I’ve been bowling on and off for a few years. Like most people I would go now and then with friends when somebody suggested it. I never really took it seriously and never paid much attention to technique. Any strikes I got were purely coincidental, and that was fine.
Then one time I watched professional bowling on Eurosport, late at night (it doesn’t seem to warrant primetime showing yet). Not only did these guys get amazing scores, but it looked cool. Firing the ball out so that it looked on the verge of landing in the gutter, then spinning back in and getting strike after strike. I realised that it’s a skill game rather than a power game after all, which got me interested. I tried to put spin on the ball with varying degrees of success (mostly varying from none to almost none), and have never been particularly consistent (scoring the odd 150+ score).
So I’ve started playing regularly and, merely to impress my co-competitors, it’s about time I tried to get good at it. I already had a bowling ball, a very nice dark blue one that I got as a leaving present (and it will forever live in my heart). It’s a standard, no-spin one that theoretically would go straight and that’s that (I say theoretically because I can’t bowl straight to save myself).
I had a shot of a “proper” ball the other night, and after a bit of coaching on technique (cheers Nige), it all started to click into place. I suppose my natural movements are better suited to spinning the ball too (I can’t throw straight, which helps in this case). So I thought “what the hell”, which I do all to often these days, and splashed out on a pro-ball all of my own (got some decent bowling shoes too – which you’re supposed to get before you buy a ball)…
I’ll not say how much it cost, because 110 UK pounds is a lot of money, but I will say that it’ll be worth every penny. I can try and work on the technique and be more consistent, hopefully. If nothing else, I’ll be able to come last, but look like a pro having a very bad night, which is infinitely better than coming last after looking like I’ve got no talent at all (of course, league bowlers would know the difference anyway). What I’m betting will happen is gutter ball after gutter ball after gutter ball… We’ll see.