Pin Down Bowling Ball Drilling Layouts & When to Use by MDM Coaching

Pin Down Bowling Ball Layouts - Pro tip friday

Last week, we started talking about the difference between pin up and pin down bowling ball layouts. Pin up layouts are quicker off the break point and better for fresher patterns depending on the pin to PAP location.

This week, we will talk about pin downs and my opinion of when those should come into play, and how that changes after August 1st. On a very basic level, the pin down puts the weight block more in the palm of your hand, which reduces the flare rings on the bowling ball. Weight holes increase the differential, causing more flare, and adding more balance when a certain ball reaction is needed.

After August 1st, without weight holes, you must use either closer pin to PAP layouts for symmetrical bowling balls or more aggressive asymm weight blocks in order to manage the reaction in pin down layouts.

when should you use a pin down bowling ball layout?

Pin Down Bowling BallSo when should you use pin down layouts? When you start seeing the lanes transition to a point where you need to move to a new area but you’re bowling well and want to stay in the same zone.

Pin down drilling layouts allow you to stay in the same area because the ball reaction is not as aggressive. One consideration, if you don’t have a high rev rate or high ball speed, is that you normally want to change to a similar bowling ball with a pin down layout. Pin down layouts give you a slower, more controllable overall ball reaction.

If you’re bowling on a flat pattern, you might want to start with a pin down ball and maintain a straighter angle, because it’s smoother.

what are the disadvantages of using a pin down drilling layout?

When are pin down layouts less ideal? Longer or higher volume oil patterns (house or sport shots). Pin downs tend to be slow and sensitive, not reacting hard enough off the breakpoint. They are also less ideal when you’re trying to play deeper and there’s a lot of oil in the middle of the lane.

final thoughts on pin down ball drilling layouts

These are just guidelines – there is a lot of grey area when it comes to layouts. You need to pay attention to your ball reaction and how it goes through the pins. Talk to an experienced pro shop operator who can recommend layouts and equipment that suit your game. We’re here to help.


8 thoughts on “Pin Down Bowling Ball Drilling Layouts & When to Use by MDM Coaching

  1. Leigh Trostel says:

    As a senior less than flexible bowler with an axis tilt of more than 25 degrees, it has been suggested that I use more pin down drillings to take that pop I already get off the end of the pattern especially on a fresh condition. Experience has shown me that this has worked well with pearls and not so much solids. Your thoughts

    • Alan Grobmeier says:

      Leigh, have you tried to polish the pin down solids you’re using? Although I don’t possess you axis tilt, I do have some. I generally use pin down solids w varying surfaces and steer away from pearls.

      Pin down layouts for me were exceptionally useful when I bowled on sport conditions and needed to control the front to back reaction.

      My favorite ball when I was in Atlanta was a pin down, shined up motiv sr2.

      Hope that helps.

    • Eric Helgemo says:

      I to am a senior bowler . Still roll the rock around 17 mph. have about a 350 to 400 rev rate. Carry 200 teen average been using pin down layouts for about 7 yrs now. Best thing I did for my game, I was very skeptical. Made my ball reaction continuous and more symmetrical looking.

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