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Can You Bowl by Yourself?

can you bowl by yourself

Bowling is a highly treasured pastime with deep historical roots in both North America and Europe. Whether it is at the competitive level, a fun night out with friends, or a safe choice for a first date – Bowling is a profoundly popular and social sport.

However, if you are wondering if it’s okay to bowl alone, take heart in knowing that you are certainly not alone in that thought. A lot of people wonder the same thing – is it weird to go bowling by yourself? Is it even a thing that people do?

The answer, in short, is a resounding… YES! It’s perfectly normal to go bowling by yourself!  Not many people know this, but there are actually quite a few advantages and benefits to bowling on your own. First, it is an essential part of practicing and improving at the sport. Second, you can bowl faster and focus on specific aspects of your game.

Is It Weird to Bowl by Yourself?

You may be wondering if it’s weird to bowl by yourself, or wonder what other people will think. Unfortunately, there is a preconceived notion that it’s weird to do some things by yourself. And this notion can make people miss out on a lot of opportunities and new experiences just because they are worried about what other people might think.

Bowling is fun, and you can’t let what others think stop you from having fun. On top of this, there are actually quite a few other advantages to bowling in general and bowling alone as well:

  • It Can be a New Hobby: If you are looking for a new hobby that isn’t particularly hard to learn and has a lot of nuances as well as a solid fan base, then bowling is a great option.
  • Custom Gear: Once you break into bowling, and if it sticks as a hobby, then you may want to consider eventually buying your own equipment instead of renting it from the Bowling alley each time. There is an advantage to buying your gear, as you will further refine your game by practicing with equipment that works best for you. Custom equipment can include:

Bowling Ball: A lot of factors play into getting your own custom Bowling ball. The weight, the size, the surface friction, the porosity, the number of holes, and even the aesthetic design. Many of these factors also play a crucial role in your Bowling game overall, as the ball will eventually become an extension of yourself.

Did you know that Storm bowling balls have tons of different fragrances available for their bowling balls? This Storm bowling ball is widely popular due to its birthday cake fragrance!

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Bowling Shoes: Similar to the Bowling ball, you can also buy custom bowling shoes as well. Factors to consider for bowling shoes include the material, the balance, how breathable they are, the height, the weight, the size, and, of course, the design. Having the right shoes will be a crucial step to upping your Bowling game.

If you’re an avid bowler, we recommend purchasing and using your own bowling shoes like these from BSI. They are high-quality, come in many different styles, and perform much better than your average bowling alley rental shoes.

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Meet New People: As you pick a favorite Bowling Alley and begin to frequent it, you will start to meet and discover a lot of familiar faces. These are the Bowling Alley’s regulars, and you will become one too. You will eventually befriend the regulars and have a group of friends that share the same hobby as you. You can’t say no to that!

How Long Does It Take to Bowl a Game by Yourself?

When bowling solo, you do not have to worry about the score. This is especially helpful when you are looking to practice and focus on a particular aspect of your game. There is no stress in maintaining a lead, no mind games, and no rivalry (however friendly or unfriendly). Instead, you can simply focus on the game at hand—nothing more and nothing less.

Another massive advantage to bowling alone is that you do not have to wait for others to take their turn. It takes around 10 minutes to bowl a single game per person. If playing with five people, that will take at least 50 minutes (not including the washroom breaks, the immersive conversations, the buying the next round, etc.). So while bowling with others can no doubt be fun, it is also time-consuming!

Practicing Bowling by Yourself

If you get over the fear and uncertainty of bowling by yourself, you can bowl many games in a single session. That also means a lot more practice for you. If you are seriously getting into the game, then the recommendation is that you practice at least once a week. The more you can practice, the better.

So, what does practicing bowling look like exactly? Well, contrary to what some might think, it is not just a matter of showing up to the bowling alley and trying to get as many strikes in a row. Instead, like other sports, there are a lot of factors to consider and focus on to get consistent results.

Some of these factors include:

  • Action – The amount of spin you place on the ball 
  • Address – Your stance before approaching the lane
  • Approach – How you proceed to the foul line
  • Arm Swing – The movement of your arm as you swing the ball
  • Drift – The lack of style or coordination in footwork
  • Grip – How you grip the ball
  • Among many others

These are just a select few among the many forms and factors to consider when improving your bowling game. With enough practice, you will have the lingo down and be able to speak fluently with even the most hardcore bowling fans.

There are also different setups to practice as well, especially when it comes to splits. A few of the more common ones include:

  • The 7-10 Split: This split goes by many names, including, the ‘Bed Posts’ or ‘Snake Eyes’, and is notoriously difficult to master. While there is some debate on if this is in fact the hardest shot to make in bowling, there is no doubt that it requires practice.
  • Baby Splits: These are splits tend to be some of the easier setups to knock down, and can include anything from the 2 – 7 split to the 3 – 10.
  • The Greek Church: Some would argue that it is in fact ‘the Greek Church’, and not the 7-10 that is the most difficult to knock down. This consists of a split than is either a 4-6-7-8-10 a 4-6-7-9-10, which causes the remaining pins to look something like a church.

These different splits can make or break a perfect game and are most often than not, the difference between winning or losing – not just with your friends, but also if you decide to join a Bowling League.

Once you have improved to the point of bowling a 190+ average, it may be time to join a bowling league. Here, there will be no doubt that your newfound teammates will agree with what you knew all along – that bowling by yourself is not a big deal at all.

If it weren’t for bowling alone, you wouldn’t have found these new friends and this new hobby. No, because if you didn’t try it, you would have always wondered.

Final Thoughts

If you truly enjoy bowling and either want to improve your game or enjoy a fun distraction, then bowling by yourself is a great way to go. Let’s face it. Friends may not be as into bowling as you are, and, as you improve, chances are they won’t be able to keep up with you either.

They say the secret to success is practice. And finding someone to play with you every time you want to practice doesn’t make much sense, does it? Especially when you can play the game entirely independently.

It is the same as with other sports.  Did Michael Jordan only pick up a basketball when his friends were around? Does Usain Bolt only run when others are running with him? Do you think that bowling greats like Peter Weber or Earl Anthony refused to step foot into a bowling alley without their friends because people would look at them funny? The answer to all of these questions is a rather large nope – not at all, not even a little bit.

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