 year old girl or the incredible hulk. How big are some people’s fingers. Some guy wearing a catchers mitt, yeah it’s good, i can still catch the game don’t worry about it. Those bowling shoes, no update there. You need our special shoes before you can roll our magic ball.

Some people have their own bowling ball and their own bowling shoes and no friends. That’s mean. I can say that cuz I like bowling. I watch bowling on tv, cuz I use my time wisely. I saw this college team championship. Each team had their own coach. What kind of strategy advice is a bowling coach giving. You know what, this time Timmy, I want you to knock down all the pins. You sure? Trust me. Just do it son! That’s wierd.

Bowling seems silly, yet we all take it very seriously right? Til you get that first gutter ball. Let me show you how it’s done, hahaha. This is a stupid sport. There is few moments in life as humiliating as that gutter ball. The worst part is then you have to make that turn back to your friends. That ball is broken. It’s tilted down there.

You never want to be the worst bowler of the group because then everyone treats you like you have cancer. You can do it! We’re praying for you. The advice starts, use a heavier ball, keep your arm straight, you should get a vasectomy.

If you are really bad at bowling like me they’ll ask if want the bumpers up. Not that bowling is that complex anyway. You want the bumpers? We can get rid of the pins. Why don’t you take this coloring book and sit in the corner.

But I like bowling, it’s perfect for the lazy man. No other sport has a machine that rolls the ball back to you at arm level. Alright, I’ll keep playing. Is there any way I can do this in a chair or something.

Categories : Video Post
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Jun
23

The Trail Leg

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bowling-trail-leg-balance

What is the trail leg? It is your non slide leg, so it is the leg that is on the same side of your ball.

Why do I care about the trail leg? Well the trail leg provides the counter balance needed to stay balanced at the line.

When should I be concerned with it? After you push into the slide what you do with the trail leg can either help or hinder your balance at the line.

My Recommendations. Here are three things that are critical when dealing with the trail leg.

1. Keep the trail leg along the ground. Below is an example of a trail leg that leaves the ground (violently at that).

2. Lead with the toe rather than the heel. Leading with the heel often causes too much rotation and can cause balance issues.

3. Ensure the trail leg passes the slide foot. If you are right handed the trail leg should end up to the left of your slide foot. See the picture above for an example.

Doing these three things will ensure better balance at the foul line and help you consistently execute shots.

Categories : Quick Tips
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