Hi everyone. Today is a Wednesday, but I wanted my first post to this blog to deal with my bowling outing with my brother at Westgate Lanes in Brockton, MA (which has always been my home center) last Saturday. This was my first time ten-pin bowling in 7 years, and the time previous to that, I had more or less just come home from my heel fractures. That time, my strike shots were going into the left channel, and I suspect that this was because my legs were still pretty weak from being more or less off of my feet for 5 months.
Last Saturday, things were different: instead of rolling it into the left gutter, my shots were having trouble staying out of the right channel. To me, this was good news, as it indicated to me that my leg strength had come back to a certain extent. I was trying to play my old line, but the ball would skid into that channel. That led to a lot of zero frames in the first game, and, embarrassingly, I only scored in the 20s.
The second game, I got things more or less sorted out. The first ball in that game went for a 7 count, and I stayed pace with my brother all the way through the game. My one strike on the outing came in the 9th frame on a “Brooklyn” (crossover) shot. My brother posted a 101 after the 10th frame, and I was close enough that I could beat him with a spare and 9 count. I had a good shot with my first ball in the frame, but left a ringing 10-pin, which I made rather easily. However, I had a bad shot with my fill ball and only knocked down 5 pins, which meant that I had lost by 3. We only had time for 2 lines, as we had to meet our sister and her family for lunch at the nearby Texas Roadhouse, but I told everyone that I thought I did well enough to think about taking the game up seriously again.
My approach was such that I had to start well to the right side of the lane, meaning I would be in trouble if I had a spare leave on the left side (particularly the 7-pin) . I used the ball I last used in league play, but this was a “vintage” Columbia 300 U-Dot (circa 1990), and I suspect they use more oil on the lanes now than they did when I was in leagues, so the ball now hooks less than it did then. As a result, a new ball, particularly a reactive resin ball, may be in order. Although I could get a good deal on one online, I may want to at least consult with the pro shop operator at the lanes for guidance on choosing a suitable model.
Another equipment-related item was that my old size 9.5 bowling shoes no longer fit, so I had to wear rental shoes for this outing. Having proper bowling shoes that fit will allow me to augment whatever leg strength I have. I have been pricing shoes online, as well, and found a pair of Etonic Strike shoes for under $60, so that should be added to my shopping list.
As my heel fractures have changed my delivery to a large extent (I used to have a classic four-step, but now I find I need a preliminary step or two), I may also want to get some coaching to see if I can make the proper corrections comfortably. I’ve been on a walking program for weight reduction, and it should continue to help me build leg strength.
For future reference, it should be noted that I had an average in the 160s at my peak, a high game of 268, and a high series of 634 (both of the latter for which I still have score sheets from), so if I do commit to a comeback, it will be interesting to see how closely I can approach these marks.