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How to Become Professional Straight Bowler?

how to become professional straight bowler

I pay my deepest respect to the bowlers who have masted bowling straight and hooking equally. Each has its own specialty. But if you ask most bowlers they will say they either love bowling straight or hooking. And just because some love to bowl straight doesn’t mean they are not as good as other bowlers.

I am aware of many professional straight bowlers who are undefeatable! Their averages are almost as same as other bowlers who hook. To clear out any remaining misconceptions about straight bowlers, I’m writing this article today. So why don’t you read the whole thing to know more about straight shooters?

Straight Bowling Tips for Beginners:

Any of you bowlers who have recently learned how to bowl or maybe been in leagues for a while, you often need to release straight balls. Some of you struggle with that a lot. So here are some tips for those who would like to get better at straight bowling.

Stance and Approach:

The first thing you need to do is obviously the proper initial alignment. So where do you position yourself on the approach? If you intend to bowl from the inside, you should take your stance a bit to the side. Similarly, if you want to bowl a bit from the outside, stand in the middle for your approach.

Ball Weight:

It is a known fact that lighter bowling balls are a bit better for hooking. So, for straight shooting, you can go a size higher than your optimum ball weight. A heavier ball will deliver a better direct path.

Ball Grip:

There are three methods you can use to grip a bowling ball – 1. conventional, 2. semi-fingertip, and 3. fingertip. What is more suitable for a straight bowler? Well, the conventional grips are best for straight bowlers because they offer better control. To master the conventional grip, first, put your fingers into the drilled finger holes. Place them from the second joint of your fingers and then all the way to the tip. After placing your fingers into the drilled holes. Now, span your index and small fingers out. Make them as wide as you possibly can, but make sure your grip is still comfortable. Now, use your other hand to cup the bowling ball and position it in front of you during the stance.

Ball Swing:

During your ball swing, bring your bowling ball in front of your body and align everything properly. After you angle your shoulders, aim toward the pocket and take your steps to roll down the ball. Do not drop your shoulder when you swing your bowling ball. Doing that will throw off body and ball alignment and the ball might roll right into the gutter.

Ball Release:

As a straight bowler, you should release your bowling ball aligning with the target. Keep your wrist straight and don’t wist your hand. Get the fingers out of the ball at the same time. During your follow-through, bring your palm up to your forehead to ensure proper ball release. Continue practicing that till you can do it without making any mistakes.

Do Pro Bowlers Bowl straight?

Typically, pro bowlers bowl straight only when they need to. I am giving you the general scenario here. If you observe how professional bowlers like Jason Belmonte, Dom Barrett, and Kristopher Prather, you will notice that they hook their bowling balls a lot! This indicates that their bowling ball makes a curve when it exits the oil patterns, right before the ball hits the pins. So clearly, their bowling balls don’t roll straight into the pocket or pin(s).

Professional bowlers use the straight bowling strategy when they need to pick up a spare. This is only when they bowl straight, simply because they are compelled to. For spare shooting, straight bowling benefits a bowler greatly! By picking up the spare a bowler gets to make sure they get a decent final score. This is why straight shooting is an essential skill that every professional bowler gains so that even if they miss a strike, they can end up closing the frame with a spare for the best possible score.

You can only find a few pro bowlers that use straight bowling techniques throughout the game. Some of them are— Michael Haugen Jr., Norm Duke, Walter Ray, François Lavoie, Parker Morse Bohn III, and Rhino Page. If you look at how these bowlers bowl carefully you will see that their bowling balls don’t make too sharp angular hooks. Plus, they are very good at picking up the spares because they throw their bowling balls straight and they are good at it.

I have seen some of these bowlers bowl and noticed their ball going straight. However, one time I heard a commentator say that this is an old-school style that is on the verge of dying in pro bowling. When these bowlers play, they don’t actually roll the ball in a geometrically straight motion. What you see is actually a very small hooking angle. That’s what it’s about, except for spare shooting, of course. This is when the ball can go as straight as possible.

Can a Straight bowler score 300?

This might be new to many of you, but yes, it is possible to bowl a perfect game without nothing but straight shots. But do understand that it is “theoretically” possible, but extremely difficult to achieve. The reason hooking was invented was that it allowed a bowler to knock down more pins and eventually more strikes.

If you want to bowl an entire game with no curve whatsoever, you will be needing a lot of luck and pro-level skill at straight bowling. There are so many rules in bowling, but none of them says that the pins must be knocked down in a particular way. So you have the freedom to knock down the pins in any way you want. Even if it means you want to hit the headpins first to do that, then sure, go ahead, do it.

You will be needing a very aggressive and powerful straight bowling ball that can fly the pins despite your angles of entry. You would have to practice all kinds of oil patterns to achieve that kind of success. Flatter and heavy volume patterns are less likely to work for such consistent straight bowling.


There you go, homeboys! Now, you know that you can also use your straight-shooting power to great use. But it needs a lot more precision and tons of practice. With enough practice, you can prove them wrong that straight bowlers can also become a pro and do great. So keep up your practice. And if you need any further help, you can leave a comment down below for any inquiries, or you can ask your local bowling instructor. Till then, keep on bowling with full enthusiasm and good luck!