Walt Cervenka, owner and operator of Walt Cervenka's Ritchie Pro Shop, has made it easier for bowlers with hand and wrist problems to be competitive.
Cervenka is drilling balls for touring professionals,such as Danny Wiseman, Joe Firpo, Steve Cook, Dave Bolles, Brad Snell, Darryl Bower and John Forst.
"Walt has me coming out of the ball clean and smooth," Wiseman said. "I feel that the hand release that I have now makes me a better bowler."
These professional bowlers all have been on the tour for years. Cook, a left-hander from Roseville, Calif., has nine titles, and Bower from Middletown, Pa., has three. Firpo, Bower and Snell all have had hand problems.
Firpo was considering hand surgery before he heard of Cervenka. Firpo was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and was able to continue bowling professionally after Cervenka drilled his bowling balls.
"Most anyone can use a fingertip ball, but with reservations," said Cervenka. "The ball has to be properly drilled, and the average bowler has to be warned that it's going to take time to adjust to the fingertip grip.
"I can drill a fingertip for anamateur that will allow the bowler to perform better on the lanes aslong as the bowler understands that success will not come instantly.In fact, the average bowler between, say, 150 and 170, will probablydrop 10-15 pins off his average at first.
"If the bowler continues to practice and use the fingertip ball, those lost pins will come back in about three months and, probably, their average increase by the same 10-15 pins. But they must understand that it is not an overnight success."
Cervenka knows about hand and wrist problems. The bone in his wrist was separated, and surgery had been suggested. But he consulted a chiropractor, Charles Hestor, and thorough treatment and exercise was able to avoid surgery.
After a number of conversations, exercises and treatments, Cervenka developed a unique way of measuring a bowler's hand and drilling the bowling ball to release properly, that is, without strain on the hand, wrist and fingers.