In the March/April issue of Bowling Magazine, Aleta Sill, a top touring professional bowler, said the following:
"All ball drillers have their own philosophies, but I think that there are a lot of ball drillers who aren't doing a very good job at all -- and even in pro shops. It's not only department store ball drillers you have to worry about. Some so-called pro shop operators do a terrible job, too."
Sill also said, "The fingertip grip is probably the most comfortable grip you're going to get."
Those are pretty strong views. Are they accurate?
Let's ask a pro shop operator, one that many bowlers in Carroll County know -- Danny Haines of Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown.
"There are some ball drillers who don't drill a ball for its maximum effect. " Haines said. "I believe it's very important that the bowler should know his pro shop operator's background and his level of expertise. Many average bowlers simply lack the knowledge to question the pro shop operator about getting their ball drilled properly.
"As far as the fingertip grip is concerned, I believe that, ifa person is bowling purely for fun, that a conventional grip may be better for them. If a bowler is very serious about bowling, then a fingertip grip is going to allow them to reach their full potential."
Haines explained it's very important for a pro shop operator to keep up with the new balls that are constantly being brought to the market place.
"I just spent a day at College Park, Maryland, learning about the new Brunswick Phantom bowling ball," Haines said. "The entire morning was spent learning about physics as applied to the drilling of bowling balls."
Many bowlers lack the knowledge of bowling that would allow them to discuss their bowling problems with a pro shopoperator. For example, they don't realize that a two-piece ball, such as a Hammer or a Cobra, will not hook as much as a three-piece ball, such as a U-Dot or a Rhino.
Or that side or top weights can radically change the hooking ability of any ball.
"I believe that balldrilling falls into two parts," Haines said. "The first is to match the person's hand to the grip; the second is to get the ball to reactas the bowler wants. That sounds simple, but it takes knowledge and experience and training to do it the right way."
It seems that getting holes drilled into your bowling ball is a lot more difficult than most bowlers think. A bowling ball is a big investment for most folks; make sure that it's drilled correctly.
Marie Hobbs know about tenpin balls. And she knows about duckpin balls.
Hobbs, born and raised in Carroll County, lives in Taneytown with her husband, Jerry, and sons Jerry Jr., 9, and Randy, 6, and works at Thunderhead Taneytown.
She bowls tenpins in the Bucks and Does League at Taneytown, where she carries a 154 average with a high game of 226 and a high series of 558. But she's a certified coach for the youth duckpin league, where she coaches about 30 kids.
They range in age from 5 to19, and if you've been keeping up with the tournaments you'll know that a lot of the youngstersfrom Taneytown are doing great.
"Duckpins is wonderful for the kids; even the little ones can handle the ball," Hobbs said. "I wish that more parents were aware of this wonderful program."
Ernest and Susan Ogle are aware of the duckpin program for youths; their daughter Ann has been bowling since she was 9.
Ann, a 19-year-old Western Maryland College student majoring in history with a minor in education, carries an average of 127 and has a high series of 457. That's the house record for women at Thunderhead Taneytown.
Her high game was thrown April 27 in the Saturday Morning Youth League, a nice 187. Ann's a certified instructor in the sport but continues to bowl in the youth league to remain eligible for the 14th Annual Youth Duckpin Invitational Championships this summer.That tournament will feature the 96 best bowlers from Maryland, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
In 1987, Ann won the invitational when she was 15, making her the youngest champion in the historyof the event. It's easy to believe when she says, "I just love to bowl."
Here's a chance to bowl either tenpins or duckpins and help a great cause -- the first Carroll Hospice Bowlathon June 15.
Squad times will be noon until 3 p.m. and from 3 until 6 p.m. The event will be at Westminster's Thunderhead Lanes.