Walter Ray Williams, Jr: The Next Two-Handed Bowler?


While some would argue that two handed bowling is ridiculous, it’s hard to argue with the fact that three bowlers are currently participating in the World Series of Bowling using the two handed delivery. Right handers Jason Belmonte and Osku Palermaa as well as the lefty Cassidy Schaub all can be seen tearing up the lanes, delivering balls with rev rates that are off the charts. But recently an unlikely bowler has adopted the two handed delivery and it comes from none other than arguably the best bowler of all time, Walter Ray Williams, jr.

Jason Belmonte Demonstrating the 2-Handed Delivery

Jason Belmonte Demonstrating the 2-Handed Delivery

During the World Series of Bowling, after having little luck with his normal approach Williams decided to take a page out of Belmonte’s book and throw the ball with 2 hands. Belmonte in a recent interview on PBA: 39X60 initially smirked watching it, as he assumed Williams was just screwing around in the tenth frame. After the ball went dead flush knocking all ten pins back, Belmonte realized that it was the first frame of the fourth game. Williams was not only bowling with two hands, he was bowling to win.

Williams admitted “we’ll probably have to work a little harder in the future, but this is all I’ve got right now.” He went on to say “[you] never know when you need to take another trick out of the hat.”

As a surprise to everyone around including Belmonte, Williams had scrapped the style that had given him the most tour titles in history and adopted a lessor known strategy to combat the current conditions he was facing. So much for all the arguments that Williams is one dimensional (bowlers often proclaim Williams is only good at throwing the ball fairly straight). And who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

The Shot that made WRW a Champion

Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

With this dramatic shift in approach this late in his career, I wonder if this will ever amount to anything for Williams. I think this style could give him a look that he is lacking for instances where he would like to move inside and generate some serious revolutions. It still makes me wonder if he can perfect this style and have any success with it before his career is over, but it certainly will be fun to watch if he ever decides to do it on a televised event.

I think this is a lesson to all bowlers, as many often think they know all there is to know about bowling and keep a fairly closed mind. This is what separates the “league bowler” from the world champion bowler. For Williams to be able to have no fear or reservations about throwing the ball in a controversial manner, throwing out 26 years of perfecting his own style on tour, speaks volumes to the bowler that he has become. This is simply why he is a champion and arguably the greatest our sport has ever seen.

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  1. Is there anything he can’t do well?

  2. Calvin says:

    Wow I would’ve have expected that from Walter Ray! That’s awesome.

  3. Mike Herron says:

    I think this is just proves that bowling has gone the wrong way!…a game of skill and shot making has become a game of see how much you can rev the ball! Walter ray is a great bowler and for him to have to resort to using two hands to feel he can compete is just wrong!

  4. Kai says:

    Two-handing is, as people say, more “athletic.” It requires practise and skill to coordinate the movements and to control the ball, especially when your rev rate is higher and when you’re shooting corner pins. Your support hand takes the place of your thumb. The support hand moves away from the ball before the release; two-handed approach, one-handed release. In the end, it balances out, effectiveness vs difficulty. There will always be one-handed bowlers, and now there will always be some two-handed bowlers. (I doubt it has anything to do with bowling moving in the wrong direction. Personally, I think Belmo could go back in time and bowl circles around Mark Roth.)

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