How Much to Drill a Bowling Ball & Is the Cost Worth It?

If you’re a bowling newbie, you may not be aware of the need to have your bowling ball custom-drilled. You also may not realize how essential a custom-fit bowling ball is for a number of things, including your hold, performance, and comfort.

In extreme cases, custom-drilled bowling balls can even help to prevent injury, as your hand will be in its optimum position if the bowling ball fits perfectly. There are numerous custom drilling services, and this article will break down the different prices and help you decide which type of drilling is best for you.


What Exactly is Bowling Ball Drilling?

Bowling ball drilling services create finger holes in the balls you use to play the game.

If you’re a recreational bowler and you simply use rental balls from the alley you visit, then they will — of course — have holes already pre-drilled. All you have to do is choose the size you want from the standard holes available; they’re usually labeled Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large.

However, this can be restrictive, as someone’s hand may be too big for the Medium, yet their fingers cannot comfortably stretch to grip the Large properly. Yes, simply using the pre-drilled option can negatively affect your game.

To eliminate this ambiguity, it’s a good idea to get your own bowling ball drilled. They quite literally fit like a glove.

How Much Does It Cost to Drill a Bowling Ball?

You can try to save money by drilling the bowling ball yourself, although this could be hazardous if you don’t have the necessary equipment or experience.

You don’t want to ruin your new bowling ball by not drilling it neatly or correctly. More seriously, you could also damage yourself on sharp bits in the holes, so it’s best to leave the drilling service to the professionals and leave your self-expression for the lanes.

The average professional bowling ball drilling cost is dependent on a number of factors, including where you are, who does the drilling, and what exactly needs to be done.

Generally speaking, however, the cost to drill a bowling ball will run between $15 and $50. This is because there are numerous drilling services available.

It’s important to factor in shipping costs too, if you’re purchasing online. However, we recommend getting your bowling ball drilled in person by a convenient service.

At your local pro shop they’ll be able to measure your hands and customize your span and hole sizes. They have specific equipment for this, like thumb molds, that make it easier to perfect the finger holes.

Left-handers will especially appreciate the span and hole sizes being altered exactly to their grip. Truly, many find the average bowling ball drilling cost to be well worth the comfort it provides.

While you’re at your local pro shop, why not have a look around at the other products they carry? Who knows — maybe their store will have other products you like, such as bowling shoes or bowling bags.

Unfortunately, bowling supply stores are few and far between, so it isn’t the end of the world if you can only find a professional drilling service online.

Additionally, there are numerous types of drilling services that can be performed. Standard drilling services, which just offer the holes based on depth and distance between each other, are certainly the cheapest drilling option.

Most pro shops also offer two superior drilling services that come highly recommended but cost slightly more: a conventional grip and a fingertip grip.

The conventional grip is for holes that are deep enough that the fingers can be inserted up to the second joint. The drilling cost will be slightly more than the standard grip, usually a little under double the price.

There is also a separate fee for the fingertip grip, which covers the entire finger. This is usually slightly under three times the cost of the basic drilling services, but many bowlers feel that it offers the best grip and precision.

What are the Benefits of Having My Own Ball Drilled?


As mentioned above, having custom-drilled bowling balls fitted to your own hand is extremely beneficial compared to buying a generic bowling ball.

Buying a new bowling ball and taking advantage of custom drilling services gives you accuracy that helps benefit your game. Always remember to factor in at least basic drilling services when budgeting a new bowling ball cost.

Own Your Game

Having a custom new ball fit gives you the benefit of owning your performance.

You can go to the lane, pick up a generic blue or yellow ball that thousands of others have used, and play an average game. Starting with a blank ball allows you to customize your design, whether it’s a pattern, like stripes, or something much cooler, like skulls or glow-in-the-dark space designs!

This may seem a bit extreme for amateur bowlers, but once you start joining the realm of advanced bowlers, you will want your own equipment. You can take care of it and show off against others — as you become more familiar with the process you may even decide to attempt to drill your own new ball!

Drilling and customizing your ball is on the same level as an embroidered shirt or your own pair of shoes, both of which are a lot better to own than to rent.


Getting a ball designed to fit your hand will help it last longer. Having the custom drill will make it a much better quality than the balls instantly available at the lane, and as your game improves it will take less damage from getting thrown incorrectly.

Generally speaking, bowling balls will perform at a high level for 200-300 games, or more for properly maintained balls. If you consider the cost of the typical drilling charges, this averages out to your own ball costing less than a dollar per game — an amount many feel is well worth the money.

A custom ball may help you save money even more by helping you avoid accidents and injuries. Additionally, if you consider how many games the ones instantly available at the alley have been through, it makes sense to get your own product.

Wrap Up

It’s clear that there are lots of benefits to having your own bowling balls drilled, both performance-wise and for the customization of your game.

Custom drilling is worth looking into, even if you’re a beginner. There are few alterations you can make that increase your skills and benefit your game as much as custom ball drilling.