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Illustrations by Ms Anje Jager

Bowling has a long and decidedly manly history. Its first manifestations can be traced back to those nauseatingly progressive bores the Egyptians who, according to the discoveries of British anthropologist Sir Flinders Petrie, were using an array of primitive bowling balls, bowling pins and other materials as early as 3200 BC. The Tudors were also avid bowlers, particularly during the regime of King Henry VIII when bowling became a popular sport among the British population. These days, bowling is something most of us only do when drunk and/or forced to on a date or a work night out. However, as it is one of the few opportunities you might get to thrash your boss or impress a girl in front of an audience, it's wise to hone a few winning skills. Just remember, when it comes to bowling practice really does make perfect. Spend enough time on the lanes and you too could experience the sheer joy and ecstasy of bowling strike after strike. If Fred Flintstone can nail it (complete with twinkle toes), then so can you.


Going in heavy

You might be trying to impress your date or fellow bowlers by hurling a heavy ball down the ally, but hold back. Heavy balls just make the pins fly into the air. A lighter ball will make the pins hit each other, giving you more strikes. Use the girly ball - all the pros are doing it.

The wrong focus

The pins are your targets - that much we know - but they should not be your main focus. Instead, pick the arrows on the lane and aim to roll your ball right.

the party trick

Even in desperate times, we wouldn't encourage this as a means of impressing girls or making new friends. It's clever, but it's not that clever.

Rushing it

Don't let yourself be heckled. Take your time; maintain a slow and smooth approach and release.

Not following through

Only novices don't follow through. After you have released the ball, keep your arm swinging in the pendulum motion until your hand is over your head. This will increase rotation on the ball and increase your chances of a strike.


If you keep missing, try a different tack. If you are missing left, move a bit to your left on the approach. If you are missing right, move right. It may seem counterintuitive, but a right-handed bowler usually misses left because his ball has hooked too early. The same goes for left-handers. Moving towards the direction you're missing and aiming for the same arrow will help even things out a bit.

your perfect bowling ensemble