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Bowling Tips: How to Throw Hooks in Bowling

By Edited Jun 16, 2014 0 2

While you may have never had aspirations to be the next Norm Duke, Walter Ray Williams Jr., or Peter Weber, it is certainly within reason for everday "joes", like you and I, to at least take the initial steps to mastering some of the hallmark skills behind the game of bowling. One of the most effective handling and releasing of a bowling ball is that of the "hook" or "curve" and it is very simple to do, with the right consideration, of course. Even though professional bowlers have refined this bowling throw to a highly-reliable, and fluid, shot, this InfoBarrel article will deconstruct each element of this shot so that you know how to best execute a hook throw in bowling. With some time, effort, and practice, you may just find that your bowling score has improved significantly with the application of this perfected bowling throw.

Things You Will Need

Your Own Bowling Ball (or a House Ball)
a Bowling Wrist Brace (if needed)
Bowling Shoes
a Bowling Alley
Friends and Family
a Bowling League

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Step 1

If you have ever been to a bowling alley, you are probably well familiar with the fact that the available house bowling balls come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, weights, textures (smooth? rugged and not smooth?) and finger depth 'grips'. Whether you decide to bowl with your own custom bowling ball, or you use a house ball, consideration of the specific elements of your bowling ball is absolutely imperative if you are to effectively execute a high scoring bowling ball hook throw. While ball color will have no overall impact on your throw, the degree of hook you achieve will be directly related to the spacing of your fingers and how far you have entrenched your fingers into your bowling ball grip.
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Step 2

In this step, you will want to determine the degree of bowling ball hook that you want to achieve. For those who would like to see a very intense hook manifest of your own doing, gripping your bowling ball with your finger tips (down no further than the first knuckle), with your index finger spread, will cause this greater hook to occur. Regardless of your bowling ball of choosing, you can produce a milder hook by placing your fingers into your bowling ball grips roughly down to your second knuckle.
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Step 3

Consider your handling of your bowling ball while standing, and upon lane approach. If you are a right handed bowler (your right hand fingers are inserted into the bowling ball grip), you will stabilize your bowling ball with your left hand. If you are a left handed bowler (your left hand fingers are inserted into the bowling ball grip), you will stabilize your bowling ball with your right hand. Had you attempted to approach your bowling lane without your other hand stabilizing your bowling ball, you would quickly realize just how necessary this is. Fortunately, this action is natural even to the most unskilled, non-professional, bowlers.

Beyond your finger placement and stabilization of your bowling ball, consider arching your throwing hand and wrist ever so slightly. Doing this will afford you even greater control of your ball and will lend to a great hook throw. There are varying points of view regarding just how arched your hand and wrist should be when making an approach. Ultimately, I would highly recommend that, while practicing, you simply determine what is most comfortable for you and what ultimately yields the best results in terms of pin knock downs. One can deconstruct the science and math behind bowling for years on end, but your score won't be great if you don't feel comfortable with your approach and positioning.
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As you can see from this InfoBarrel article, the fun of bowling can be intensified in accordance with the continual development of your own skills and abilities. Proper consideration to form, balance, finger placement, approach, and stabilization is absolutely necessary for one to consider when attempting to master a hook shot in bowling. You will find that many professionals execute this shot rather frequently because of it's propensity to utilize geometric angles to capture as much pin surface area upon throw and approach. By doing this shot, you may very well find that your bowling score actually increases because of the mathematics governing this approach.

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Tips & Warnings

When attempting to perfect all the small skills and considerations involved in throwing a bowling ball hook the right way, practice is absolutely critical. Unfortunately, few of us are blessed to have so much disposable income that we have a bowling alley in our own house (if I did, I would situate it between my indoor pool and my indoor home theater, but that's besides the point). In order to obtain the best practice possible, there is absolutely no substitute for going to a bowling alley and practicing your skills there. While this will definitely incur you an expected cost, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper "practice" rate. Besides this, most bowling alleys have organized leagues that you can join in order for you to practice and perform in conjunction with the high intensity pressure of direct competition from other skilled bowlers.

Oftentimes, many bowlers associate fast and powerful throws to greater pin knock-downs. Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from the truth. Unfortunately, when a bowling ball is heaved sporadically down a bowling alley lane, it has more of a natural propensity to glide rather than roll. An uncontrolled bowling ball can easily degrade into a glide, rather than a roll, which can detract greatly from the ball's natural course and overall effectiveness.

While throwing a giant hook may be tempting to those who love the affect, they can also typically be more difficult to control. Professionals can pull these types of hooks off because they have years upon years of practice and experience. If you are an amateur or a recreational bowler, who has any semblance of care and concern for your overall score, you may want to consider not overdoing it with the amount of hook you add to your bowling ball upon approach.



Dec 28, 2010 9:24am
It is much harder to throw a hook with a house ball without hurting your wrist. When you have your own ball, it is much easier to hook without hurting yourself because of the options to drill for fingertips and to purchase a more expensive ball that have a core that helps with hooking.
Dec 28, 2010 10:57pm
Very through article. Next time I go bowling I'll give the hook throw a try.
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