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Selecting Your Next Bowling Ball Drilling Layout

Selecting your next bowling ball drilling layout can be a difficult process unless you rely on assistance from your pro shop professional and your instructor.

Although manufacturers provide recommended layouts by providing diagrams on a layout sheet inside each new ball box for the high end equipment with the purpose in mind to simplify the options for the bowler, these layouts may not match best to your game and to lane conditions where you bowl.

If each new ball has a minimum of three layout recommendations on average and there are anywhere from six to twenty bowling ball models in a given manufacturer’s line of equipment, you could become pretty confused choosing a layout.

What can you do to narrow your options?

Begin by identifying a specific ball reaction you feel will best match to the local lane conditions you are targeting.

If none of your existing equipment has the ball reaction you are looking for, then decide if you want a stronger back end reaction or a milder, more controllable one.

Coupled with the back end reaction you seek, you must take into consideration the coverstock selection for any new ball you consider to match best with the volume of oil on the front ends of the lanes.

Therefore, you have to consider both the coverstock and a core design that together give you the skid length you visualize as well as the hook potential and angle of entry needed to produce the overall ball motion you seek.

This is where your coach can help by knowing your game and lane conditions where you bowl.

Once you choose the new ball, then another decision is necessary and that is which drilling layout should you use on the given new ball.

Some layouts recommended by manufacturers may need some modifications by the pro shop professional to work with your delivery style. This is where you must rely on the expertise of the pro shop personnel to map out your ball.

Since you are likely not an expert at mapping drilling layouts, you must trust your pro shop professional to use technical information necessary to place the gripping holes in relation to your Positive Axis Point and the Locator Pin on the ball surface in such a way as to gain the skid and hook motion you want based on the given ball coverstock and core design.

This is a complicated process for any pro shop pro let alone you tossing in your opinions when first choosing your next new ball.


In the final analysis, you may be best served to use both a coach and a pro shop professional to help you make a decision on a type of ball to buy and then rely further on the pro shop pro to help you select a layout which augments your vision for a given ball reaction after drilling.

Unless you are a real hard case and devoted bowler who studies all of the modern bowling ball technology and drilling options (most bowlers are not), then keeping things simple is your best bet.

Use the services of your pro shop and your coach as a “selection team.”

When setting out to purchase a new ball, protect your investment by consulting your coach and your pro shop pro before choosing and drilling the new ball. Use your resources wisely and rely on experts to help you choose the best drilling layout to suit your game.