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Thread: Let's Talk Layouts

  1. #1

    Default Let's Talk Layouts

    Last night I was reading a new article on the BTM website entitled, "Anatomy of a Bowling Ball Layout." It's a pretty good basic article as it points out some of the differences between the Dual Angle System and the Storm Pin Buffer System. It correctly concludes that the two systems are simply different ways of arriving at the same conclusion and which one is used is mainly a matter of preference of the ball driller and, hopefully, the bowler. The article also correctly concludes that the layout is mainly valuable in fine-tuning ball reaction which is the reason that most pro bowlers stick to a couple of tried and true layouts.

    The one thing that I disagree with in the article is the suggestion that bowlers should have their PAP checked every six months or so, as it tends to change. While I totally agree that it changes, I question why you would have it rechecked. Consider this: the PAP is a starting point for layout measurements. If it changes, the measurements change, but the ball reaction does not. If it is still an acceptable reaction, what's the difference if the pin-to-pap distance is four inches or five inches? Personally, my PAP was measured about five years ago. It was 4 3/4" over by 1/2" up. I'm sure that it has changed, but so what. The layouts that I use still work, and when I want to make an adjustment, making it from the same PAP from several years ago makes no difference at all. If I increase the pin-to-pap distance by 1", it's the same whether it changes from 4" to 5" or from 5" to 6".

    The other thing that the article did for me was to get me thinking (always dangerous) about trying to understand how different layouts affect ball reactions. It occurred to me that since ball drillers drill the thumb hole first (obviously because it's the most important hole in the ball) and then drill the finger holes, we refer to layouts in those terms (thumb down, fingers up) when, in fact, we release the ball with the thumb up and the fingers down. When we look at the fact that a pin up ball results in a more angular reaction in traditional terms, it really doesn't make much sense. When, however, we realized that in the actual release position, the pin up ball put the pin lower and on the inside of the ball (closer to the body), it makes a lot more sense... at least to me.

    I think I'm going stir crazy!!!

  2. #2


    Rob, Since you haven't had a response to your post (and you might not one), I thought this would be a good chance for me. I've read a lot of your articles from BTM and enjoyed them. Of course, I probably forgot most of it by now. I bought a used "Par Bowling The Challenge" several years ago and tried to stay with the author in describing ball motion as I recall. Got lost even though I have a bit of knowledge about the radius of gyration, inertia, friction and some math and geometry to go with it.
    Been thinking about getting another ball which would hopefully give me a ball that would give me a more aggressive reaction than that of my IQ Tour solid and Code X solid balls which use the R2S cover. The ball I think I'll order is the Omega Crux. I was thinking of using the following layout on it: 55 deg x 3 3/4" x 45 deg. The Code X is: 60 deg x 3 3/8" x 35 deg. The IQ Tour is: 50 deg x 3 1/4" x 30 deg.
    I've heard talk about short pin layouts which I guess are something like 1 1/2 to 2" pin to PAP distances. I'm hoping that the Omega might help kick out the 10-pin that I often get. What does a short pin layout do for you? Might it be something worthy to discuss with my PSO. Thanks!

  3. #3


    Are you sure that a more aggressive reaction is what you are looking for? A great, great majority of ten pins that are left by league bowlers are a result of too much aggression (ball runs out of energy). A short pin layout results in less flare, consequently less aggression. With that being said, have you considered buying a less aggressive ball and using your standard layout (the layouts that you have listed are very close together)? I think that you will be pleasantly surprised, and you will save a bunch of money!

  4. #4


    You may be right Rob. I take the same line with the IQ Tour solid and Code X and move left as needed using 2:1 maneuvers. The Code X provides a bit more punch at the end of the pattern on the house shot around 40 feet or so. I have a Pro-Motion and the SPEC cover works nicely and it provides smooth move to the break point and has a strong backend move beyond either of the other two mentioned here.
    I may take your suggestion and may try the Tropical Surge to see how it will work. Just toying around...


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