To Hook or Not To Hook is No Longer the Question


Often I have someone come into the pro shop and comment they would like a certain kind of ball because they read it was a 53 on the hook scale.  My comment back many times is “53 compared to what?”

That normally elicits a response of “huh” or “I have no idea” or “That’s what the internet said”.  Sometimes it admittedly sounds cocky or arrogant on my part.

But to fully understand what someone is expecting out of a new piece of equipment MORE INFORMATION must be known and gathered prior to drilling than ever before.

This game is infinitely more complex than any other time in history and it’s my job to ask all the right questions so together in our partnership we make the best choices to 1) solve problems, or 2) create happiness.

Which is precisely the issue I’ve personally had for many years about published ball hook charts; it only tells part of the story.

With the recently released upgrades to they are introducing a new system for their bowling balls that is by far the simplest I’ve seen yet.

From their web site:

“To find the perfect ball, you need to know exactly what that ball is designed to do.  Roto Grip’s new HP system separates our balls into lines based on their hook potential, or HP.  The HP4™ line offers products with the most aggressive hook potential. The amount of HP decreases incrementally as the number line decreases, with HP1™ representing balls with the smallest amount of hook potential.  Whether you’re a newcomer looking for your first ball or a bowling veteran looking for a ball that perfectly complements your game or existing arsenal, the new lines help narrow your search to exactly what you’re looking for.”

In other words, don’t try to “trick” a bowling ball into something it’s not designed to do by the very nature of its construction.  In comparison to golf, when it is clearly time to hit a 5-iron, do not hit a sand wedge.  Select the correct tool for the job the first time.

In a bowling world with so many options and probably way too much information floating around on internet message boards, by more clearly separating out their product lines you know at-a-glance which Roto Grip ball could work for you.

At the very least the choices are less ambiguous and easier to narrow down your focus.

In addition, they have developed a Guts, Grit and Grime scale that helps further classify each ball while telling you what type of lane condition it matches up to best.

“The revolutionary Guts, Grit and Grime ball rating scale uses a weighted formula to account for several different measured variables of the weight block and/or core (Guts), the coverstock (Grit) and the lane condition on which the ball achieves maximum performance (Grime). This advanced system gives you a better, quicker understanding of each Roto Grip bowling ball and how it compares to others in the Roto Grip family.”


They go on to further clarify each area:

GUTS – We look at items that include the radius of gyration at a multitude of positions (most measure only three), the shape and direction of the RG planes of this particular shape, the differential, and more. Higher numbers equate to a more aggressive core or weight block shape which produces more total ball motion.

GRIT – We take into consideration the highly complex chemistry involved in producing our cutting-edge coverstocks. Oil displacement and pliability are two of the measurable elements. The number here relates to the strength of the coverstock, and higher values indicate more aggressive shell materials.

GRIME – This will be a letter indicating the amount of lane conditioner this ball is designed to handle. Heavy Oil (H), Medium-Heavy (MH), Medium (M), Medium-Light (ML), and Light (L) are your options here. Remember that you can adjust the surface or layout of any Roto Grip ball so that it works across a variety of lane conditions.