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The 2017 Poplar Creek Open (Review, Thoughts)

Chapter One - Practice

During the practice session, I tried a number of different lines across the entire bowling alley. The goal was to find a great look that was consistent from lane one to lane 38. I noticed that the Phaze II and Sure Lock provided solid looks playing up the gutter, so I decided to keep that line in mind for Sunday. The rough shot I played was standing on board 10, throwing out to board 5. The breakpoint felt to be at roughly board 5 down lane. This line worked particularly well with the Sure Lock. The Phaze II played similarly but did not have the same amount of kick in the back end. I also attempted other lines including 15 to 8 and 20 to 10. Each of these played well using the Sure Lock through the first half of the session. During the later portion, I switched off to the Phaze II and played the same line. This look felt awesome and played awesomely. That was going to be the game plan.

Chapter Two - Qualifying

During our 15 minute warm-up, I played with the line I determined was best on Friday; standing on 10, shooting off to 5. The consistency of shot-making was very solid, and the pinfall went hand in hand. Of course, this was only practice. I tried a few other lines but was too hesitant to keep them around. I shot an 185 for game one, giving me a -15. I continuously hit the pocket, but the carry was very inconsistent. I would leave a number of 9 counts, preventing me from taking off. Game 2 followed suit with a 171. A number of splits and poor carry opportunities put me behind. Through this game I learned a very important lesson that carried through the rest of the day: straight shoot your spares...always! At the end of two games, I was at -44. Unfortunately, this pattern did not give up. Poor carry and missed opportunities lead me to shooting a 151. For the first three games, I was at -93 overall. Given poor carry and being at the lower end of the house, game four took place on lanes known for pin carry. And let me tell you, it was true. Game four was on lane 18, in which I shot a 195. Pin carry was fantastic until the splits returned. At this point, I'll present the second lesson learned, if the angle is too steep, carry is bound to suck! Give it some room, and things should improve. Total for four games, -98. Game five played similarly to game four, great pinfall, but a few bad shots killed my mojo. Ending here, -108. Games six through eight sing a similar tune, a bad line leads to poor carry and some over/under that kills performance. I ended qualifying with a -185.

Chapter Three - Images

See the related post at the bottom for images.

Chapter Four - Thank Yous

I would like the first thank Poplar Creek Bowl for throwing such an amazing event that I got to be a part of. Secondly, I would like to thank Taryn for being there with me throughout the entire event, from practice until the end of my session on Saturday. Finally, I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional support. Also, thank you to all those who sent a like of made a comment along my journey

Chapter Five - Lessons Learned

Take full advantage of practice sessions. Play the lines the look best. Don't be concerned with striking. Straight shooting spares take the lane out the equation. This can help at a rate of at least 10 pins per game. A bad angle is bad news. Give it some space and carry should improve Good pacing and timing is quite helpful. Consistency is key Spying on the next lane can provide good benefits for the future Having a unique line to everyone else may feel nice, but might also be a black hole.

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