Bowling can be a very rewarding sport both mentally and physically. Bowling requires the strength and stamina as well as the accuracy and strategy in order to get the best results when the ball hits the pins. Back in high school, I used to play in a bowling league, and we were taught three main techniques to hook or curve the ball to get the best results. These three techniques are used by bowling professionals around the world, showing that these techniques are currently the best when it comes to knocking over those pins. I will try my best to explain these three techniques, and I have provided a video link at the bottom of the page as a visual guide.
Conventional grip hook
This is the best hook for most beginners as they will be using a ball provided by the bowling alley. This will mean that ball won’t likely have a fingertip grip and, instead, will be where the bowler inserts their fingers up until the second knuckle.
Firstly, the bowler will insert their fingers into the holes in the bowling ball, using their middle and ring bearing finger in the top two holes and their thumb in the bottom hole. To get an accurate curve, the ball will need to be released on the side of the alley that matches your dominant hand. When releasing the ball, it is important that you release the thumb first and then, with your fingers still inside of the ball, move in an upward motion which will cause the ball spin at a slight angle. This will give the ball a hook causing it to curve in towards the center of the 10 pins and roll across them giving a wider hit on multiple pins. You will have to experiment with how much power and upward force you put on the ball to get the curve right for you and discover the best position for the ball to be released on the lane.
Finger tip hook
This is a more advanced technique which has to be done using a bowling ball with a fingertip grip which is typically custom-drilled in order to give the bowler the best precision. This technique uses the same three fingers to grip the ball; however, the two middle fingers are now only able to be inserted to the first knuckle. This technique is similar to the conventional grip hook but with the tips of the fingers being the only form of grip on the ball when the thumb is released, they will provide a much larger upward force on the ball which will give it a bigger hook. This is very useful for people who bowl with a large amount of power and force behind their ball since there is a shorter period of time for the ball to curve and the extra spin makes the hook faster.
Two handed hook
The two handed hook is not seen as often as the previous two techniques in bowling. This technique supports the bowler’s hand more than the other two techniques and offers more control for people of smaller stature. This technique uses a bowling ball with a fingertip grip and will just be using the middle finger and ring bearing finger without having the thumb inserted. Once your fingers have been inserted in to the ball, roll it back onto your wrist and support it with your non-dominant hand. When releasing the ball, you will be releasing your dominant hand the same way as in the finger tip hook technique; however, your other hand will slide down the ball at the same time, giving even more curve to the ball.
All of these techniques will require some experimentation in order to find what best suits you as the bowler; use trial and error to find the best ball placement as well as the best technique. The bowling ball you use will be important as there are different balls and different weights within them which can affect results. Testing different methods and different balls will eventually lead you to what works best for you. Best of luck bowling, here is a video which will give you a visual representation of these techniques.