In the history of bowling, the long-standing Stonehenge oil pattern has evolved over the years. Let me rephrase, over the decades. Starting from the good old ’30s, when bowling lanes had simple grooves, to the ’80s short oil walls— this oil pattern is the predecessor. Unlike the long house shot oil pattern you see nowadays, the Stonehenge oil pattern is almost a recreation of the old-school oil pattern that has stood the test of time. So if you’re going to have an experience of a lifetime on this pattern, you have come to the right place. Find out what I have got to say about this super-popular bowling oil pattern.
What is the Stonehenge oil pattern?
Are you a traditionalist when it comes to bowling? Then, you will definitely fall in love with the Stonehenge bowling oil pattern. This Kegel Landmark pattern is from their Recreation Series. Even since it is introduced, bowlers are appreciating this bowling oil pattern. The Stonehenge oil pattern (5840) is a 40 feet long oil pattern with 50 uL of oil on each board. The Flex bowling lane conditioning machine is used with the Flex Lane Machine Program settings where they use Fire and/or Ice conditioners. Although some houses might customize the settings a bit if they want to.
Let’s discuss the overall scenarios of oil on the lane. The total amount of Forward Oil is 15.95 mL and Reverse Oil is 7.8 mL. So that gives you a Total Volume Oil of 23.75 mL on the lane. As you can see, this is pretty ideal for a 40 feet distance oil pattern. The ratio is 1:5.60. Now, what about the Total Boards Crossed in this pattern? Well, the total number of boards crossed 475 (Forward Crossed 319 Boards and Reverse Crossed 156 Boards).
How to attack on the Stonehenge oil pattern?
As per the rule of Kegel Training Centre, let’s use the go-to rule of 31. The formula goes like this— Pattern Length (PL) – 31 = number of boards where you should start from. So, 40 – 31 = 9. Therefore, it would be wise to play on the 9 board. If you want, you can play your ball anywhere between 8 (if you want to play right) and 11 board ( if you would like to move inside more). However, your ability to play inside depends on how well-defined the track is. This is when you can play a little inside and throw your bowling ball around that 10 or 11 spot as it goes down the lane.
If you look at the bowling oil pattern sheet, you will notice that Stonehenge is comparatively slicker in the middle, and on the reversed block, it is exactly the opposite. So when you plan to move inside, be extra careful because the middle part of the lane has a heavy concentration of oil. If you start from the middle, you will have to keep your shot as straight as possible.
To make the best out of the Stonehenge lane pattern, you will need excellent ball control and accuracy. Honestly, accuracy is the key. When you’re practicing, you should try different boards and figure out yourself what is your best scoring side. Some of you may find it easy on the corners while others may find it easy playing towards the middle.
If you’re someone who is more comfortable playing from the outside, then you should stick to the outside throughout the game. The reason for that is, on the middle part and the outside part of the lane, both have reverse oil. So if you start from the 7, 8, or 9 board, you will be able to hook your ball nicely before it goes into the pocket.
On the other hand, if you start from the very inside of the lane, you have to be very accurate. I will have to keep the ball on the line and remember, in this case, straighter is greater. Once the lane starts to burn up, you will have to make some adjustments to maintain consistency in this pattern.
Clearly, the Kegel Stonehenge pattern is going to give you flexibility when it comes to rolling your bowling ball on the lane. Did I mention that I have played a 1 vs 1 competition with my buddy on this pattern? Let me tell you, I think this pattern gave me a variety of lines to play. Moreover, I could use multiple tactics on this oil pattern.
Considering the viscosity and the volume of Stonehenge, it looks like the lane will break down pretty fast. As a left-hander, you’re more likely to play inside. So when the lane starts to get dry, how would you deal with that? You will have two options- 1. You can move a little toward the left. Or, 2. You can go for a higher polished bowling ball. Do keep in mind that if you move toward the left (for the lefty), or for the righty, if you move toward the right, you will experience a longer skid.
If you’re a right-hander, you will enjoy throwing it slightly to the right, but not too much. If you’re a high rev bowler and hit the ball a little too hard on the lane, your ball will end up going into the channel. However, for a slow rev bowler that might not be an issue. As long you maintain accuracy, you will be good to go.
Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?
Because this is a medium oil pattern, you should opt for a bowling ball that has great accuracy with an amazing controllable backend. You need to keep your shots as straight as possible, you should go for a bowling ball that hoots too easily. So, the straight bowling balls with nice lane reading ability come to the rescue.
Motiv Venom Shock, Radical Conspiracy, Ebonite Aero, Motiv Jackal Ghost— are some good benchmark bowling balls if you want to play from the outside. If you’re planning to play from inside, the Hammer Black Widow Pink (also can be used to play from outside), Ebonite Game Breaker 4 Attitude, Roto Grip MVP, Storm Snap Lock— are some excellent choices.
So, there you go! Here’s a basic guideline for you to understand the lane pattern better. If you have a game coming you should start preparing without further ado. Once you will get the hang of it, you will love the Stonehenge oil pattern. I hope I have enlightened you enough before your big day. And, as always, Good luck!