The game has changed…

As I was getting a bowling ball drilled a while back, I told the driller I did not want a slug in the thumb hole. He told me that was not a good idea, and I asked, “Why not? I know people who don’t use thumb slugs and they bowl perfectly well.”

“Bowling balls have changed,” he said. “Newer balls are made of resin, and this creates friction when your thumb tries to come out of the ball. Without the slug, your thumb will get torn up every time you bowl.”

I was in a hurry, and I would not have been able to return to the ball driller for several weeks, and so I acquiesced to him and allowed the slug to be put into my thumb hole. I still am curious as to whether what he said about the thumb, ball material, and friction is true, but at least I have a specific thing to test. This, as you’ll see later, is a crucial point to the argument I am about to make. Continue reading


Chapter 3

I was now bowling any chance I could get. I loved going down to Sea Bowl and seeing if I could beat my high score. I used a seven-pound house ball and I threw it straight down the middle of the lane. One night I was doing really well, picking up a lot of spares, and I ended up bowling a 146 game, and that was my high score for a while.

As I was bowling one afternoon, my mom walked into the pro shop inside Sea Bowl, which was called Bowlers Connection, and asked the woman working inside if she offered lessons. She said she did, so my mom explained to her how I really loved bowling and wanted to be a pro bowler and my mom asked if she would be willing to watch me bowl and say whether or not I had a chance to be good. The woman said sure and followed my mom out to the lanes where I was bowling, and the woman instantly cringed. What she saw was a little kid who ran up to the lane and slid on his knees instead of his foot!

“So, what do you think?” my mom said. “Can he be good?”

“Only if he starts getting lessons now,” the woman replied.

The woman’s name was Teresa Fletcher (now Ross), and I started having lessons once a week with her, in addition to bowling in two leagues. The first order of business was not sliding on my knees, and this proved to be fairly difficult. I seem to recall believing that sliding on my knees allowed me to throw the ball faster, and staying on my feet didn’t feel as natural. But Teresa pointed to the bruises that were forming on my knees and that was proof enough that things needed to change.

Bowling Diary

I was reading a book recently wherein the story is told through the diaries of the main characters, and it made me want to write a diary of my bowling. Now, I have been bowling for nearly 20 years, so a lot of what I write won’t be happening in the present, though with any luck I will get to that point eventually. For my first entry, I will detail how my love affair of bowling began. Continue reading

Legends: The Shot Heard Around the World

It was March 11, 2006, a Saturday morning, on lanes 31 and 32 at Sea Bowl in Pacifica, CA, and 10-year, 3-month, and 16-day-old Michael Tang showed up for his 10 o’clock league sporting an orange and black polo shirt, a color combination soon to become his signature.

“Leading up to that day of league, it was a pretty normal Saturday morning,” Tang said. “Saturdays were the only times I was actually excited to wake up that early because, like every aspiring child bowler, going to league and trying to put up your highest score is what you always looked for after a week of school.”

It was only Tang’s second time ever bowling at Sea Bowl, having just relocated from Serra Bowl because his mom, Tracie Tang, had just started a job as the special events director at Sea Bowl. When all was said and done on that day, Michael Tang had bowled a 656 series, his first 600 series, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a bowler averaging 167. But, that’s not what makes this day remarkable.

“During practice, I just stood where I normally stood for my shots, and I was just striking,” Tang said. “I guess I was just feeling it that day.”

A lot of times, when a bowler is throwing a lot of strikes in practice, as soon as play starts they all of a sudden can’t strike at all. That’s why there’s a joke or superstition among bowlers, when somebody is striking a lot in practice, someone will say to them “don’t use up all your strikes.” But on March 11, 2006, Michael Tang did not use up all his strikes during practice. Continue reading

Tips to raise your average from 170-200

This is the second video in the series of improving your bowling game. This video is for the league bowler who is a step above the average person but is looking to reach the milestone of averaging 200.

Tips to raise your average from 170-200

Here is the link to the first video in the series, in case you missed it.

How to get started in bowling