Scott Pohl

Three Common Lane Play Mistakes

Scott Pohl
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Duration:   3  mins

Lane play adjustments are some of the most difficult to figure out for bowlers. The playing field is invisible, and that’s what makes bowling unlike any other sport. In this Premium Video, Scott Pohl, owner of On Track Pro Shop, covers three common lane play mistakes most bowlers are confronted with when they bowl.

Standing in the wrong spot

If your feet are too far left or right when setting up on the approach, you will not get the ball to set up right when it enters the pocket. As a right handed bowler if your feet are too far left, the ball will slide past the break point and will not hook enough back to the pocket.

Conversely, if you are too far right, the ball will grab early and hook too much, ending up through the nose of the pocket or even Brooklyn.


Now that your feet are in the proper position on the approach, where should you target? It’s important to visualize the ball path you are trying to achieve. Start from the pins to the breakpoint, arrows, and foul line.

Then, target the dots or arrows, whichever you prefer, and start your approach. Too far inside or outside with your target will create the same problems as standing in the wrong spot.

Ball selection

Choosing the correct bowling ball can be difficult for bowlers who are just beginning to build their arsenal all the way up to pro’s that are on tour. Correct ball surface is the most important factor when choosing a ball to use.

Is it dull or shiny? Remember, 75% of a bowling ball’s motion (the way it reacts on the lane) is credited to its coverstock. Shiny is what is known as a weaker bowling ball, and dull is a stronger bowling ball. Strong bowling balls are for heavier volumes of oil, while weak bowling balls are for lower volumes of oil.

Starting with a ball that is more of a middle-of-the-road bowling ball, also known as a benchmark ball, is a good way to observe what is happening on the lane. Adjusting the coverstock with sanding pads will help you adjust where the ball begins to hook down the lane.

Lower grit sanding pads will give you an earlier hook down lane, and higher grit sanding pads will allow the ball to skid more before hooking.

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