Are Custom Designed Bowling Balls Effective?

Apart from the material composition of the bowling ball, another consideration that became important as technology improved is ball balance. In a ten-pin ball, there are three finger holes drilled into the bowling ball (usually for the thumb and ring and middle fingers). A player would place his fingers into these holes, and then roll the right ball down the lane surface.

When modifications to the ball’s weighting and balance became possible, improved ball design made it easier for players to get higher scores. Custom designed balls enable bowlers to influence balance during shots taken, along with the use of heavier balls.

custom bowling balls

Naturally, some other players viewed these technological advances as being unfair advantages for those players who were willing to spend more on their games. Because of this, most governing organizations have strict ranges of densities and ball balances that they allow manufacturers to create. During tournaments and the like, the personalized balls that the players are going to use are usually checked thoroughly for compliance with these standards.

Most bowling centers provide so called house balls for casual players, those who do not own a personalized ball of their own. Custom products can have the holes drilled to fit the owner’s fingers, and often make it possible for players to use heavier balls than they would otherwise have. In addition, as mentioned above, the balance of the ball could be adjusted, within certain limits, to the owner’s personal playing preference.

Pictures and Artwork

Certain people design, paint, and customize special skins and artworks to their bowling balls for different reasons. Some bowlers prefer customized bowling balls because of the sentiments attached to a particular design; it might be a monogram of their team or something else, depending on the player.

On the other hand, some bowlers use unique bowling pins. The primary reason behind such a unique design might be to improve the flow of the liquid during the casting process. Other than this, some bowling balls might have a core with a different design that helps with the assembly repeatability. The color of the ball can be solid, dark, bright, swirled, or in any pattern. Most of the bowlers choose a color that is different from the others at the bowling area so that their ball can be uniquely recognized when it is time for the next spare or strike. Meanwhile, some bowlers choose transparent balls with the illusion of some object in them.

Overall, the unique design has more to do with the mechanics and function of the bowling ball rather than the beauty of the ball.

bowling ball design

Bowling Ball Holes Drilled

In earlier days, bowling balls were made out of wood, but now times have changed. You can now get your hands on custom-made ones that are made from urethane, plastic, rubber, or reactive resins. The shape of the bowling ball is sphere and smooth, except for the area where the fingers penetrate. The holes drilled in the bowling ball are usually in the shape of a triangle. To minimize the effect of the finger holes, sometimes an offset hole is drilled.

The two-finger holes at the top of the ball are for the bowler’s middle and ring fingers, and the lower third hole is for the thumb. Usually, the finger holes are two knuckles deep, but in some cases, they are one knuckle deep. It requires more strength to throw the balls with one-knuckle depth. If you explore, you might see bowling balls with five finger holes as well.

If you are not satisfied with pre-designed balls, you can get yourself a custom-made bowling ball. The ball maker measures your hand, including the location and distance between your thumb, middle finger, and ring finger. The designer drills holes with precision and great measure. Custom-made bowling balls also have rounded edges for the finger holes, providing great comfort to the bowler. Make sure you keep an eye out for bowling balls with sharp-edged finger holes as they can cause pain, and the bowler’s aim might get compromised.

Choose a bowling ball with custom-drilled finger holes as they offer more comfort, precision, and they increase your chances of winning as well.

Drilled Bowling Balls vs. Pre Drilled Bowling Balls

Drilled bowling balls are the preferred option of bowlers when compared to pre-drilled bowling balls. If you wish to go for pre-drilled bowling balls, you might as well save your money and use in-house bowling balls.

A ball that is drilled, especially according to your hand measurements, will fit better and offer more precision. Other than this, it also decreases the risk of a hand injury. To get better results, take your ball to a drilling pro and get it drilled. Some stores offer free drilling on the purchase of the ball.

In a nutshell, it is always preferred to opt for a bowling ball that is custom drilled.

Bowling Ball Layouts

All the time that you spent polishing your bowling skills will go to waste if you don’t pay attention to your bowling ball layout. The specific orientation of a weight block relative to your bowling release is the layout of your ball. The layout holds a critical role in the motion of the bowling ball as it is responsible for reducing or magnifying the length and hook potential of the bowling ball.

Drilling the ball in the area that suits your style can be advantageous for you. Usually, bowlers opt for five different bowling layouts. These layouts include the arcing layout, the early rolling layout, the flip layout, the pin-up layout, and the pin-down layout. Depending on your delivery style, you can choose the layout. Layouts are significant in offering bowlers complete control over the reaction of the ball, and it allows them to bowl consistently into the pockets. If you have a specific layout in your mind, then head over to an expert, and get the layout you are comfortable with.

Other Customized Features of Bowling Balls

Apart from all this, you can also choose the ideal ball weight and cover stock for your ball. Most professional bowlers choose 16-pound balls. Generally, they say the ideal ball weight is the heaviest ball you can comfortably throw in the alley. With all these customizations and your skills, we are certain the game is yours to win.


In any case, the wealth of choice means that there is going to be a right one for every bowler of any skill level. Custom designed bowling balls can mean the difference if used well by a good bowler.

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Written by Shannon Cothran