Do you bowl straight? Whether you’re a beginner or professional, straight bowling is an absolute lifesaver. Beginners, who are not ready for hooking yet, need it for learning the basics and they can score pretty decent using this bowling technique. Advanced and pro bowlers use the straight bowling method to pick up the spares. But sometimes when you aim for a straight shot, it doesn’t go the way you expected it to be. So, what can you do to improve your straight bowling skills? And, how to bowl straight every time you intend to do? Let’s dive into some answers.
How Can You bowl Straight Better?
The way you throw your bowling ball determines whether your ball will make a curve during its travel or go straight into the pocket. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with bowling straight as it is undoubtedly a hard skill to master. When you bowl straight, your bowling ball makes little to no hook. When you are standing outside the foul line, you will notice that your bowling ball is simply rolling down the lane in a straight line.
A non-hooking bowling ball will either go straight or go into the gutter— there’s no in-between. It takes some time for beginners to fully adapt to bowling straight. Even pro bowlers have a hard time rolling their ball straight. Since this technique requires accurate aiming, many bowlers struggle to successfully do that from time to time.
Before you wonder how you’re going to keep your ball straight on the lane, you should know where you’re going to stand and where do you aim. First of all, you have to be lined up correctly because that really dictates how you feel and how you go through the release portion of playing straight.
When you are standing in the approach area, make sure that your feet are in the exact same direction as the board/arrow you have aimed for. It is imperative to keep your eyes, body, and your aim aligned. So when looking at being lined up, and you intend to play straight every time, you will be needing straighter angles.
Now, let me elaborate on your bowling stance in the approach area precisely. Generally, you have enough freedom when you throw a hooking ball. Your hips, feet, and shoulder are allowed to be open, so the ball can go more to the right before it hooks. You don’t want that for straight bowling. Hence, you need to find the three sets of dotted lines. These lines are parallel to the bowling lane’s foul line. Now which dotted line will you select? That’s up to you, but do remember, the number of steps you will take will depend on the line you will use during your approach.
It is recommended for right-handed bowlers to select a dot that is just a bit right to the middle dot. So if you’re a righty, place your left foot on that dot for physical alignment. Similarly, left-handed bowlers are recommended to do the same, except the foot placement. So if you’re a lefty, place your right foot a bit left to the middle dot. Once that is set, and you have found your starting point, time to carefully set your target.
For straight shots, you can aim by looking at the pockets instead of arrows. Many skilled straight bowlers take help from the lane arrows. So what they do is, and aim for the second arrow from their dominant side. Simply put, if you’re a righty aim for the second arrow from the right, and if you’re a lefty aim for the second arrow from the left.
If you think these arrow marks are not being too helpful, you can always make up your own target mark. So what is the other thing you can try to get the knack of straight bowling? You have to identify which mark or board goes with your ball throwing style through trial and error. Indeed, it’ll take longer to fully perfect that. But this good amount of practice will definitely be worth it if it helps you finally find your very own targeting mark.
You cannot expect the ball to roll straight if your hips are open and your body angle is tilted toward the right (if you’re right-handed). Therefore, you will have to train your body and your eyes to look in front of you. Keep you wrist straight just before you let go off the ball. This shouldn’t be too difficult as you have to keep you hand right underneath the ball. Straight bowler prefer less hook ball in most cases. Of course, it takes some practice but becoming a good straight player has a lot of value when you need to pick up the spares.
Should you bowl straight or hook?
That is entirely up to you! But there are some power dominant players who absolutely love straight bowling. The advantage is that you can hit the pins with power, and throw your bowling ball as hard as you can without disrupting the trajectory of the shot. When you are following this method, you have to be very precise. Otherwise, you won’t be able to hit the pocket with maximum force and accuracy. So, as long as your bowling ball is on a straight line, and you have the power to really hit the pins like a truck, straight bowling is fantastic.
So what do you think? Do you have the power to bowl straight and score some strikes? If you do, bowling straight every time can be really useful for you. But if you think you would love to be a bit more flexible and not be a power dominant player, hooking your ball is also fine. When it comes to picking up the spares, make sure you bring your A-game up even if you were hooking your ball just a minute ago.
It takes time to bowl straight. But with patience and perseverance, you can learn any critical technique. What is your sole purpose of bowling straight? For strike or to pick up the spares? That’s up to you! What’s important is you have fun. So just go ahead and bowl remembering all the rules. And of course, do pay some extra attention to where your bowling ball goes.