How to Bowl on PBA Billy Hardwick Oil Pattern?

Understanding Billy Hardwick Oil patternPBA Experience oil patterns are truly extraordinary! Have you played one of these patterns before? If you haven’t you are missing out on what advanced or pro bowlers use for their bowling practices. William Bruce Hardwick (July 25, 1941 – November 16, 2013) teamed up with Professional Bowling Association and came up with the PBA Billy Hardwick oil pattern. This Hall of Fame oil pattern surely will remind you of the 18 PBA tour-winning Billy Hardwick and his exceptional bowling strategies. How great that sounds! So if you want to enjoy this bowling pattern like many other pro bowlers, it’s time to give this article a good read.

What is the PBA Billy Hardwick oil pattern?

So what’s so special about this pattern? Well, the PBA Billy Hardwick is a 44 feet long oil pattern that is gonna give you some interesting challenges. By looking at the pattern sheet, I don’t think it is going to make you struggle on the lane if you play it right. It will mostly feel challenging if you’ve never played on a flat pattern before. Thankfully, the oil ratio (2.95:1) isn’t actually that scary! 

On this PBA pattern, you will get 16.4 mL of Total Forward Oil and 12.45 mL of Total Reverse Oil. So in Total, the Volume Oil will be 28.85 mL on the bowling oil pattern. The Total Boards Crossed in this PBA Legend oil pattern are 577 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 328 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 249 boards. Generally, there will be 50 uL of oil on each board. However, the conditioner type and oil per board are customizable.

How to play the PBA Billy Hardwick oil pattern?

Most of the dry spots on this pattern are going to be around the 1 to 7 boards. Anything left to that will have plenty of oil, especially when you get to the middle part of the lane. So to play this pattern right, you’re gonna start out straight, and then when you move you’re going to bring your breakpoint to the left. This is pretty interesting because, on most long patterns, you’re gonna start off a little further left around the 3rd or 4th arrow and keep it mainly towards the headpin. But for the Billy Hardwick patterns, you will have to do a lot of things differently.

First thing first, you should have an idea of where your breakpoint is going to be. Using the rule of 31 will indicate that it is going to be around the board 13 because 44-31=13. When you start out straight, you should try to dry out the first arrow and then play around with the second arrow. When you do that a weaker bowling ball will help you get through that. As you move left, try to bring your breakpoint in with you and set your target around the 3-6 zone.

If you think you don’t want to use a weaker ball and play straight on the fresh pattern, well, there are other valid options. So if you opt for a stronger ball instead, you can hook your ball early and that is completely safe to do. When the pattern starts to burn have a weaker and shinier ball in your hand. You will still be able to curve your bowling ball with this technique whenever the pattern gets dry downlane. 

No matter what ball you use, you don’t strictly have to make your ball curve around the 13 board. Considering the overall situation of this pattern, your exit point on Billy Hardwick could be anywhere as far inside as 15 and as far right as 9. If you think the track is well-defined, you can play outside and hook your ball without any worries and get your ball more to that 9 or 10 spots down the lane.

To enjoy this oil pattern to the fullest, you need to control your ball motion with excellence. After you try different boards/lines across the Billy Hardwick oil pattern and feel free to apply multiple methods to find out what is the best scoring strategy for you. A few shots will clarify whether you’re playing better on the outside or on the middle part of the lane. Adjust your moves and bowling gear accordingly. Some of you will find the corners easier while others will swear by playing towards the middle.

Don’t be afraid to play a bit inside with a weaker ball or a bit outside with a stronger ball on the PBA Billy Hardwick pattern. My friend, Jasmine has posted on her social media that she played 9 board and nailed it! But I would warn you not to go any farther than 8 board as it will be out of bounds (unless you are extremely lucky). A nice hack would be to imagine the 7-1 boards as the channel. I’m sure that will keep you on track.

Which type of Bowling Ball is best for this Pattern?

As I mentioned earlier, you can use a weak or a strong bowling ball as per your bowling style. To play the dry parts a weaker bowling ball with a shiny surface will do you good. On the other hand, a stronger bowling ball with a bit sanded surface will keep you out of trouble on the freshly applied pattern.

To get the best out of the Billy Hardwick oil pattern, a solid shell ball would be a nice choice. A medium to high strength core with a low RG and a high differential will be good enough, to begin with. If you’re opting for a weaker ball, make sure the RG is a bit higher and a medium differential. In both cases, the core should be symmetrical.

However, you can change to a different bowling ball when you need to move a bit on the outside. A ball with a high flaring asymmetrical core, paired with shiny solids. Once you think the lane has opened up enough, switch to a hybrid or pearl bowling ball. So, yeah, it’s safe to use a solid coverstock ball in most cases and later transition to cleaner covers.

A great bowling ball for the PBA Billy Hardwick oil pattern would be the Storm Axiom. Another ball you can go for is the Brunswick Phantom bowling ball. The Storm Match Up and the Storm IQ Tour Solid bowling balls will also do fine on this oil pattern. The Storm Phaze II is also an amazing substitute if you can’t get your hands on the other balls I have just mentioned. You can also go for Storm Alpha Crux or Roto Grip Halo Pearl bowling ball.


And cut! That’s it for today! Remember to maintain consistency and keep on practicing. If you have been bowling for a while now you have nothing to fear. I hope I could provide the basic idea of this PBA sports pattern. If you have a competition coming, get set ready. Good luck!         


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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