How To Hold A Bowling Ball Like An Expert? Pro Tips To Grow Your Score

Bowling is not just a fun game for entertainment but a professional sport also. It takes days and nights of practicing for the professional bowlers to join a league and tournament. 

If you are interested in this sport or in growing your skills to brag with your friend, you need to know how to hold a bowling ball like an expert first.

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How To Hold A Bowling Ball Like An Expert?

We do not recommend you to hold a bowling ball like an expert without basic skills and a hundred times of practice.

If you are ready to play professionally, let’s get started!

Conventional Grip

When using the Conventional Grip, bowlers usually expect to have better control, security, and stability over the ball. Thanks to this grip, you can make a straighter roll, increasing the percentage of hitting pins.

As the basic grip, you need to insert your thumb, middle finger, and ring finger into the bottom hole and two adjacent holes. You will stop putting your fingers into the ball until passing the second knuckle.

It is hard for a newbie to try this playing style because their fingers can get stuck and hurt them. Hence, the releasing angle plays an important role in making a nice roll with the conventional grip.

Fingertip Grip

Fingertip Grip is for bowlers who have a consistent, stable performance and want to level up their score. 

As its name, you need to use your fingertips to hold the adjacent holes. As a result, this style requires players with greater strength.

The difference between the conventional grip and the fingertip grip - SportPreferred

The difference between the conventional grip and the fingertip grip

Many advanced bowlers play with this style to increase the rev rate, which is simply understood as the number of times the ball turns around its axis. It is calculated by the number of revolutions the bowler impacts on the ball. 

Thanks to this technique, players can throw a hook to curve the bowl roll and strike more pins. Although you may feel the strain on your fingers, it is worth practicing when you find the result.

Semi-Finger Grip

Only when mastering bowling, should you try this style of grip. First of all, it is also a three-finger grip. The only difference here is how deep your fingers are inside the ball.

If the Conventional Grip requires two knuckles passing the ball and the fingertips grip needs one knuckle only, the Semi-finger Grip, on the other hand, is in the middle with one knuckle and a half.

As it is in the middle in comparison with two professional styles, it owns features of both, including:

  • Require greater strength and create strain on fingers;
  • Good control over the ball;
  • Release the ball at ease;
  • Generate a hook for a better score.

Sarge Easter Grip

It may be the first time for many amateurs, or even mid-level players, to hear about this term because the Sarge Easter Grip appears in leagues and tournaments only. 

Instead of using the middle finger, players will use the index one. It is the combination of the conventional and fingertip style when the thumb grabs the ball with the first knuckle and other fingers will pass the second knuckle.

The Sarge Easter Grip generates less rotation and creates a more forward roll. Besides the better performance, the less impact on fingers (the ring finger in specific) is why players switch to this type of grip.

You need to prepare a tailored ball and practice the Searge Easter Grip daily. Any recklessness can lead to a low performance which is not allowed in professional bowling.

Pro Tips To Improve Your Bowling Score

Choose The Best-Fit Bowling Ball

Read more: Detailed instructions on how to choose bowling balls for beginners

The beginners usually pay attention to the ball’s weight. The experts, on the other hand, not only care about how heavy the ball is, but they also worry about the size of the ball, the size of the holes, and the distance between holes.

Choosing the suitable ball for professional bowling - SportPreferred

Choosing the suitable ball for professional bowling

Due to the difference in hand size, professional bowlers tend to purchase a tailored ball. Even though, it takes time to find the perfect one.

You need to choose a suitable material among polyester, urethane, or reactive resin. The material owns different characteristics that make a great effect on the durability and hooking potential.

It is recommended to talk to a bowling expert and try different balls before purchasing a custom-made one.

Spare Enough Space When Holding The Ball

You should spare space between your hand and the ball which can fit a pen. If you cannot put a pen through the gap, you should loosen your fingers or choose other ball sizes. 

The overstretch makes your finger strain and swollen as well as leads to bad rolls. If you play this way too long, it is harmful to your hand and wrist.

Support Your Hold And Roll With Your Free Hand

The bowling ball usually weighs between 6 and 16 pounds, so it is hard to hold it with one hand. If you hold the ball improperly, it will have a negative impact on your fingers and wrist.

Using your free hand to support the other will keep the ball stable and controllable. Keep cradling the ball from underneath until you release it towards the lane.

Holding the ball with both hands

When releasing the ball, your dominant hand rests your fingers on your free hand to enroll the ball. By practicing this activity, your fingers seem to get stuck less, and at the same time, your score seems to get higher.

Swing Your Hand Properly

You might think an expert will pay attention to high-level skills only. In fact, they always try to practice basic skills such as pendulum swinging as smoothly as possible beforehand.

The pendulum swing is a favorable way to play bowling for both entry-level to professional levels, thanks to its ease and straight roll. However, force control is the most challenging skill for this technique. Even experts need time to perform it well. 

When doing the pendulum swing, you release the ball naturally without pushing it, or the ball will come back and hit you.

Practice A Hook

When the ball enrolls in a curving pattern instead of straight, it is called a hook. We emphasize that it is not easy to make a hook, so you shouldn’t feel bad in few times practicing.

Before releasing the ball, lower your hand as equal to your ankle to make your hand under the ball. Parallelly, rotate your hand and loosen your fingers to let the ball run down to the lane. 

This position creates a natural upward force making the ball spin and creating revolutions.

In Conclusion

To become an expert in bowling, you need to know how to hold a bowling ball like an expert. You can start with the Conventional Grip first, then try the Fingertips Grip, the Semi-finger Grips, and the Sarge Easter Grip in the final. Don’t forget to practice these pro tips to improve your score day by day. 

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