What kind of Bowling Towel are you using?By
A towel is an essential piece in everyones bowling bag. Utilizing a towel does more than just get the oil off of your ball; it dries your hand of any moisture and can help with your mental game too. Now you might ask, why do I need to get the oil off the ball? The answer to that question is quite simple. To bowl well you want to limit the number of variables, and oil on your ball poses yet another variable. It can stop your ball from grabbing the lane and skid inconsistently as the oil tends to soak up in your bowling ball. Wiping between shots will extend the life of your ball too, as the oil build up inside the ball will be much less than if you were to leave the oil on your ball between shots and allow it to soak up. You can actually soak up so much oil that it altars the weight of the bowling ball. A few ounces of oil can make a huge difference if you’re already struggling with the weight of your ball. Your pro shop has some fancy solutions for getting the oil out of the ball, but why make more costly trips to your pro shop when you don’t have to.
And heck if you get bored you could always try this with your towel…
Technique. Now you may think it’s funny to talk about how to use a towel but frankly I see many people do it improperly. First off you don’t want your hand to touch any part of the towel that is going to touch the ball. The ball contains all kinds of dirt and oil that it picks up from the lane and ball return and you don’t want that adding an unwanted variable into your bowling equation by getting all over your hand. So when you fold up your towel be conscious of what side you would like to use to wipe your ball and which side will rest upon your hand. This will prevent any foreign substance from getting on your hand.
You want your towel in some form of 4 sided object(multiple folds makes sure no oil penetrates through the towel to your hand). Rest the towel on your palm and the ball on top of the towel. Be sure to hold the towel with your bowling hand as your other hand will provide the spinning motion upon the ball. Spin the ball somewhat rigorously, but don’t strain yourself as you still have to bowl your shot. Using your non bowling hand to spin the ball is optimal because if that hand gets dirty it is not as critical. It helps to be conscious of the oil on the ball so that you can avoid touching it with that hand until the majority of it has been soaked up by the towel. Do this by making a couple slower spins of the ball on the towel. Even though your non bowling hand should remain fairly clean you may want to be conscious of it so you don’t touch your hands together. Be sure to wipe your ball before every shot(not every frame), and yes this includes a second wiping if you need to shoot a spare.
Mental Game. Utilizing a towel to relax before a shot truly has helped out my game immensely. It gets me into my routine and prepares me for my shot. I dry my ball before every shot and it really prepares my mind for the shot I’m about to take. It’s basically providing a mental pattern to follow, I wipe my ball off, I line up, I make my delivery. This really is critical during pressure situations as it provides a relaxing mechanism as it tells yourself that you are about to do something that you’ve done before. (For more detail on using a towel during the pre-shot routine check out the Mike Aulby Pre Shot Routine Article.)
Micro-fiber. So many people are still saying a towel is a towel, but thank goodness some others are starting to finally come around. Micro-fiber trumps the standard bowling towel in so many ways. Here’s a technology that is being utilized to dry off cars, soak up oil in the automotive world, but even with that, people are still using a regular cotton towel to push the oil all around the ball and do everything but absorb it. Micro-fiber is the bounty of bowling towels and it is a misnomer why people still continue utilizing regular towels. The technology exists, use it, and you’ll have an edge on those still using those pesky hand towels that just move the oil around rather than actually absorbing it. You can find micro-fiber towels in any store that has an automotive department and/ or car wash supplies. Some of the bulk stores like Costco carry a 20 pack that can be had for less than $1 a towel. Go pick one up today! (some smart pro shops will carry these towels so you can check there as well).
This article was originally published on the Stevens Institute of Technology Bowling Team Website.