How to Drill a Bowling Ball

How to Drill a Bowling Ball For Less Hook – In 9 Easy Guide Step by Step

Welcome to this article, We are going to guide you about How to Drill a Bowling Ball For Less Hook – In 9 Easy Guide Step by Step.

If you have a brand new bowling ball that is not pre-drilled then you need to drill it at your own expense. You might think it is hard and you need a pre-drilled bowling ball. But it is not like that the tutorial is very simple that allows you to get your customized bowling ball. There are some benefits and disadvantages of not having a pre-drilled bowling ball.

The benefit of not having a pre-drilled bowling ball is that you can drill the finger and thumb holes according to your choice. This will help you to have customized finger and thumb holes that suit your bowling style.

But the cost of bowling ball drilling could make you uncomfortable but it results in customized drilling options.

The professionals have all the necessary bowling ball drilling tools. But if you also have some bowling ball drilling machines and bowling ball drill bits then you can follow this tutorial.

In this tutorial, I will teach you how to drill a bowling ball at home effectively?

How to Drill a Bowling Ball At Home

Step-1 Prepare

Before you start drilling your bowling ball it is necessary to choose a hole configuration. The location of the hole affects your comfort and indirectly your performance. Because different hole positions offer different power strengths and control. If you choose the right configuration then it will support your playing style and enable you to deliver optimum performance.

  • In conventional grip, we suggest you drill holes in such a way that you could insert the finger and thumb into the ball up to the second knuckle joint. This is one of the most traditional alley ball configurations because it makes the ball easy to control. Therefore many experts recommend this configuration to all beginners and moderate-level players.
  • In a fingertip grip then you will need to drill holes such that you could insert your fingers into the ball up to the first knuckle joint. This configuration is advanced and recommended to professionals because it is harder to control. But it offers increased lift, power, and spin to improve performance.
  • Drill the holes until you could insert the fingers at the first and second knuckle joint. This will offer a semi-conventional grip. It offers power like a fingertip grip and easy control just like a conventional grip. Also, it is easier to control and master than fingertip grip. Therefore it lies in between two extreme grips with added advantages. The players must be happy with this configuration.

There are also some other grip types like Sarge Easter grip but the grips mentioned above are used most commonly.

Step-2 Measuring the span

You can measure the gap from the base of the thumb to the points of intersection of two fingers that will be holding the ball. This could depend on your style because some people prefer to use the forefinger and middle finger and some like to use the middle finger and ring finger.

  • You can start measuring the bottom of your thumb to the second line in the fingers. This will make a conventional grip. But when it is about a fingertip grip then you should measure to the crease nearest to your fingertip.
  • We recommend using an adjustable bowling ball because it makes the process precise. When you use an Adjustable bowling ball then you will see movable holes and multiple depths of finger inserts. You can get a measuring ball from the manufacturer, a recreation store, or even your local bowling alley. If you do not have an adjustable bowling ball to measure your grip then you can configure by placing your fingers onto the un-drilled bowling ball. After that, you should mark around each finger after feeling the placement comfortable. This is not a recommended or precise method, but you can try.

If you don’t have an adjustable bowling ball and you feel difficulties then you can also measure span by using a compass or calipers. Keep your fingers together and thumb out to apply this technique.

  • After getting measurements from the compass you need to reduce the measurement by about 1/8 of an inch. You can evaluate the depth of the holes without a measuring bowling ball. In this step, you have to measure the distance between the edge of the span and the ends of the fingers.

Step-3 Note down the calculations

Once you have confirmed all measurements you need to note down both the finger depth measurements and the distance between holes. You will need these calculations while drilling the bowling ball.

Step-4 Choose an angle

To achieve comfort and performance it is essential of having an angle that fits your hand. For example, in the case of forwarding angles, the ball will offer more lift when released. This is because the fingers will not leave the ball till the last minute.

This decision will be based on your comfort level and it will also affect your overall performance.

Step-5 Clamp it

Clamp the ball tightly so that it won’t move during the drilling process.

  • If the ball will move during the drilling process, it will be hard to drill evenly. Moreover, you could lose control of the ball and the process would become difficult.

Step-6 Mark the ball

Use a removable marker or piece of chalk to mark the configuration. Now mark the spot on the bowling ball where you are going to drill a hole. To make sure the spot is placed accurately you can use the span calculations.

  • When you drill a hole keep it at least one inch away from the pin. In this way, you can save the pin from getting damaged. Because once you ruin your pin you could lose its warranty and it might have a bad effect on the performance of the ball.

The pin has always a different color than the ball’s color therefore you can trace it easily.

  • The pin determines to properties of the bowling ball’s core for advanced ball drillers. Then it is used to determine the ideal location to drill finger holes on the ball. It depends on the qualities of the ball you want to achieve. This might be different according to the model and brand. The instruction manual could help you in this case.
  • To make the procedure precise it’s good to check the marks against your span measurements location before drilling. Because after drilling holes you can’t change their location before drilling.

Step-7 Select the bits

Choose the correct sized drill bits to ensure the perfect holes are drilled for the fingers and thumb. To make precise measurements you can use a sizing ball. The sizing ball is used to get precise measurements of the thumb and fingers.

If you don’t have a sizing ball then you can also use a block of wood and drill different holes. Then use the size that fits your fingers and holes comfortably.

Step-8 Insert the first bit

Start with a proper bit for your thumb and drill the bowling ball.

  • You must use a drilling machine engineered for the bowling balls to prevent any damage.

Step-9 Drill the thumb hole

Start drilling the thumb hole carefully at a precise angle. You should check the hole’s depth after each step so that you don’t drill is so deep.

Step-9 Change bits

Change the drill bit to drill the finger holes precisely. You should check the holes often like in the thumb case so that you don’t drill is too deep.

Step-10 Sand the holes

After drilling the holes now it’s time to make them smooth and polished. Now attach a sanding attachment instead of a drilling bit. This will make the holes smooth and clean.


We highly suggest you find a local service for drilling bowling balls near you. This is not bad at all to bear a drill bowling ball cost for one time to get a precise hole. If you have a bowling ball drill machine or tools at home then you can try it yourself. To get a perfect drilled bowling ball you first need exact equipment and the second thing is practice. You can use a wood block to practice. Once you have enough confidence then start with this tutorial.


Can I drill my bowling ball?

The best thing is to approach a drilling professional to get the job done. But if you don’t want to consult the professional driller and you have all the necessary bowling ball drilling equipment then go ahead. By following this guide you can easily drill a bowling ball.

How much time is required for a bowling ball to be drilled?

The time could be from 40 to 60 minutes. You should always choose the best bowling ball that meets your style.

What represents a dot on my bowling ball?

The bowling balls have a dot with a different color than the entire ball’s color. This dot represents the pin location and it plays a vital role in the performance of the ball on the lane.

How much money do we spend to drill bowling ball holes?

Customized drilling of the finger and thumb locations could cost around $50 to $70 at your local drilling shops. This depends on the location and the drilling expert’s skills.

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