My Experiment With No Weight Holes And Weight Holes In Bowling Balls

What’s The Difference Between Bowling Balls With Or Without Weight Holes

By Michael Cousins

When Storm published their videos on the new weight hole specifications vs the old rules, I immediately wrote a post on it. And what they found through their testing is exactly what I had imagined they’d find: very minute differences, for the most part.

And while I thoroughly trusted their findings, I still wanted to test it all myself. And my findings, no surprise, were not dissimilar to theirs.

I drilled three balls, totally different balls, with totally different layouts to test this. The balls were as follows: Cutting Edge Solid (65x5x55), GB3 (45×4.75×65), and an Intense Fire (55×4.5×50). For me, all three of these balls would have, if you followed the old guidelines, needed a hole.

So to begin with, I drilled all three balls without a hole and I tested them on a Kegel house pattern (Stone Street). Without the hole, the balls were roughly as I expected. The Intense Fire — the strongest ball with the strongest layout— rolled exactly as I expected, as I had previously already had one of these balls with a similar layout (with a hole).

The Cutting Edge Solid rolled well, but I hadn’t previously thrown one to compare it to, so the true comparison wouldn’t come until after I put the hole in it.

The GB3, for me, saw the biggest difference. Though I hadn’t previously used this ball before, this layout was a common layout that I use — and love. However, it was a little slower than what I am accustomed to seeing with the hole present.

As I said, with the Intense Fire, the variance was marginal at best. In fact, I would say I saw virtually no real difference. It rolled exactly as I expected — and this was confirmed when I put the hole in it.

As for the Cutting Edge Solid, I would say that, if anything, the ball was a bit stronger maybe (front-to-back), but overall, I didn’t think the difference was big enough to really make a difference in a league setting. In fact, I would argue that 90% of league bowlers wouldn’t really notice the difference at all. But, nevertheless, there was a slight difference present.

Now for the big one: the GB3. This layout for me is typically a pin-down, hole down layout, and one of my favorites. I typically put the hole on my VAL and two inches down. I keep the hole rather small, but drill very deep, typically, which obviously hits the core, thus creating more imbalance and differential. For me, this difference was significant, honestly. I personally saw a far better reaction with the hole than without. Without, I’d say it was just overall weaker. It went longer, but the reaction down lane was just slower, for me. Again, I emphasize that this was just for me. Others may find different results obviously, but I personally didn’t like it much without the hole. And the second I put the hole in it, the ball really came to life and rolled like I expected it to roll, which was very, very good.

My Conclusion With The Weight Holes

My conclusion, you might ask? I think in most cases this will be, as I have said on a number of occasions, business as usual. Most of this time, this will be a non-issue, and if you’re a typical league bowler, bowling in pretty much exclusively league and some recreational tournaments, I don’t think you will be affected.

If you’re a pretty competitive player, I think you’ll notice the difference on some balls/layouts, maybe. But not a ton.

However, for me, I will probably not use many — if any — pin down layouts starting in 2020. I just don’t like the reaction without the low hole, personally. I will definitely try some other pin down layouts before then without a hole and see if I have better success on stronger balls/layouts, but this experiment certainly turned me off. Again, for me. You could very well still have great success with pin down layouts. In fact, maybe you will like them even more. It is going to be different for every bowler. And there won’t be any way to know without trying it for yourself.

This isn’t to turn anyone off of anything, either. This is just to give my personal observations based on my own experience. And that is all it really is.

So have you tried any new layouts without weight holes since the rule change? If so, what have your personal experiences been? Do they differ from mine? Let us know, as usual, down below!


2 thoughts on “My Experiment With No Weight Holes And Weight Holes In Bowling Balls

  1. Ray Laursen says:

    In What other sport can you MANIPULATE THE EQUIPMENT!!!!! WITH ANY OTHER SPORT!!! You cant Manipulate!!!
    They should have done this 2 decades ago!!! No other sport can you MANIPULATE the equipment like “WE” where doing. Congratulation USBC and like the song

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