Bowlers who seek to better their bowling skills and scores must evolve from rolling the ball straight down the lane to curving the bowling ball, which often is called a hook shot. A curve gives you better control, and allows you to strike the pins at an angle that increases your chances of bowling strikes. Any pins that remain standing when you roll the ball with a curve often are in a position for an easy spare.
Choose a bowling ball that is lighter than the weight you normally use. You stand less chance of injuring yourself if you use a lighter ball when you first learn how to curve a ball.
Stand with your feet close together in the area of the lane where you normally begin your approach, and place your fingers in the holes of the bowling ball. Some people who try to curve bowling balls do not insert their thumb, but this method of holding the ball reduces your control, according to Help With Bowling.
Hold the bowling ball with your free hand while you adjust the position of your grip hand so that it appears as if you are shaking hands with the ball, according to bowlingball.com. Keep your wrist straight, so that it lines up with your hand.
Focus on the aiming arrows printed on the lane. If you are a right-handed bowler, look at the second arrow in from the right side. Left-handed bowlers should look at the second arrow in from the left side. This is the area where you want to roll the bowling ball.
Walk toward the foul line with a steady motion, and lean your body forward while swinging the bowling ball backward. Keep your wrist and your hand straight while you swing the ball back, to ensure proper control upon release.
Plant your left foot, swing your arm forward and raise your right foot as you prepare for the release. Left-handed bowlers should plant their right foot and raise their left. Continue to keep your hand and wrist straight during this motion.
Release the bowling ball by allowing it to first slip off of your thumb, and then lift your fingers straight up. If you kept your wrist and hand locked throughout the motion, your palm will face up after release. The position of your hand and wrist combined with the motion of your fingers will curve the ball toward the pins.
You likely won't throw a good curve ball on your first try. Continue to practice to improve your technique. As your skills increase, consider looking into different types of bowling balls. Urethane, reactive resin and particle bowling balls all provide a different level of control depending on your style and lane conditions, according to Better Bowling Guide. Your approach is just as important as your release. Concentrate on each step to improve your ability to curve the ball.