Bowling is a fun game for everyone, no matter how old you are or where you’re from. Many of us might remember the first time we tried to bowl, clumsily rolling a heavy ball down the lane, just hoping to knock down a few pins.
Even though it looks simple, there’s a lot more to becoming a pro bowler. Today, we’re going to explore the world of left-handed bowlers. They’re a special part of the bowling community that doesn’t always get the attention they should.
The Distinctiveness of Left-Handed Bowling
In the world of bowling, your dominant hand can play a big part in your style and strategy. For instance, right-handed and left-handed bowlers approach the lane differently. This isn’t merely a reflection of the player’s handedness; it’s also due to the unique dynamics of bowling lane conditions.
Left-Handed Bowler: A Unique Play Style
Imagine standing at the beginning of the lane, bowling ball cradled in your left hand, eyes trained on the set of pins at the other end.
You take a step, release the ball, and it glides, skids, and then surges towards the pins, hopefully to find the pocket – the sweet spot between the front pin and its neighbour.
As a left-handed bowler, you might find that you have less competition for the ‘lefty’ oil pattern on the lane, simply because there are fewer left-handed bowlers.
Some may argue that this gives left-handers an advantage as the lane conditions degrade slower on their side. Yet, becoming a pro bowler still requires skill and consistency, regardless of whether you bowl with your left hand or right.
Bowling Equipment: Must Have and Nice to Have
Whether you’re a left-handed or right-handed bowler, there are a few ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ for equipment.
|Nice to Haves
|Personalized Bowling Shoes
|Bowling Ball Cleaner
Regardless of the hand you use, choosing the right bowling ball and maintaining it properly can significantly affect your performance.
Moreover, don’t worry if you can’t get all the ‘nice to have’ items immediately. What’s more important is your skill, determination, and love for the sport.
Notable Left-Handed Pro Bowlers in History
Some left-handed pro bowlers have left a significant mark on the sport, impacting their fellow players and the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA).
Earl Anthony and Johnny Petraglia are two of the most successful left-handers in PBA history.
Earl Anthony: The Pioneer
Earl Anthony was a force to be reckoned with on the PBA tour. In 1984, he retired with an impressive record of 43 PBA titles, making him one of the greatest players of the last 50 years.
This ‘left-handed’ bowler won the PBA National Championship six times and was the first to earn over $1 million in career PBA earnings. Even after joining the PBA Senior Tour, his dominance continued, and he won multiple titles on the Senior Tour.
Johnny Petraglia: The Enduring Lefty
Another great left-hander, Johnny Petraglia, became a member of the PBA in 1965. He holds an impressive record of 14 PBA Tour titles and 8 PBA Senior Tour titles. His legacy was cemented when he became the first player to win a title in six different decades on the PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour combined.
Both of these bowlers were inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame and the USBC Hall of Fame, an honor only a few have achieved.
Statistical Analysis: Left-Handed Bowlers’ Performance
Left-handed bowlers have shown their skills many times over the years. That’s why it’s unsurprising to see quite a few of them winning the ‘Player of the Year award. This includes Patrick Allen and Mike Aulby.
Patrick Allen joined the PBA in 1999, and within a short period, he made his mark by winning 13 PBA tour titles, including two major championships. Similarly, Mike Aulby, another left-hander, stands tall in the hall of fame with 29 PBA Tour titles and becomes the first bowler to have won a title in every major PBA event.
Advancements in Support for Left-Handed Bowlers
As the bowling community has become more inclusive, equipment specifically designed for left-handed bowlers has also evolved.
Brands like Brunswick have started manufacturing balls with core designs that cater to the unique spin of a left-handed bowler’s throw.
Also, there are more and more bowling tips being made, especially for left-handed bowlers. This has helped a lot of talented left-handed bowlers join the PBA tour. All these signs point to a bright future for left-handed bowling.
Case Studies: Left-Handed Pro Bowlers’ Impact on Tournaments
Left-handed pro bowlers have significantly impacted several tournaments. In 1974, Earl Anthony made history by being the first left-handed bowler to win the Tournament of Champions.
Another case is Steve Cook, who joined the PBA in 1979 and secured 15 PBA Tour titles. He was known for his powerful style, which was successful in the longer oil patterns usually found in major tournaments.
The Future of Left-Handed Bowling
Left-handed bowling is looking up. Talented players like Patrick Allen and other young left-handed bowlers are helping it grow.
There are also new training techniques and better equipment just for lefties. These are making sure that more and more left-handed players are turning pro.
Some helpful tips for left-handed bowlers
Left-handed pro bowlers have left their mark on bowling. Their unique perspective and undeniable talent and skill have created a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations of left-handed bowlers.
As we end our exploration of left-handed pro bowlers, remember that bowling is a sport of inclusivity, skill, and community.
Whether you’re a right-handed or a left-handed bowler, you have a place on the lanes. So pick up that bowling ball and let it roll – you never know, you might make history.