Throw a Great Hook

Throw a Great Hook

This game’s a blast! You’re ready to step it up and improve your skills. To increase your score, you will need to learn to hook the ball. Hooking the ball not only increases your odds of knocking down more pins, but when done right it’s fun to see.

Throwing a house ball straight down the lane and knocking over a few pins has been great but if you want to really improve, you will need to change the ball you use and how you hold it if you want to see the big pin action. Changing from a straight ball to a hook ball isn’t as easy as it sounds, but once you’ve done it you’ll never go back.

Changing the ball means stepping away from the house ball - those are the balls at the centers, which are made of plastic - and getting your own reactive ball. You’ll want to stop into a pro shop for this. Mention that you’re interested in learning to hook the ball and you’re ready to step up to something that will help. When throwing a great hook, the ball will make a difference.



Plastic Ball vs. Reactive Ball.


You’ve got the right ball now, so let’s get the right grip. A “conventional” grip is one where the fingers are inserted into the ball down to the second joint, from the tip of the fingers, and it’s the first grip most bowlers use when they are first learning to bowl. A “fingertip” grip has the fingers inserted to just the first joint and is how the ball should be fitted to your hand to throw a great hook.


 A conventional grip and the fingertip grip.


Now with a new ball and a new grip, you’re ready to hook the ball. Throwing a great hook is simple, technically speaking, here’s how its done.


  • Take the same stance and start position as your normal delivery.
  • Line the ball and shoulder up with your target; this will change when you’ve learned how much you hook the ball.
  • During the release, simply rotate the fingers around the side of the ball.



As the thumb releases the fingers rotate to the side of the ball


Learning to hook the ball and control its motion effectively will boost confidence and increase scoring potential. This video describes how it’s done and what it can look like on the lanes.



Now get ready for this newfound technique because it’s going to push your game to another level. And don’t get discouraged; just like developing your original bowling style, throwing a great hook and making adjustments for it to work will take time. With the right balance, control and consistency, your scores will see the benefit of a great hook ball.