Shhh! It's a Secret #5

The heads dictate everything that happens down the lane. Your ball must skid, hook, and roll in the proper places on the lane to be effective. If your ball doesn't skid enough, it will begin to hook too early. If it skids too much, it will begin its hooking process too late.

For instance, if your ball is hooking too early, some people think that this calls for more loft. After all, the lane is 60' long. If you loft it 4' out over the foul line, your lane is now 56' long. If it's hooking early, a 4' loft should make it hook 4' later, right? Well, not necessarily.

Remember, most folks lay the ball not far over the foul line. This could tend to dry up the front part of the lane. If you do the same, you will be laying your ball down in a dry area that will not allow the ball to skid enough and therefore it will hook too early. If you loft the ball out over this dry area of the heads, you should get more skid and delay your hook. So, in this example, lofting the ball out accomplished what you wanted - it delayed the hook.

However, sometimes the more loft you have the earlier the ball hooks and the stronger it finishes. It is not impossible that when your ball is hooking too soon, you need to lay the ball down earlier to take advantage of whatever oil is in the heads. You have probably been told that when lanes are oily you should get the ball down sooner because you need earlier roll. Now here I am telling you to do the same thing when the ball is hooking too soon. How can this adjustment work for both conditions?

Again, it depends on what's happening with the heads. Sometimes you'll find that what's really oily is that first few feet of the heads. When you loft the ball over this area you will get it out over the slickest part of the heads, eliminate the skid and encourage enough roll to get the back end reaction you desire.

Sometimes these first few feet of the heads are dry. When you loft the ball over this area you will get it past the driest part of the heads, and onto the part of the lane which will give you the back end reaction you want.

The best way to know whether to loft or lay it down early is to try it in practice. If you feel you are lined up to the pocket but can't carry, change your front-to-back laydown point and see if your carry improves.