Have you ever bowled on Big Ben? Wait, they let you play there? Haha, I’m just kidding, definitely not! However, Kegel does let you play on their Big Ben oil pattern. Inspired by one of the most popular landmarks in the UK, the Kegel Big Ben oil pattern is also very popular among pro or advanced bowlers. What I absolutely love about the Kegel Landmark series is that it allows bowlers of all skills to enjoy challenging bowling oil patterns. This one is no exception. So if you’re here to know more about this oil pattern, you know the drill.
What is the Kegel Big Ben oil pattern?
One of the most commonly used tournament patterns— the Kegel Big Ben (6544) runs 44 feet long. This makes the pattern belong to the category of recreation patterns. Like a standard bowling pattern, you will usually get 50 uL of oil on each board. However, it is customizable, so it depends on with lane oil machine is used.
The bowling lane conditioning machine will select the conditioner and transfer the oil as per the given command. When the Flex machine is used, the Fire and Ice conditioners are usually blended together and applied to the lane.
In general, the total amount of Forward Oil is 17.15 mL and Reverse Oil is 10.6 mL. So you get a Total Volume Oil of 27.75 mL on this pattern. With the Flex machine oil, the Forward oil can be 16.22 ml and the Reverse Oil can get 8.48 mL. So 24.7 mL of Total Volume Oil. Normally, the Total Boards Crossed in this pattern are 555 Boards (343 Boards- Forward and 212 Boards- Reverse).
How to attack the Big Ben oil pattern?
At the Kegel Training Centre, professionals always use the rule of 31 to get an estimation of where they should start on a bowling oil pattern. So let’s follow that step. As mentioned previously, the pattern length is 44. So if you subtract 31 from 44, we get 13, which is the number of board on the lane where your ball is going to exit the pattern. On the Kegel Big Ben pattern, the exit point is going to be somewhere around the 13 board.
When the oil is freshly applied on the lane, you can move a bit farther right or left. The exit point of your bowling ball can be anywhere between 10 and 15 boards. When you see the lane has started to break down, you have to adjust your shot very carefully. When you’re playing a bit from the outside, you gotta use a ball that is gonna hook with a lot of backend to enter into the pocket with sufficient force to know down the pins.
To me, it is one of the toughest patterns by Kegel. Just a small wrong move can throw off your game. If you can get away with some offsetting shot, consider yourself lucky. I did get away a few times but do remember, accuracy in adjustment is the key to success for the Big Ben bowling oil pattern.
One thing you aren’t gonna love about this pattern is that it breaks down pretty fast. Consequently, it makes you modify your performance the longer you bowl on it. If you feel like you did good in your first game, prepare to get destroyed if you don’t make some accurate adjustment in your 2nd or 3rd game. So, to save yourself from experiencing poor performance and a lower score, you gotta make it your life’s mission to get the hang of this Kegel oil pattern.
The Big Bang oil pattern doesn’t force you to play straight. I have used a pretty strong bowling ball on this pattern, and let me assure you, if you love hooking your bowling ball, you’re gonna love this pattern. This is why some of you may find it comfortable playing in the corner while others may find it easy playing towards the middle. The type of hooking you will experience will depend on the type of bowling ball you will use, and of course, your ball throwing style and speed.
Whether you’re a righty or a left, you have to be careful with the ball speed. Make sure it’s not too slow, or there won’t be enough force to hit the pins after traveling 44 feet long distance. Therefore, for those who aren’t speed-dominant bowlers, it is recommended to throw the ball wide right (or wide left if you’re a lefty). Throwing too hard will make your bowling ball go through the gutter after hitting a few pins. That would be a lot of spares to pick up. Who would want that, right?
Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?
Okay, this might sound shocking, but one of my friends scored a perfect game using the Storm IQ Tour on the Kegel Big Ben oil pattern (his ball was finished at 1000 Grit). Now, that doesn’t mean this is the only ball you should use to nail this pattern. A bowling ball that is made for a medium-heavy oil pattern with a symmetric core inside would be a great choice to get down on this oil pattern.
The Ebonite Game Breaker 3 is a great bowling ball that will do you a favor on this tough oil pattern. When you’re gonna use a stronger bowling ball, make sure your speed is in control. Roto Grip Idol Helios is a great alternative in that case. The ball is much smoother and a bit earlier on the lane. The Track heat is an amazing lifesaver when the lane starts to break down.
That being said, get yourself a Big Ben and knock the bell every time you rock a high score! Since the lane is conducive to many bowling styles, you shouldn’t worry too much about your skill. Practicing and adapting— these two will get you there. So keep on rocking and get rewarded for your attributes. See you later, fellas. Good luck!