- 1. Not all strokers are created equal
- 1.1. Ball speed
- 1.2. Release parameters
- 2. Who am I?
- 3. What to do if you’re a gunner
- 3.1. Dealing with too much oil
- 3.2. Creating back end motion
- 3.3. Layouts also matter
- 3.4. Lane play
- 4. Final thoughts
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Back when I had a pro shop, I’d often have people come in to ask about a new ball who described their game as “throwing it like Norm Duke.” To most of the people who have ever said that: no, you probably don’t. This isn’t a criticism or commentary on talent level. Rather, it’s because, most of the time, this comparison isn’t referring to the ball roll. Most people who use this description are instead referring to the fact that they play straighter up the boards and have a lower rev rate.
Here’s the thing: just as Norm Duke can throw the ball in many different ways, there are also many ways that bowlers can differ and still play very similar parts of the lane. Not everyone can create 500 RPMs and hook the whole lane like Jason Belmonte or EJ Tackett. In fact, the vast majority of people can’t. So, if you have an average or below-average rev rate, the question becomes the following: how can you make the most of your game? And what exactly does your game look like if you can’t say that you throw it like Norm Duke? Not all “strokers” can be painted with the same brush.
Let’s discuss the different variables to consider, and then we can look at the different challenges that each different style of low rev rate bowler must face, along with how to overcome or mitigate them.
Not all strokers are created equal
For the purpose of this article, the term “stroker” is not being used as a description of someone’s timing. Rather, I’m using it as a generalized description of a bowler who plays the lanes with a straighter style.
There is more to consider in the bowling release than just the rev rate. Jason Belmonte wouldn’t hook the ball a board if the ball were rolling completely end-over-end or if he threw it 100 miles per hour. You might consider yourself a stroker based on your lower rev …