I LOVE new bowling ball nights. I am what they call a “rev challenged” bowler. I get to be pretty good, but have my limits (unless you bring technology to the party – and that’s what I did). Unfortunately, it took me a minute to figure that technology out but once I did, it was awesome.
I got to the bowling alley well in advance of the league starting so I could try the new ball before it counted. I had a plan for the league but I wanted to see what I’d just bought so I went straight for it.
The lane they put me on was a little dry so it was a sketchy start. The Brunswick Quantum Evo is not made for the dry. It’s for heavy oil with an asymmetrical core and reactive cover, it’s meant to hook when everything else is straight – except on dry lanes. They say on a dry lane an asymmetrical ball will struggle to find its roll and will simply burn out on the dry. I wanted to try the whole lane out to see what worked, and I can confirm that what they say about asym balls on dry lanes is correct. My Hammer was hooking hard and the Quantum Evo wasn’t doing much. Until I found the oil. Then I started hammering the pocket. I threw seven strikes in a row split between the back end of one game and the front of the next before checking out the ball’s reaction on different lines. I really loved how it rolled off my hand and it seemed to hold a decent line if I missed left and got into the dry – with the right amount of finger it would snap back and catch the pocket. After two games I figured I was good and ready for the league. I packed my stuff up and headed up the alley to our lane.
When the league started, I didn’t stick to my plan. I loved the way the Quantum rolled off my hand so I went straight for it. The plan was to start with the Hammer and burn up the left edge before “balling up” when I had to move in. The Quantum didn’t like the medium oil on the lane’s edge and, though I spared in the first and struck in the second, the third and fourth frames were ugly so I switched to the Scorpion and salvaged the game with a 174. I stuck with the Hammer for much of the second game until I burned up my line. Then I switched to the Quantum Evo, according to the plan, and found a good line. I finished the second game with a 187.
The wheels fell off in the third. I couldn’t make anything work and the team we were up against were absolutely on. Their five-member team of four men and a woman threw a 1,371 their second game (against our 1,146) and their third was almost as good. They took five of seven points.
Craig, Noel and I stuck around for a couple of bonus games after – and that’s when I finally felt comfortable to take the new Quantum for a walk around the lanes. When the score didn’t matter, I could try different lines without fear.
As you can see, I spent the first four frames figuring out what the ball did… I started all the way right, aiming for 18 at the arrows and obviously didn’t like the result. I started moving left, five boards, and changed my target at the arrows as well, until the fifth frame when I found the perfect balance of oil and dry. You can see I went on a tear.
For the second game, the one that counted for score, they switched to cosmic bowling. Now, I have a love/hate relationship with cosmic bowling. First, it’s stupid. However, it does have one redeeming quality; bowling in those silly conditions makes me focus in on my target… and that’s what I did.
I found my spot on the lane once I’ve used up all of the outside oil, too. Right foot on 25, aiming for 10. If I missed left, the ball would hit the edge of the heavy oil and catch on the dry which would shoot it to the pocket. Hitting the target produced explosive “no-brainer” strikes, and I could miss in one board and still find the pocket. This will be my new line, within a couple of boards either way, in the future. I cranked off six in a row before I started thinking about a 300 and bonking a little bit at the same time. I’d been at the alley for more than five hours and was starting to run out of gas. I spared out for a solid 238.
Craig was working to find a decent line both games. He’s a one-line kind of guy – he runs it up the right edge and has a just flat enough hook that he does some serious damage with it… but when it burns up, he struggles mightily and the woman from the other team had been all over his line all night long. Noel was just Mr. Consistent.
The fellowship was awesome, but I didn’t have anything left for a third game. I packed ’em up and headed for the door.
It was an awesome night and we had a lot of laughs even though we gave up some points. At least I’ve got the new ball figured out… and I love it.