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- $35 for two hours of unlimited bowling for four; valid Saturday or Sunday open bowl ($69 value)
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Picking the Right Bowling Ball: Heft, Hands, and Holes
Though all the bowling balls on a rainbow-hued rack may look the same, choosing the right one can improve your game tenfold. Let Groupon help you weigh your options.
In theory, a well-matched ball allows a bowler to roll more consistently, increasing their chances of hitting consecutive strikes. All in all, there are three important variables to consider: thumb holes, finger holes, and weight.
Thumb hole: Like a latch that allows a gate to open, the thumb controls the release of the ball onto the lane as the arm comes forward on the downswing. If the hole is too tight, the ball may not slide off in time, instead lofting itself into the air and into a neighbor’s nachos. If it’s too loose, the ball may drop too soon or force you to squeeze harder, throwing off your rhythm. To determine if a thumb hole is a good fit, stick your thumb into the center; you should feel the ball surround all sides of your thumb, but you should still be able to rotate your thumb in the hole without pinching your skin.
Finger holes: The size of the finger holes generally correlates to the size of the thumb hole, so once you’ve discovered the latter, practice inserting your middle and ring fingers into the holes up to about halfway to the second knuckle. (This is known as a conventional grip.) The fingers should fit much more snugly than the thumb, since with a proper release they propel the rotation of the ball, thereby increasing pin fall.
Weight: House balls usually range from 6 to 16 pounds, and like Goldilocks’ dumbbells, the weight of the ball should be just right. Not too light—which forces you to overexert yourself on each swing—and not too heavy—which can restrict the motion of the swing and leave you with sore arms. Don’t be afraid to find an open space and test-swing a few balls (without letting go, of course). Your destined ball should be light enough to swing freely but heavy enough to increase the momentum of your swing, much like a pendulum.
It’s rare to find a house ball that will fit you perfectly. If you’d rather not buy your own custom-drilled ball, you may decide to use bowling tape (available in any pro shop) to adjust the hole sizes in a house ball. Always remember to remove any tape from house balls before you leave, since other bowlers may need to stuff their own wads of cash in there.