How to drill a bowling ball: a beginner's guide (2023)

How to drill a bowling ball: a beginner's guide (1)

How to drill a bowling ball: a beginner's guide

Bowling is a fun game to play with friends and family. If you're new to the game, you might need to learn that bowling balls have to be like thisdrilled to fit comfortably in the hand.In this beginner's guide, we will show you how to drill a bowling ball step by step.

Understand the basics of drilling a bowling ball

Bowling is an exciting sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Although the game itself is simple, a lot depends on equipment choice and care. One of the bowlers most important pieces of equipment is the bowling ball. The way the ball is played can have a significant impact on your performance on the lane. In this article, we cover the basics of drilling a bowling ball, from choosing the right ball to post-drill care.

Choosing the right bowling ball

Before you can drill a bowling ball, you need to choose the right one. There are many factors to consider when choosing a bowling ball, including weight, coverage, and finger holes.

The weight of the ball

The weight of the ball is one of the most important factors to consider. The ball should be heavy enough to create momentum but not so heavy that it is difficult to control. The most common bowling ball weights are between 12 and 16 pounds.


The coating is the outer layer of the ball and can significantly affect its performance. Different rubbers provide different levels of grip and friction, so it's important to choose one that suits your playing style.

finger holes

The finger holes are drilled into the ball to allow the bowler to properly grip it. The location and size of the holes can significantly affect the bowler's grip and overall ball control.

Considerations before drilling

Before drilling the ball, there are a few things to consider to ensure proper fit and optimal performance.

Suitable for the ball

The ball must be well in the bowler's hand. A mismatched ball can cause pain or discomfort and adversely affect the bowler's performance.

ball measurement

To ensure the ball is drilled correctly, measure the ball to determine the location of the finger holes.

drilling process

Once you've chosen the right ball and measured it for proper placement, it's time to drill the holes. There are many design options and the placement of the holes and the angles can significantly affect the movement of the ball on the lane.

layout options

The most common layout options include an over-toe pin, an under-toe pin, and a center ball pin. Each layout offers a different ball motion and requires a unique approach to drilling.

drill holes

Once you've chosen your layout, it's time to drill the holes. During the drilling process, special equipment is used to drill precise holes for fingers and thumbs into the ball.

Corrections after drilling

After drilling, you may need to make some adjustments to the ball to ensure optimal performance.

Plug in, reconnect and re-drill

If the ball isn't comfortable or doesn't perform as expected, it may need to be plugged and re-drilled. When plugging, existing holes are filled with special material and then new holes are drilled at the desired locations.

Sandblast the ball

Grinding the ball is another post-drill adjustment that can improve its performance. Grinding the ball helps eliminate bumps and smooth the surface to allow the ball to move more smoothly on the lane.

Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance is essential for optimal performance of your bowling ball.

Clean the ball

It's important to clean the ball after each use to remove any dirt or oil buildup that could affect its performance. A dedicated bowling ball cleaner and microfiber cloth are the most effective ways to clean the ball.

Refresh the ball

Over time, the surface of the ball can wear down and lose grip. Ball resurfacing uses a special machine to remove a small surface layer, restoring the ball's grip and performance.

Common mistakes to avoid

Bowlers should avoid some common mistakes when drilling the ball.

Choose the wrong weight

Choosing the wrong ball weight can negatively impact on-line control and performance.

Incorrect seat of the ball

A ball that doesn't fit properly can cause pain or discomfort and affect your peak performance.

neglect of maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of your ball is essential to keep it performing at its best. Neglecting maintenance can result in poor performance and potentially costly repairs. Before you drill a bowling ball, there are a few basics you need to understand. Drilling removes material from the ball to create finger and thumb holes. The process also includes determining the best layout for the ball, which refers to the placement of the finger holes on the ball.

Choosing the Right Equipment

To drill a bowling ball, you need special equipment. Amenities include:

  • drill.
  • drill.
  • tape measure.
  • bowling machine
  • Bowlingkugelbohrer.

To get the best results, choosing quality equipment is essential.

Choosing the right layout

Bowling ball placement affects its performance, which is why choosing the right ball is so important. There are different types of layouts including symmetric, asymmetric and fixed layouts. It is best to seek advice from a professional to determine which layout works best for your bowling style.

Drilling a bowling ball: step by step

Now that you know the basics, it's time to learn how to drill a bowling ball. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Measure your hand.

The first step is to measure your hand with a tape measure. Measure the span of your hand from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your ring finger. This will help you determine the correct distance between the finger holes.

Step 2: Mark the Ball

Then mark the bead with a marker where you want the finger holes. It is important that the holes are evenly spaced and placed in the right place for the hands.

Step 3: Put the ball in the device

Place the ball in the bowling ball holder, which will hold it securely in place during the drilling process.

Step 4: Drill the holes

Using a power drill and drill bit, drill the finger holes in the ball. Cutting slowly and evenly is important to ensure a clean and precise cut.

Step 5: Sand the Holes

After drilling the holes, smooth the edges with sandpaper and remove any burrs. This ensures a comfortable fit on your fingers.

Step 6: Check the fit

Check the fit of the ball by putting your fingers and thumb in the holes. The ball should be comfortable and snug, but not too tight or loose.

Step 7: Adjust the fit

Adjust finger holes as needed to ensure the best fit. This may include sanding down the edges or drilling holes in a slightly more prominent spot.


Drilling a bowling ball may seem difficult, but it is necessary for optimal performance and comfort on the lanes. Whether you drill the ball yourself or have a professional drill it, it's important to take the time to properly measure and mark the ball to ensure an accurate fit. By following the steps in this article, you can drill your bowling ball and enjoy the benefits of the custom fit.



frequently asked Questions

How long does it take to drill a bowling ball?

The drilling process usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

Can I drill a bowling ball at home?

A bowling ball can be drilled at home, but it's best to consult a professional for the best results.

What is the best bowling ball layout?

The best bowling ball arrangement depends on your bowling style. Let a professional advise you on which layout is ideal.

What if the finger holes are too small or too big?

If the finger holes are too small or too large, they can be adjusted by sanding down the edges or drilling the holes slightly more prominent.

How Often Should I Drill a Bowling Ball?

It is recommended that you drill your bowling ball every year or whenever you feel that it no longer fits in your hand.

Can I drill more than three finger holes in a bowling ball?

Yes, drilling more than three finger holes in the bowling ball is possible but not recommended as it may affect the bowling ball's performance.

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