The kicker is that bowling requires a lot of equipment in order to practice effectively. First you need a bowling lane and pins, a few bowling balls, bowling shoes, etc. Not things available in the typical home.
There is however a readily obtainable way to hone your swing mechanics, spare shooting angles, and strategies without leaving the comfort of your living room.
Enter the Nintendo Wii(TM), one of the newest electronic home game systems on the market and the sports pack of games that comes with it. Included are a few bowling games that can actually give immediate quality feedback for a variety of bowling skills.
Now before you get really excited, this would not be a substitute for learning the game of bowling, you will still need a real bowling alley to learn the basics.
The movements involved with the Wii controller are very close to the actual moves involved in the release of the actual bowling ball, wrist movement is very similar, in order to make a good delivery in the game you have to “release” the ball at the bottom of your swing, this is identical to real bowling. In my opinion the more you play the Wii bowling game, the more smooth and accurate your swing mechanics will become, you will learn more about spare angles and how ball speed and hook affect how the ball hits the pins. These are skills that are transferable to actual bowling.
The scoring functions for the game are accurate and exact, so you get the added benefit of learning how to keep score. Yes I know that most bowling centers offer computerized scoring, however there are times the computers are not working, there are also instances when they are not accurate, knowing how to keep score is still important. You can “bowl” by yourself or against up to 3 other players
Featured in the Wii bowling suite of games is a “billiards” game that has you shooting at a 1 pin spare, then a 2 pin spare, followed by a 3 pin spare and so on, this game does make you think about spare angles, and how the ball hooks and hits the pins. Planning how you are going to make these spares is identical to the planning and ball movement in actual bowling. Also included are an obstacles game and another game that adds a row of pins to each additional frame, getting up to really ridiculous numbers, these 2 game while entertaining do not really depict real world ball movements and are not much use as training devices.
The Wii system, because the controller senses actual body movement is very popular with the younger crowd and is also becoming very popular with older people, now being used in many retirement or nursing homes as a way to keep seniors active.