Cumberland Times-News

January 20, 2014

Benton rolls 300 game, 805 series

JOE MULLENAX
Cumberland Times-News

— Bobby Benton started with 17 consecutive strikes on his way to an 805 series at White Oak Lanes. The first 12 accounted for his 300 game. Bobby is one of the most dedicated tournament bowlers in our area and his hard work is paying off.

Mike Hall shot 768 at the Bowler with a 278 game. C.P. Sines had 759 and Derek Yates 746 at Rainbow to continue their fine seasons. Don Green led sport bowling scores with 636 on the PBA shark pattern.

Autumn Grant had 711 featuring a 266 game to lead the ladies. Becky Torrington rolled 673 and Erica Bishop had 637. All three of those sets were bowled at White Oaks.

Among the juniors, Bryce Deter rolled 694 at White Oaks. Dylan Bean shot 680 and Darron Warner 654. Kacy Blevins had 602 to lead the junior girls.

Just like snowflakes, no two lanes are alike. In leagues and tournaments, bowling is regularly conducted on a pair of lanes, so every other frame is different. Some lanes will hook more than others, some will carry better than others but usually there is at least some subtle difference. The last few weeks on the Pro Bowlers Tour telecasts, many of the pros having been using a different ball on each lane. This can be a very good strategy, but the pros have something that most of us do not — access to free equipment.

So, if you don’t have an unlimited supply of bowling balls, or an equipment representative sitting behind you in a chair giving you advice, what can you do?

First, as always, you need to decide whether the lanes changed or you made a poor shot. Watch all the other bowlers on your pair.  Ask your teammates for their opinions. Many years ago, you would see bowlers take a pencil and mark the back of each approach to remind them where they were playing on two different lanes. I’m sure most bowling centers would frown on that today, but you need some way to remember which lane is playing which way.

Once you have decided that one lane is different, realize that you may only need to adjust on your “bad” lane. If you are striking on the right lane for example, stay put. Adjust on the left lane only till you are striking on both. Our pair of lanes last week was a good example. The left lane stayed very consistent, but the right lane actually got slicker, as the oil carried down the lane. We stayed put on the left lane and moved on the right-hand lane until we started hitting the pocket consistently on both lanes.

Watch the other bowlers on your pair of lanes. Get feedback from your teammates and learn to know when you have made a poor shot. These three things can help you overcome differences in a pair of lanes.

Joe Mullenax is the bowling columnist for the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at monktd@yahoo.com