How to Grip a Bowling Ball

The three most common grips include the fingertip, semi-fingertip, and conventional grips. Of these, most beginners find the conventional grip the easiest to master. 

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced bowler, knowing how to grip a bowling ball correctly can drastically increase your chances of hitting strikes and spares and making consistent deliveries. 


Why is Your Bowling Grip so Important?

Your grip affects how you control, throw, and release your ball. It helps maintain a consistent rev-rate, which is extremely crucial in controlling the direction of your ball. 

This, in turn, ensures that your throws are predictable and consistent. 

Different Bowling Grips and How To Put Them into Practice

In addition to switching up your bowling grip according to the number of holes (between three and five) in the ball, you can also experiment with the three most common grips. By learning how to manipulate the ball and how it reacts, you’ll be able to identify and perfect your bowling style. 

Let’s take a look at the different grips, shall we?

Conventional Grip

New to bowling? Try your hand at the conventional grip. It’s easy to learn and gives you more control over the ball compared to its counterparts. 

Here’s a quick guide on how to nail this basic grip:

  • Step 1: Insert your thumb into the single, lower hole of the ball.
  • Step 2: Lay your hand flat against the ball’s surface. Then insert your middle and ring fingers completely into the two adjacent holes. 

They should slide in comfortably past the second knuckle.

  • Step 3: Try to lift and roll the ball using this grip. You’ll notice that not only does this grip give you minimal to no strain, it also helps prevent a hook.

You can get a very good score by perfecting the conventional grip. 

Generally called a basic grip, the conventional grip has been the choice of quite a few professional bowlers, Jason Belmonte included. 

So, go ahead. Give it a try.

Fingertip Grip

Have you mastered the conventional grip? Then it’s time to take your bowling game to the next step with an advanced fingertip grip. 

Take a look at how it’s done:

  • Step 1: Just as with a conventional grip, start by inserting your thumb into the bottom hole of the ball.
  • Step 2: Insert your middle and ring fingers in the adjacent holes. This time, only until the first knuckle.

The fingertip grip, as it turns out, requires great strength to execute. In addition, it is comparatively less secure than other grips. 

However, it gives you a greater chance of hooking the ball, and by default, striking down all the pins.

If, however, you struggle with keeping only your first knuckle inside your ball, you can get your finger holes custom-drilled into your own ball. 

Semi-Fingertip Grip

Once you’ve got the conventional grip and the fingertip grip nailed, it’s time to explore a more comfortable, but less controllable, semi-fingertip grip style.

  • Step 1: Place your thumb in the designated thumb hole.
  • Step 2: Insert your middle and ring fingers into the adjacent holes. The placement should lie somewhere between your first and second knuckle. 

The semi-fingertip grip is more comfortable than the fingertip grip, and unlike the conventional grip, it also allows hooking. 

Wrapping Up

Knowing about the different types of grips and how to grip the ball correctly can help elevate your chances of getting that hook to the pocket. Experiment with several bowling balls and pay attention to the middle finger and ring finger placements.

If you encounter trouble with knuckle grips, consider getting your own ball. 

This way, you’ll be able to test the grip styles effectively. Once you do that, you’ll gain better control of your bowling ball.

So, what do you think? Which is the right grip for you?