For one thing, the holes will be drilled to exactly fit your hand, which will give you a much greater degree of control over the ball. A better fitting grip also generally allows a player to handle a ball which is about 2 pounds heavier than when he uses a house ball, and heavier balls are better at picking up strikes.
When a player decides to purchase his own ball, he is sometimes bewildered to find that there are so many options available. There are 4 major types of bowling balls. Which one is best? Actually, the best one for you depends on your style of bowling, and most professionals actually use at least two different types – one for strikes and one for spares. Let’s take a look at the four types of bowling balls.
1. Plastic Bowling Balls
These are the most common and the most inexpensive bowling balls. They are also the most durable. For these reasons, this is what most bowling alleys offer as their house balls. The reason they are so durable is that their tough plastic shell is extremely resistant to friction. This allows them to slide down the bowling lane without much rolling. These balls are great for straight shots but aren’t optimal for hook shots. Many professionals use these balls to pick up spares.
2. Urethane Bowling Balls
Urethane balls were developed in the 1970’s. They have a softer shell which can grip the lane much better than plastic balls. With a bit of spin, these balls have a much greater potential to hook and pick up strikes. Most players who are just learning how to throw hook balls choose urethane balls.
3. Reactive Resin Balls
These are preferred by more experienced bowlers. They are essentially urethane balls which have resin particles added to their shells. This has a twofold effect: it makes the ball slide more on the oily part of the lane, and it makes it hook more on the dry part of the lane. Since bowling lanes are usually less oily near the pins, this combination can allow a bowler to throw a ball with an explosive hook on the tail-end of its trajectory.
4. Particle Bowling Ball
A further development in the 1990’s was to add microscopic particles of glass to the resin balls. This allowed them to retain their powerful back-end hook, while also providing more control on the front-end. These are the most expensive balls and the most preferred by modern professionals.