Bowling Ball Drilling

Last Updated on September 19, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The process of creating new finger holes in the bowling ball with the help of a drill is called bowling ball drilling.

Bowlers must know that the holes in a bowling ball can affect their game. The design of each player’s balls is important and will have an impact on how well they play, so you should check your own before using them in games.

The first thing you should know when purchasing a new bowling ball is that it will not come with pre-drilled holes. This means that in order to customize your own equipment you will also have to know what hole size goes best for you, which may be an additional cost depending on the policy of the store youțre buying from.

How Much Does Bowling Ball Drilling Cost?

There are two options when buying a new bowling ball, you can have the finger holes customized or pre-drilled. If you go for the second option and purchase a bowling ball with the finger holes pre-drilled you will not have to pay any additional costs for the drilling service because it comes standard and the expenses will be included in the final price.

Ball DrillingIn case you choose the first option and want to have a bowling ball customized to your needs you can do it at a bowling ball pro shop. If you don’t buy the ball from them, expect to pay an extra fee for this service. So, if this is the case, be prepared to pay anywhere between $25 and $55 for the drilling. On the other hand, if the company you bought the bowling ball from offers the drilling option, but charges it separately, the price would be anywhere between $15 and $25, or even free sometimes. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods offers the drilling service for free if you buy the bowling ball from their shop.

You might also like our articles about the cost to go bowling in general, to bowl at Dave and Buster’s, or to play at Main Event Bowling.

On the other hand, charges separately for the customized drilling service and the price is anywhere between $55 and $75, but the exact cost is influenced by the material the ball is made from and its quality. Though, those who are not playing professionally in competitions, but only for recreation would pay anywhere between $35 and $55 for a basic drilling service.

The online retailer,, charges anywhere between $25 and $45 for the bowling ball drilling service.

According to the members of the forum, the price for drilling a blank ball starts at around $55 and goes up to $70.

Bowling ball drilling details

The first step in the bowling ball drilling process is to have your hand measured by a device that makes precise measurements of your fingers and thumbs, span length, and hole pitch. Once these measurements are done you will be asked some questions regarding the desired type of grip (finger-tip or standard) and you will have to try different types of grips and slugs in order to see what fits best for your bowling position. Also, you will be asked for feedback referring to the way the holes feel after you will use some bowling balls at the shop. Finally, using this feedback, the professional from the shop will drill the right-sized holes and even make some adjustments on your new ball so it will fit you perfectly.

What are the extra costs?

As it is already known, the bowling ball drilling process is a delicate one and requires some sort of protection. There is a possibility that the ball gets cracked while drilled due to the materials it is made from. You can avoid any damages to the ball through drilling protection. This service is not always included in the drilling fee and the minimum fee at most stores is anywhere between $8 and $15. For example, charges around $8.5 for drilling protection on the balls purchased from their shop.

In case you want to upgrade the thumb slugs and finger inserts you would have to pay an additional price, which would be anywhere between $15 and $20.

How can I save money?

The best way to save money on bowling ball drilling is by purchasing the balls from the same place where you have them drilled as they may offer this service for free.

Look for more price offers and choose the one that is more advantageous.

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