ASK BOB / Bob Korth

Web Special / February 18, 2006

Pitches, Internet prices, and burning fingers

Q. I have read that too much forward pitch in the fingers can cause a person to pull the ball and that a more relaxed pitch like reverse is better. Is that true?

A. More forward pitch does give more lift. The ball does stay on the hand or fingers longer. This would tend to get the ball going in the wrong direction at times. I believe that 1/8 reverse is good, and I know several good bowlers who go to 1/4 reverse. This gives a cleaner release, which is good for today's game. You can use different pitches on the different fingers to change the roll a bit, just as would making one finger longer in span than the other. A longer ring finger would give more side turn. Longer middle finger would cause more forward roll.

Q. I am going to buy a new ball. The cost of this ball is $180, but I found it on an Internet site for $135. Is this exactly the same ball, or is it a second? I would like to save $45. What would you do?

A. I still believe in going to my local pro shop for a new ball, shoes, and all my bowling needs. Even though the ball you get from the Internet business is the same ball in quality, are you really saving money? You have to have the ball drilled. Some Internet sites will do this for you, but it costs extra. If you take the blank ball to your pro shop, you have to pay them to drill the ball. It could cost you even more than the $45 to have it drilled, but even if you still saved some money, you lose the advice, friendship, and loyalty of the pro shop operator. He is your connection to all the new developments going on it the game, such as how best to play lanes where you bowl.

Most Pro shop operators are very knowledgeable in many facets of the game, and it is best to have them on your side. They have to make a living, and the little extra they might charge is a small price to pay.

If everyone buys from the net, the pro shop goes out of business. If that happens, then I hope you know what drilling patterns you should use, and I hope you know your span and finger pitches and sizes so you can send them to the Internet site for drilling. Then I hope they get it right because that long distance repair will take time and more money to cover the freight.

Q. My fingers burn after a bowling just three games. It is almost like they are going to blister, and they are very sore to the touch. I have heard that this is not right. Can you tell me what might be wrong?

A. This is a question I did not know the answer to. So I turned to Ebonite's Pam Buckner for an answer. According to Pam, there could be several reasons, so you will need to get this checked at your pro shop:

Remember, if you use grips, that equates to about inch of forward pitch. If you add forward pitch to that, this can cause finger burning. Some grips are not just round. Some also add pitch to the front of the grip, so look out for that, too. The cures:

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