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Jul 20, 2024

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Game on! Bowling tips for beginners

Bowling has always been an exciting and fun bonding activity for friends and family. The art of bowling may seem daunting for first-time bowlers. Fret not, for we’ve compiled a list of useful tips and bowling etiquettes for beginners. 

Tips for first-time bowlers 

Pick the right ball size

A ball size is associated with its weight. Picking a suitable ball size allows you to control its speed and path more easily . An ideal ball weight for beginners is between 5.4-6.8 kilograms, However, if you are a petite in size or have a weak wrist, consider using a lighter ball.

Bowling tips for beginners

Bowling shoes

Most bowling alleys provide shoes for rent, but it’s recommended that you have a pair of your own once you start playing regularly. A typical bowling shoe is made of leather and rubber, which allows you to slide smoother while bowling and, at the same time, protects your feet from ịnuries. Since bowling lanes are made of polished wood, shoes with rubber heels will protect them from being scratched and keep them nice and slick.

Control your speed

One common mistake of first-time bowlers is to throw the ball as hard as possible in hopes  of knocking down as many pins as possible. However, this could be counterproductive. Instead of throwing the ball with all your strength, focus on controlling your speed and release the ball smoothly. Start by standing three to four steps away from the foul line. When throwing the ball, take a run-up towards the pins and smoothly release the ball right in front of the foul line. Remember not to step on the fouline. It takes practice to have a perfect shot, but a slower, more controlled delivery will result in a more accurate shot. 

Finding the target

For new players, it seems reasonable to look at the pins while you throw the ball, however, that is not the best approach. As the pins are too far away, they are very difficult to aim. Instead, focus on the targets. The targets are different areas which consist of dots and arrows that are closer to the player than the pins. Aiming at the targets is easier for you to control your ball delivery and maintain balance.

The four-step approach in bowling

The four-step approach

For beginners to deliver the ball accurately, a four-step process is commonly used. Below are detailed steps for right-handed players:

  • Step 1:
    – To start, stand at the back of the approach, about four steps away, and take the first step with your right foot to gain momentum. Put about 65% of body weight on your supporting leg.
    – Extend your bowling arm and point the ball towards the alley as you take your first step.
  • Step 2:
    – Move your left foot forward. Lower your bowling ball to prepare for the backswing.
    – Your bowling ball should be roughly at the same level as your leg when you take the second step.
  • Step 3:
    – Take a third step with your opposing foot.
    – Start raising your ball to the back at this step. As you take the third step, your ball should reach the highest position so that you can have a perfect swing afterwards.
  • Step 4:
    – Slide and release the ball.
    – Different players will have different paces. Find the pace that works for you and keep practicing until you master the move.

Bowling etiquette 

To ensure you have a wonderful experience at the bowling alley, follow these rules of etiquette:

Bowling etiquette

Respect other bowlers’ space:

When it’s your turn to bowl, walk onto the approach and be ready to shoot your shot. Make sure you don’t intrude into  the space of the bowler next to you when you’re on the approach. Give them lots of space so they won’t feel cramped when making their shots.

Wait your turn:

You might have to wait for your turn to bowl if the bowling lane is busy. Give the bowler on the approach enough room to take their shot as you wait by moving back. As they prepare to bowl, don’t distract them or create noise.

Don’t use other bowlers’ balls without permission:

If you see a ball on the rack that you like, don’t take it without first getting permission from the owner. It’s crucial to respect the preferences certain bowlers have for their ball.

Don’t over-celebrate or taunt:

It’s normal to feel happy after making a successful shot, but try to keep your joy under control as you’re still in a public environment. Over-celebrating might distract other bowlers and undermine the game’s rhythm. Be respectful and don’t mock other bowlers when they don’t perform as well as you do.

Clean up after your turn:

When your game is over, make sure to tidy up your own spot. Throw away any garbage you’ve gathered throughout the game, then return any rented footwear or equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do beginners improve their bowling skills?

Here are some Bowling tips for beginners:
Practice makes perfect: practice regularly to familiarize yourself with the bowling alleys.
Get a coach: a professional coach will give you the best guidance  and help you to improve your posture.
Watch other people play: Learn from other players as well. Notice their mistakes to avoid them yourself.

Does The American Club have a bowling alley?

Yes. The Bowling Alley at The American Club provides excellent entertainment for various occasions, such as family outings, couples’ night, and corporate events. Members are required to pre-book their slots by either sending an email to bowling@amclub.org.sg or calling The Quad at 6739-4413/4444 or The Bowling Alley at 6739-4392.

Can I throw parties at The Bowling Alley?

Yes. Members can organize private parties and social events at The Bowling Alley. Cosmic bowling is also available for $185 per hour*. Contact The Bowling Alley for booking information.
*Prices are updated at time of article publishing. Prior bookings required.

What are the three  basic skills in bowling?

To master bowling, players must pay close attention to these three basic skills:
Approach: The bowler’s steps before releasing the ball is called the approach. Bowlers usually use the four-step approach as an effective way to make a smooth delivery. 
Release: This is the moment when bowlers release the ball as they approach the foul line. A good release requires excellent control of speed, release angle, timing, and precision.
Follow-through: The posture after you have released the ball is known as the follow-through (or the finishing position). Maintaining balance and momentum after a release is crucial to finish the shot smoothly. Keep your upper body and your shoulders level still till the ball hits the pins.

How can I achieve a better aim?

Aiming right is the initial step to make a smooth shot. Here are some tips to help you aim better in bowling:
Adjust your feet: One of the reasons for a missed shot is your feet position. If you fail to aim the right pin, adjust your feet position as you do the approach. This can affect how your ball travels down the bowling lane.
Practice to aim with a target: As mentioned above, aim for the dots or arrows area. These targets are closer to the foul line which makes it easier for you to take better control over the ball path and speed.
Mark your ball: In practice sessions, put a marker on your ball (this could be a tape piece or a small dot). This marker can help you to observe the ball movement better and makes it easier for you to adjust your release.

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