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Iceman
12-02-2009, 01:38 PM
Our house shot has slightly moved away from the THS, and spread the oil more outside, it's apparent across all the leagues - avg's are down 10 pins atleast.

I've really gained a lot of confidence in my rolling - I'm more consistent overall. I still have the bad shots every now and then, but that is work in progress, mostly from a mental break.

The question is, consistently being in the pocket and wrapping the 10 strong - seldom is weak 10. What should I focus on to reduce this - breakpoint?

Looking closer/farther doesn't seem to make a difference, speed related? I've tried different balls with different RG and still same instance, only been shooting 60's - very hard to string them together.

I have noticed that the high pocket shots are even wrapping 10 strong, not many 4 pin leaves unless it's a very high shot, the outside shot with strong roll to the pocket typical 10 pin leave, but different weak/strong. I've moved inside with little swing, as I am a stroker, and sometimes over under reactions with a pearl - with the solid's are where I'm getting a lot of wrapped 10's. I know this is part of the game and I'm still very positive about my game getting to the pocket consistently.

I'm just trying to see adjustment concepts I can do to help with this - in the last 2 fresh shot nights, I've left 29 10 pins , 15 the first week, and 14 the second week. On the evening that I bowl that has a mixed couple league before us, I carry well playing the same line. This makes me think breakpoint or strength into the pocket is the difference. Is this correct or should I focus elsewhere?

gparks
12-02-2009, 02:22 PM
sounds like you've covered all the bases..

this is a simple trick my mom taught me last year..... if your good in pocket and leaving corners take a half step back if your light,half step up if your heavy.

it's not 100% fix for me but it has worked for me rather good. i feel your pain of having a good look at the pocket and not bury 10 in the pit.my ten pins have dropped alot since i got my virtual gravity it really carries well for my low rev/stroker style,but it's a fine line with it .i can get into big trouble with it.i'm thinking of getting a 2nd one with a little weaker drill and get it polished,heh what am i thinking i should just get the virtual energy :)

good luck ,im shure you'll find and fix the problem

Motiv Girl
12-02-2009, 02:28 PM
First,how is the ball supposed to hit the pins?The ball should enter the pocket
so that it strikes the 3 on its left-hand third(for right-handers).This forces
the 3 into the 6 at an angle so the 6 comes off the side-board into the 10.
If you are hitting too much of the 3(closer to the center of the pin),the 3 sends
the 6 into the side-board at an angle that sends it around the 10.This is a
"half-pocket 10 pin." The half-pocket 10 is when the ball looks like makes
contact with the headpin and 3 at the same time.It doesn't,but it will look that
way because of the angle at which it enters the pocket.You are getting to much
of the 3 with the ball,so you will need to make a slight adjustment to carry it out.
You can tighten your line,adjust everything about a board-either right with
your feet or left with your target,increase your hook slightly.The correct move
will be the one to get the ball to strike the 3 on the left third of the pin.

The ringing tens.
First there is one where the 6 shoots up and wraps around the neck of the 10.
This usually says,that there is an entry angle problem.The ball is entering the
pocket at an angle that causes the 6 to fly out and up toward the neck of the 10.This happens because the ball is pushing the 3 too far back so the chain
reaction causes this result.
The fixes are easy.Either soften up the entry angle with your hand or by
tightening your line and firming up your speed,moving left and softening up
your speed,or change to a ball that has a similar front end movement but
less aggressive on the backend.

Second ringing 10.When the 6 shoots around the middle of the 10,it is still
called a ringing 10,but the cause and solution are different.The cause is
similar and the solutions are also,but in this case,the preferable option
is to slow the ball down.You just need give it a split second more reaction
time and a softer hit.

Third ringing 10.There is an occasional 10 leave where the 6 shoots around
the base of the 10.There is nothing you can do about it.Normally,this is telling
you the 3 may be of spot,so check the pin placements.

The soft 10. The ball enters the pocket either fairly flush or half-pocket and the 6 just falls falls in the gutter next to the 10.Generally,this tells you that you
have hold in the middle part of the lane and you are either too fast or too deep
with the ball you have to use it.Since this hold always creates high scores
you want to be able to take advantage of it.
There are at least three adjustments you can make.If you are a hard thrower,
slow the ball down and send it a little right to open up the lane.You want
your feet to be far enough outside so you have "tug" area inside.Second:make
sure that the ball doesn't start on the oil and stay on the oil.Hold only helps
if you are in a position to use it to set up your shot when needed.
Third:Check the equipment you are using.This is the time to use larger flaring balls.The swing area outside and hold area inside means the lanes are wide
open so you will want the ball that can produce the most strikes.Always make
physical adjustments first.Changing balls should always be last.

The first rule of good scoring is "Keep the pins low on the deck"When pins fly,
you want them flying around at the height that is equal to the fattest part of
the pins when they are standing.
When a pin flies around mid-pin high,you have a better chance of that pin hitting something else.If the pins you have knocked down are rolling around on the pindeck,they have a better chance to hit something.
When all of the pin action is up toward the neck of pins or higher your chances
of carrying are less.

One last word.The "messenger strike".This may look cool,and you may carry
one of these hits,we don't play for these.It is the sign of a mistake that went right.In order to get a messenger(the head pin)to go back across the lane to the 10,you have the ball coming in late (light).
Unless you are a cranker who plays for light pocket hits"and is going to pay
the price in a split combo".You need to slow your ball speed down a little to
get the shot into the strike area.

mrbill
12-02-2009, 09:40 PM
First,how is the ball supposed to hit the pins?The ball should enter the pocket
so that it strikes the 3 on its left-hand third(for right-handers).This forces
the 3 into the 6 at an angle so the 6 comes off the side-board into the 10.
If you are hitting too much of the 3(closer to the center of the pin),the 3 sends
the 6 into the side-board at an angle that sends it around the 10.This is a
"half-pocket 10 pin." The half-pocket 10 is when the ball looks like makes
contact with the headpin and 3 at the same time.It doesn't,but it will look that
way because of the angle at which it enters the pocket.You are getting to much
of the 3 with the ball,so you will need to make a slight adjustment to carry it out.
You can tighten your line,adjust everything about a board-either right with
your feet or left with your target,increase your hook slightly.The correct move
will be the one to get the ball to strike the 3 on the left third of the pin.

The ringing tens.
First there is one where the 6 shoots up and wraps around the neck of the 10.
This usually says,that there is an entry angle problem.The ball is entering the
pocket at an angle that causes the 6 to fly out and up toward the neck of the 10.This happens because the ball is pushing the 3 too far back so the chain
reaction causes this result.
The fixes are easy.Either soften up the entry angle with your hand or by
tightening your line and firming up your speed,moving left and softening up
your speed,or change to a ball that has a similar front end movement but
less aggressive on the backend.

Second ringing 10.When the 6 shoots around the middle of the 10,it is still
called a ringing 10,but the cause and solution are different.The cause is
similar and the solutions are also,but in this case,the preferable option
is to slow the ball down.You just need give it a split second more reaction
time and a softer hit.

Third ringing 10.There is an occasional 10 leave where the 6 shoots around
the base of the 10.There is nothing you can do about it.Normally,this is telling
you the 3 may be of spot,so check the pin placements.

The soft 10. The ball enters the pocket either fairly flush or half-pocket and the 6 just falls falls in the gutter next to the 10.Generally,this tells you that you
have hold in the middle part of the lane and you are either too fast or too deep
with the ball you have to use it.Since this hold always creates high scores
you want to be able to take advantage of it.
There are at least three adjustments you can make.If you are a hard thrower,
slow the ball down and send it a little right to open up the lane.You want
your feet to be far enough outside so you have "tug" area inside.Second:make
sure that the ball doesn't start on the oil and stay on the oil.Hold only helps
if you are in a position to use it to set up your shot when needed.
Third:Check the equipment you are using.This is the time to use larger flaring balls.The swing area outside and hold area inside means the lanes are wide
open so you will want the ball that can produce the most strikes.Always make
physical adjustments first.Changing balls should always be last.

The first rule of good scoring is "Keep the pins low on the deck"When pins fly,
you want them flying around at the height that is equal to the fattest part of
the pins when they are standing.
When a pin flies around mid-pin high,you have a better chance of that pin hitting something else.If the pins you have knocked down are rolling around on the pindeck,they have a better chance to hit something.
When all of the pin action is up toward the neck of pins or higher your chances
of carrying are less.

One last word.The "messenger strike".This may look cool,and you may carry
one of these hits,we don't play for these.It is the sign of a mistake that went right.In order to get a messenger(the head pin)to go back across the lane to the 10,you have the ball coming in late (light).
Unless you are a cranker who plays for light pocket hits"and is going to pay
the price in a split combo".You need to slow your ball speed down a little to
get the shot into the strike area.




This was posted by Coolerman on BBE.He is my coach and mentor.

Motiv Girl you are so lucky to have a coach that gives such great advice and insite.
I hope you dont mind if I ride your info coat tails into the PBA:p

Motiv Girl
12-02-2009, 10:44 PM
mrbill, please do. We need more stars in today's PBA.
Bowl well my friend! Good Luck!

dougb
12-03-2009, 10:40 AM
This is great advice, thanks for posting. I left about7-8 ten pins yesterday on perfect pocket shots. I had always heard to move right one board or move back a half-step on the approach. I got my ball speed up, which after reading this I now know was the exact wrong thing to do!

Thanks again.

Motiv Girl
12-03-2009, 02:38 PM
Let's work on the four pin.The "solid" four is telling us that our ball is finishing too hard
(too much angle and drive).With balls in the old school days (plastic,rubber,urethane) the
adjustment was easy,move feet one or two boards left and keep same target and execution.
With the nuclear powered balls today this is not enough.Especially when the backends are
always so fresh.Now we should move three to five boards left and two to three boards on
the lanes to make the ball deflect enough to carry the four pin.You may try a one to two
board move,and it might work for one frame,but you may leave a four-six split.You have
to adjust ahead of the need,not a frame or to late.

The blower seven pin.The five pin is supposed to take out the seven pin,but it just misses
and goes to the side board.This is because of too much deflection.Solution should be:(just
keep the same ball speed,rev rate,etc.) and move your feet one board right.This will
get your shot into the pocket at the right angle so the deflection will not only carry
the seven but also give you better deflection angle for flush pocket hits as well.

Stormed1
12-07-2009, 08:09 PM
In most cases on todays shots and todays equipment it's entry angle. s MotivGirl said the adjustments are not as simple as the old days. Most time i find a 3 and 2 or a 4 and 3 left will lessen the angle and help carry by catching less of the dry. The other common thing is excessive speed not giving the pins enough time to "mix" and causing the to "fly". Keep in mind that there is much more area at the bottom half of the pin to contact rather than the neck

gadgetball
03-23-2010, 04:46 AM
RESURFACE YOUR BALL! go down ONE grit...if your ball is at 2000grit, resand with 1000grit, etc. this will give you a little sharper angle entry into the pocket for more carry and pin action

Stormed1
03-24-2010, 12:50 AM
RESURFACE YOUR BALL! go down ONE grit...if your ball is at 2000grit, resand with 1000grit, etc. this will give you a little sharper angle entry into the pocket for more carry and pin action

Exactly oposite as far as a sharper angle goes. Lowering the grit will cause the ball to read earlier and smooth out the reaction. That being said a slightly duller ball is a good option as it does decrease entry angle

Tinyfxds
01-26-2011, 08:32 PM
We always have discussions about this on league nights. Last Friday was the worst for me. I had four straight seven pins(lefty) on pocket shots. I know that stepping back or slowing down is the fix but all of us agree that the balls themselves may have somethign to do with it. I don't ever remeber leaving many seven pins when I had my Burgundy Hammer many years ago. That ball had great pin action and I wasn't throwing it much slower than I do now. It just seems that some of these balls have so much drive and power that they are blowing the pins past the corner ones. I suppose though that you could argue the fact that we should be able to control what the ball does with speed and entry angle. I do know that since I've switched from the old school urethanes to newer and newer compounds I have left more seven pins. I guess that's just something I'll have to work on. Gotta love this game it never lets you get complacent.

Artist Bowler
11-08-2011, 10:54 AM
Thank you for this exhaustive post. I have often started my league evening with solid hits, and as the games progress the ball has slightly more hook. It could be that I'm warmed up and throwing more efficiently, or the lane condition changes. Anyway, as I often adjust to flare the ball wider it starts hitting light and leaving a 7-pin, as I am a southpaw. I play tonight and tomorrow and will try your suggestions. I think the idea is t observe more closely the impact and where the 4 pin is going. On most shots I tend to watch the ball approach the pocket then look over at the 7-pin to see if it goes down.

I've been told a slightly light hit is good to get mixing pin action, as you talk about in your last paragraph, but this can lead to many 7-pin leaves as well. It usually works well because I very rarely leave a 5-pin on any first ball. But I have left some 7-10 splits lately on balls that looked good coming into the pocket. Perhaps these were also light hits.

Last question: how important is rotation for pin action? I imagine the ideal way to bowl is to get maximum repeatable rotation on every strike ball while finding the best line. Often I have to back off or else I get too much hook.

Thank you for your response when you get a chance.

aussiedave
11-08-2011, 05:10 PM
Thank you for this exhaustive post. I have often started my league evening with solid hits, and as the games progress the ball has slightly more hook. It could be that I'm warmed up and throwing more efficiently, or the lane condition changes. Anyway, as I often adjust to flare the ball wider it starts hitting light and leaving a 7-pin, as I am a southpaw. I play tonight and tomorrow and will try your suggestions. I think the idea is t observe more closely the impact and where the 4 pin is going. On most shots I tend to watch the ball approach the pocket then look over at the 7-pin to see if it goes down.

I've been told a slightly light hit is good to get mixing pin action, as you talk about in your last paragraph, but this can lead to many 7-pin leaves as well. It usually works well because I very rarely leave a 5-pin on any first ball. But I have left some 7-10 splits lately on balls that looked good coming into the pocket. Perhaps these were also light hits.

Last question: how important is rotation for pin action? I imagine the ideal way to bowl is to get maximum repeatable rotation on every strike ball while finding the best line. Often I have to back off or else I get too much hook.

Thank you for your response when you get a chance.
I have had the same problem as many here have voiced for two weeks straight now. To compensate, I think I was naturally trying to throw the ball a bit harder, then on my last game last week, I tried something different - I deliberately went slower with a lower ball hold in the stance and a lower pushaway.
It worked straight away. I then read the next day that by slowing the ball down, you allow it to catch the lane and start rolling into the pocket once it gets off the oil. You want this as it allows that little bit of acceleration of the lift you put on the ball to take effect. This is where you get some power as you hit and it worked fine for me.
ad.

aussiedave
01-31-2013, 07:37 PM
We always have discussions about this on league nights. Last Friday was the worst for me. I had four straight seven pins(lefty) on pocket shots. I know that stepping back or slowing down is the fix but all of us agree that the balls themselves may have somethign to do with it. I don't ever remeber leaving many seven pins when I had my Burgundy Hammer many years ago. That ball had great pin action and I wasn't throwing it much slower than I do now. It just seems that some of these balls have so much drive and power that they are blowing the pins past the corner ones. I suppose though that you could argue the fact that we should be able to control what the ball does with speed and entry angle. I do know that since I've switched from the old school urethanes to newer and newer compounds I have left more seven pins. I guess that's just something I'll have to work on. Gotta love this game it never lets you get complacent.
I prefer urethane as it allows me to bowl in my comfort zone as I ain't getting any younger and I have a few minor physical niggles so I don't want to aggravate them. (56 this year which ain't old but not as strong as I used to be either)
I use a Columbia "The Classic" and my old Blue Hammer and with both I am experiencing a frustrating amount of 10 pin leaves - occasionally I will get the pin rolling around in the gutter pop up enough to tap the ten over but not often enough. I wish I had half as much pin action as I am seeing in the resin balls all around me and I rarely ever get a messenger - I know that those indicate another problem, and you shouldn't rely on them but they do indicate pin action is happening out there.
The Hammer certainly does hit hard but when you get 3 - 4 tens every game you start to wonder - at least for my game.
You talk about 7's instead of tens so I am guessing you are a lefty? I would suggest some basic adjustments may work - if you are slightly light in the pocket, which the lefty 7 indicates, then you should step back about 6 inches or left one board and aim at the same spot.
You are right about our game - there are so many variables and it keeps you thinking. Even different styles of bowlers on the other team can move the oil around differently from week to week, so the only thing one can do is keep making those basic adjustments - every week!
ad.

unclemantis
02-01-2013, 01:42 PM
I think that 10 pin leaves is because the ball is coming in at an angle greater than 6 degrees into the pocket.

GeoLes
02-01-2013, 05:02 PM
Very good exhaustive analysis. I will studying it for a while. The best advise I have seen was to study not your mark, line, or break point, but the ball path through the pins. The ideal line is 1-3-5-8. (actually as the ball goes through the rack, it will deflect through the 9-pin, but unobstrucred it will go through the 8 pin.)

The best advise I got for corner pin leaves is to begin approach a little closer or further away accordingly. If a perfectly good line begins to 10-pin leave, I learned to do a 3/1 adjustment (move 3 boards left, place ball through mark 1-board right). I found that this give the ball more time to find a better angle through the pin deck.

unclemantis
02-01-2013, 05:33 PM
Very good exhaustive analysis. I will studying it for a while. The best advise I have seen was to study not your mark, line, or break point, but the ball path through the pins. The ideal line is 1-3-5-8. (actually as the ball goes through the rack, it will deflect through the 9-pin, but unobstrucred it will go through the 8 pin.)

The best advise I got for corner pin leaves is to begin approach a little closer or further away accordingly. If a perfectly good line begins to 10-pin leave, I learned to do a 3/1 adjustment (move 3 boards left, place ball through mark 1-board right). I found that this give the ball more time to find a better angle through the pin deck.

Great suggestion GeoLes. Also getting practice in picking up the 10 pin is always key as well. I am now up to 75 percent!!!!

Tampabaybob
02-01-2013, 08:52 PM
I believe the biggest change you can make to "avoid" corner pins, 7 or 10, is to slightly change the entry angle into the pocket. That means an adjustment on the approach, lay down at the line and breakpoint. Below is a portion of an article that answers some of the dilemmas but not all of them.

"You’ve heard on the television broadcast recently that the pros are concerned about how their ball is going through the pins. Carry equals pay check, after all. A rolling ball will always hit harder than a hooking ball. A ball that is still hooking is searching for its equi- librium and tends to leave a lot of back row. A rolling ball keeps the pins low and allows the pins to have influence over its path. That’s important since deflection is not the enemy, although too much of a good thing (like de- flection or ice cream) can be harmful. Thus, a rolling ball is much more devastating going through the pins than a hooking ball.
Hook is actually a ball attempting not to skid—the result of the forces of angular and linear momentum becoming one. Think of a tire on ice. The tire is rotating but still skid- ding. When it's no longer on the ice, the tire will move in the direction it is rotating. It's the same with a ball. Once it leaves the oil and can make contact with the lane (we call that con- tact friction or traction), the ball moves in the direction of its rotation, hopefully toward the pocket. This move is often called “hook”. It's not. It's just the point where the ball changed direction. If a ball is still attempting to change directions, it's also still skidding.

Susie Minshew, USBC Gold Coach - BTM Jan 2013 issue

Hope his sheds some light on the issue.

unclemantis
02-01-2013, 09:26 PM
I believe the biggest change you can make to "avoid" corner pins, 7 or 10, is to slightly change the entry angle into the pocket. That means an adjustment on the approach, lay down at the line and breakpoint. Below is a portion of an article that answers some of the dilemmas but not all of them.

"You’ve heard on the television broadcast recently that the pros are concerned about how their ball is going through the pins. Carry equals pay check, after all. A rolling ball will always hit harder than a hooking ball. A ball that is still hooking is searching for its equi- librium and tends to leave a lot of back row. A rolling ball keeps the pins low and allows the pins to have influence over its path. That’s important since deflection is not the enemy, although too much of a good thing (like de- flection or ice cream) can be harmful. Thus, a rolling ball is much more devastating going through the pins than a hooking ball.
Hook is actually a ball attempting not to skid—the result of the forces of angular and linear momentum becoming one. Think of a tire on ice. The tire is rotating but still skid- ding. When it's no longer on the ice, the tire will move in the direction it is rotating. It's the same with a ball. Once it leaves the oil and can make contact with the lane (we call that con- tact friction or traction), the ball moves in the direction of its rotation, hopefully toward the pocket. This move is often called “hook”. It's not. It's just the point where the ball changed direction. If a ball is still attempting to change directions, it's also still skidding.

Susie Minshew, USBC Gold Coach - BTM Jan 2013 issue

Hope his sheds some light on the issue.

I usually stand at 35 and throw out between 3 and 4, but last night twords the end I ended up at 30 and throwing between 1 and 2 and I did notice the strikes hitting harder.

Tampabaybob
02-02-2013, 05:31 AM
Being aware of where the oil is moving is a very hard thing to learn or actually know when it's happening. On another thread I added a piece of info about lane oil in response to someone talking about carrydown. There really isn't that much carry down oil anymore, sure there's always going to be a little, as compared to when we all shot on wooden lanes. With the synthetics, and the new technology balls, oil moves and basically creates a dry path where you're shooting. Looking at a cross section of a lane oil pattern (and these technical guys have done it) the balls will create something like a dry valley and move the oil left or right of the target. So if you're shooting the 7-8 board along with 5 or 6 other guys, and assuming you're all being daily accurate, after about 6 or 7 frames, that oil is somewhat dried up, i.e.; your ball starts hooking more, and you should be thinking about moving your feet and target left where the oil has moved to.

Here's the article...hope it helps..

http://bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/slowinski_oct_for_slowinski.pdf

unclemantis
02-02-2013, 11:45 AM
Being aware of where the oil is moving is a very hard thing to learn or actually know when it's happening. On another thread I added a piece of info about lane oil in response to someone talking about carrydown. There really isn't that much carry down oil anymore, sure there's always going to be a little, as compared to when we all shot on wooden lanes. With the synthetics, and the new technology balls, oil moves and basically creates a dry path where you're shooting. Looking at a cross section of a lane oil pattern (and these technical guys have done it) the balls will create something like a dry valley and move the oil left or right of the target. So if you're shooting the 7-8 board along with 5 or 6 other guys, and assuming you're all being daily accurate, after about 6 or 7 frames, that oil is somewhat dried up, i.e.; your ball starts hooking more, and you should be thinking about moving your feet and target left where the oil has moved to.

Here's the article...hope it helps..

http://bowlingknowledge.info/images/stories/slowinski_oct_for_slowinski.pdf

This makes shooting 300 very hard

J Anderson
02-02-2013, 03:13 PM
This makes shooting 300 very hard

If it were easy we wouldn't have anything to talk about here!

unclemantis
02-02-2013, 03:38 PM
If it were easy we wouldn't have anything to talk about here!

Very true! I wonder if a perfect game or round is possible in Golf?

J Anderson
02-02-2013, 04:58 PM
Very true! I wonder if a perfect game or round is possible in Golf?

I suppose that would be a hole in one on every hole. Not very likely unless the greens were shaped like funnels.

SouthpawTRK
02-02-2013, 05:29 PM
A realistic perfect round of golf would be 54; essentially a birdie on every single hole. There have been many pros that have come close, but I believe the lowest is 58. There is a website that talks about it called www.vision54.com

unclemantis
02-02-2013, 11:45 PM
Cool. My high game is.225 and I am happy as heck

Tampabaybob
02-03-2013, 03:56 PM
Trying to figure out oil patterns is like trying to figure out the winning power ball number. When you hit it right you'll know by the score. When you don't hit it right, you'll also know by the score !! LOL

After MANY years of bowling, it's still a challenge for me as well. I've even been in the position as a lane manager to set up the lane machine and determine the shot. It's not an exact science, but I can tell you if a house wants to, they can put out a very high scoring shot. I know, because I did it in a house that didn't even have a 700 series shot for over 3 years. After I changed it we had several 300's, a couple 800's and more 700's than I could count. Happy bowlers are bowlers that are shooting good scores. Happy bowlers also come to bowl more often, buy more equipment at the pro shop, and just spend more money overall. Unfortunately many house owners/managers don't get this and this also has contributed to the decline in bowling. It's a real shame but it's the truth.

Going back to what I started with, paying attention to what you're leaving on the pin deck, and what others around you are leaving and where they're shooting is a very important part of the game. This is something all bowlers good and mediocre, need to learn. If you see something happening and you don't move your target or your angle, you'll end up paying for it. Even the guys I bowl with I have to remind to move. One of the guys knows (and reminds me all the time) when you start to see a 4 pin being left, you'd better start thinking about moving. Because the next shot or two may be a split right on the beak. Watch whats going on around you, not just on your lanes but the pairs to your left and right. It will tell you something.

aussiedave
02-03-2013, 07:06 PM
Trying to figure out oil patterns is like trying to figure out the winning power ball number. When you hit it right you'll know by the score. When you don't hit it right, you'll also know by the score !! LOL

After MANY years of bowling, it's still a challenge for me as well. I've even been in the position as a lane manager to set up the lane machine and determine the shot. It's not an exact science, but I can tell you if a house wants to, they can put out a very high scoring shot. I know, because I did it in a house that didn't even have a 700 series shot for over 3 years. After I changed it we had several 300's, a couple 800's and more 700's than I could count. Happy bowlers are bowlers that are shooting good scores. Happy bowlers also come to bowl more often, buy more equipment at the pro shop, and just spend more money overall. Unfortunately many house owners/managers don't get this and this also has contributed to the decline in bowling. It's a real shame but it's the truth.

Going back to what I started with, paying attention to what you're leaving on the pin deck, and what others around you are leaving and where they're shooting is a very important part of the game. This is something all bowlers good and mediocre, need to learn. If you see something happening and you don't move your target or your angle, you'll end up paying for it. Even the guys I bowl with I have to remind to move. One of the guys knows (and reminds me all the time) when you start to see a 4 pin being left, you'd better start thinking about moving. Because the next shot or two may be a split right on the beak. Watch whats going on around you, not just on your lanes but the pairs to your left and right. It will tell you something.
You're exactly right about the oil patterns Bob, but some managers would rather save the money they'd have to spend on personnel and oiling.
I even see old timers come out and bowl again after years out of the game if they know the local alley is getting a lot of high scores.
The local alley I bowled at years ago would really miserly on putting oil on the lanes and their two centers were only sparsely populated by bowlers - they seemed happy to make just enough effort to keep things chugging over. Their smaller alley eventually shut down due to lack of patronage. That was my alley and they were notorious for terrible lane conditions at league time. Yeah, they ran the machine up and down the lanes, but they either used cheap conditioner or the shortest patterns to save on it - whatever it was, they were always way too dry. I think the mentality was to give the straight bowlers an advantage by making the hook bowlers suffer.
ad.