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Is It Better to Bowl Straight or Hook?

Is it better to bowl straight or hook

I have massive respect for bowlers who can bowl straight and hook equally. Bowling straight and hooking— each has its own specialty. It is impossible to make one bowling style superior to the other. You need to learn both kinds of bowling shots to become undefeatable.

But if you put straight bowling and hooking side by side, which one do you think will win? Is it better to bowl straight or hook? Spoiler alert! This article won’t claim that one is better than the other. Why? Well, I have described here everything you need to know. So why don’t you read the whole thing to find out?

Straight Bowling VS Hook

Now, that’s a debate many beginners often come across. Should they keep bowling straight, or should they hook the bowling ball? What will ensure a better score? To settle down that debate yourself, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of bowling straight and hooking. 

Pros of bowling straight:

Throwing a ball straight comes with a fair share of benefits. This is a technique of bowling that is greatly appreciated by beginner bowlers. Not only it is super easy to learn, but also you don’t need lots of practice to be an expert in this form of bowling. When you roll straight, you keep your hand straight while swinging it forward and backward during ball-swing and follow-through. 

In this straight-shooting technique, calculations are easier. How so? Well, you don’t need to assume where your bowling ball is going to exit the oil pattern and how it will hit the pins from a particular pocket. All you need to do is simply step up on the line to execute your bowling ball on the lane. 

Because aiming is easier in this technique, controlling your bowling ball as per your aim is easier for straight throws. This is why, even if professional bowlers hook their bowling ball, they use straight shots to get those ugly splits. To pick up those spares a bowler needs precision which can be achieved only throw a straight form of bowling. 

Another thing I have noticed about bowling straight is that it is easier to have consistency with your shots, and that is one important factor that many bowlers fail to achieve. With a little bit of practice, you can have a great level of consistency in throwing your bowling ball straight. 

Pros of hooking your bowling ball:

But how about the advantages bowlers who hook their ball get to enjoy? Well, hooking your bowling ball not only enhances your odds of strikes (or knocking down more pins), but also it makes bowling super fun to see. The angular hooking is truly something unique that most bowlers enjoy. Once you learn your basics and have been rolling your bowling ball straight for quite some time, it’s time to move to hook your ball.

When you learn to hook your bowling ball, you will better understand the physics behind this sport. Your bowling instructor will always tell you to understand the science behind bowling, and even if you are not from a science background, you should understand how your bowling ball angle matters for your shots. 

So when a bowling ball roll straight, it is most likely to hit the headpin on the face, and for that, it lowers your chance of getting a strike. If you try to make your bowling ball go through a pocket, you can’t. This is because straight bowling balls don’t curve at their breakpoint. So even if your straight bowling ball hit the pocket between 1 and 3 or 1 and 2 pins, it won’t increase your chances of getting perfect strikes. When the entry angle is off, even by a few degrees, you miss your chance of getting strikes or knocking down more pins. 

By hooking your bowling ball, you can successfully hit the 1-3 or 1-2 pin pocket. When the ball hit the pins like that from this angle, more pins get knocked down and thus you boost your possibility of getting strikes which is the best score in bowling. This is why the angle is important, and only hooking can ensure that. As a bonus, your bowling ball that hooks can hit the pins with more force than straight bowling balls. This also contributes to knocking down more pins.

There you go! Now you know what these forms of bowling can offer you. So why don’t you be the judge of that? Which style of bowling will suit your current goals in bowling better? But before you do that, make sure you know when to actually hook your ball and when to let it roll straight down the lane.

When to bowl straight?

If your current bowling situation is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s more to go, you should keep on practicing your straight shots and then gradually move to hook your ball. Typically, every beginner starts with bowling straight. But can advanced, intermediate, or pro bowlers make something out of this form of bowling?

Well, once you think you have bowled straight enough and time for better angles to knock down more pins, you might attempt hooking your bowling ball. But you will not get consistent strikes at first. You are going to have some remaining pins that are yet to knock down. This is when your previously learned straight shots will come in handy to pick up the spares. This will ensure a better score. So instead of leaving the frame open, close it with spares where straight shots will be useful. 

When to hook your bowling ball?

Well, you can hook your bowling ball anytime you want. After you have gained some experience in bowling, you can start learning to hook your ball. You already know the advantages you will receive from these shots. So once you think you are ready for some real actions, prepare to roll your bowling ball in a way so that it hooks in the midlane during the breakpoint and confirms a better angle of entry. Don’t forget to use a bowling ball that has the ability to deliver beautiful hooking motion. 


There you go, homeboys! Now you know the importance of both bowling straight and hooking. How do you think you will bowl? Well, truth be told, whether you will be able to bowl better or not depends entirely on you. Straight shooters can acquire a 250+ score just like the bowlers who can hook their bowling balls. So if you think you are comfortable with your shots and already have a decent average, stick to that. But do consider the advantages you will get from bowling straight and hook. Till then, keep on bowling with full enthusiasm and good luck!