Dry Lane Bowling

Dry lane bowling, or bowling on dry lane conditions when you don’t have the fresh oil pattern. What happens when the conditions are different, and the lanes have been bowled on, and you are faced with dry lane bowling?

You stand where you normally do and the ball travels down the lane and turns hard driving past the head pin left and hits the 4 pin. Right away, you know you don’t need all that hook on these lanes.

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Dry Lane Bowling

Dry lane bowling always poses a challenge to bowlers. After that first practice shot runs to the left, you know you have to adjust.

If the ball is hitting the Brooklyn side, I know a drastic move is necessary.

I personally would move my feet left about 5 boards, use the same target, and try the shot again.

Normally, that is enough to get the ball to move back to the right side pocket for right handed bowlers.

Dry lane bowling can be the pattern applied

Left handed bowlers would do the same in reverse, moving right 5 boards.

If I threw my next shot, hit my mark around 10 board, and the ball came just a tad heavy on the head pin. I would move right or move the target.

I would try moving my target to the 9 board and keep the break-point lined up the same place, or in other words keep the ball on the same line.

In most cases for me this is enough, but every now and then, for some reason or maybe bowling a second round of 3 games, you need to reduce the hook more.

Change the Surface on Another Ball

I always carry 2 balls to the bowling alley, so If I am still struggling to get the ball to hold the line and cut down on the hook, I would use a shine product on the ball I haven’t used yet, and then try that ball.

That should get the ball to go longer down the lane and delay the hook enough to make the shot more comfortable to throw. I have tried many times to throw harder and use speed to take the break off the ball.

You can do that to a point, but what usually happens is you clench the ball too hard, and in turn hang on or hang up in the ball and make an errant shot. The more relaxed you keep your hand ,wrist and shoulder, the more accurate you throw will be.

Dry lane bowling brings out plastic shiney balls

You also could have another ball in your bag, that has been shined or surfaced to travel farther down the lanes,or use a plastic (spare) ball that is designed not to hook.

I find changing to a less aggressive ball on tough dry lanes is a lot easier, and definitely helps to make your scores improve, and make the game more enjoyable.

When you have a ball that you know hooks less, and you know how it acts, you can make a reasonable judgement about where to stand and what difference it will make in your game.

Adjust The Wrist Support

If you use the wrist support, then taking the bend out of your wrist, would give you less lift and result in the ball turning later and traveling further down the lane also.

I have on occasion used a flattened position where the wrist is actually bent and holding the hand back a bit, taking all the “cupped wrist” out of the delivery.Bowlers refer to it as flattening out the wrist.

I normally like the wrist held in a slight cupped position for my delivery.But,only because I bowl on the same pattern each and every week. In saying that,it might be too aggressive for a drier condition at another bowling alley, and I would have to adjust for it.

Spread the Fingers

Another way to take some turn off the ball is spreading the index and little fingers apart. This takes the leverage away from the lift fingers.

And when you get off the dry lanes and back on those oily conditions, you can also tuck those fingers together to increase leverage and turn on the ball.

Also by slightly increasing the grip of the ball with the middle finger will help put more roll onto the ball, and decrease the hook, giving you another way to decrease the hook.

I hope this helps your dry lane bowling.

If you like what you are reading, or have any questions, please leave a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Dry Lane Bowling”

  1. I’m not an avid bowler, but I do like bowling for fun. I’ve noticed before that one day I would bowl a certain way and get the strike (or at least a spare), but then the next time I went, I could have sworn that I was using the same technique, but it did exactly as you said. I never thought about dry lanes before. I’ll have to watch next time I go. Thanks for the info!
    ~ Melinda

    • Hi Melinda,
      You are welcome for sure! Yes,lanes get drier the more they are used, because the oil gets used up and pushed around.The only time you get fresh oil is when you actually bowl in leagues, or a special event like championship or tournament. If you visit the alley early in the day you may find the oil pattern is heavier because is usually done in the mornings(but not always) for open bowling later. Then you have a harder time getting the ball to turn into the pocket, it wants to slide further down the lane. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment.


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