Grip Check – 3 Things to Look For

Industry Insider by Jeff Ussery

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So you’ve been bowling for a few weeks now.  You might even be considering that new ball that just hit the pro shop walls.  But before you run in and buy that new rock, have you considered having your pro shop check your grip?  Many of us, myself included, continue to drill ball after ball with the same grip for years, not worrying about the changes that our body makes over time.  Don’t wait too long to have your hand looked at and adjustments made.  Ignoring changes in your hand can actually lead to significant problems at times (I experienced this first hand recently).  Before you get that new ball drilled, here’s three things you might want to get checked out:

1)     Finger Flexibility – Have you ever experienced pain in your knuckles after bowling?  Have you ever had the back of your finger nails turn brown and get “bruised” while you’re bowling?  When that happens, do you feel like somebody is hitting your finger with a hammer?  If you’ve ever experienced any of these issues, you likely have a finger pitch issue with your equipment.  Finger holes should be drilled to match the flexibility range of your fingers.  If they’re not, they can severely compound issues throughout your entire grip and cause pain during and after bowling.

2)     Span Distance – Nearly anyone who’s bowled has had a blister or tear in the web area of their thumb at some point.  But do you have this issue regularly throughout the year?  Bowling is not supposed to hurt!  Many bowlers assume this is related to an incorrect bevel on the thumb hole.  It certainly can cause this issue.  But a lot of times someone will try to influence the bevel on the hole to compensate for an incorrect span.  Make sure to have your span checked if you’ve had this issue, and certainly if it persists over time.

3)     Grip Sizes – You may not realize it, but those finger inserts that you put in last year are probably worn enough that they’re actually too big for you.  It’s amazing when you hold a brand new grip next to a used grip that’s installed in a ball.  They really do wear very quickly.  Loose grips can increase grip pressure and create various problems throughout your hand.  Make sure to have your inserts looked at and changed if needed.

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