For those who have watched Greg Kolski in action, it was not a huge surprise that he bowled so brilliantly during a recent 10-game practice session.
Kolski twice flirted with 300 games before settling for a 268 and 288 at AMF Woodlake Lanes in Woodland Hills, clearly demonstrating that he has the potential to rack up a perfect game.
The right-handed Kolski, a 29-year-old league bowler from West Hills, did it with an effortless style that featured a sharp hook that seemingly shattered the pins on impact.
And that raises the question: Are players who master a hook better bowlers than those who don’t curve the ball?
“If you want your score to go higher, there’s no doubt about it,” said Theo Sojourn, who became a local celebrity last year by compiling eye-popping scores after switching to his left hand shortly after suffering two broken bones in his right forearm.
Sojourn was so convinced about the benefits of a hook that he started throwing a self-taught curve his first game as a lefty. He wound up smoking a personal-best 240 within months of switching to his left hand.
Now back as a right-hander, Sojourn set career highs with a scorching 255 game and 660 series last week. Sojourn points to the effectiveness of his hook – that is similar to Kolski’s huge break – as the primary reason for his strong bowling.
“When the ball is rotating freaking crazy, it gets the pins’ spinning and you get the pins to explode,” Sojourn said.
“The other thing that happens when you hook is that it covers more of an area compared to when the ball goes straight and crosses a shorter path.”
Sojourn, a Santa Clarita Valley resident who sports a 167 average, said a bowler who throws a hook “gets a lot more forgiveness when you miss the pocket. You have to be so perfect when you bowl straight compared to a hook where you have a bigger window.”
The 51-year-old Sojourn set his personal milestones with games of 161, 255 and 244 during league play at Brunswick Matador Bowl in Northridge. His last two games were “clean” -- meaning no opens in any frames. And in his second game, he rolled seven straight strikes.
“It’s so much more fun [to hook],” said Sojourn, whose goal is to average 200. “It’s so freaking cool to get the ball in the sweet spot.”