Bowling Ball Thumb Hole Too Small [How To Make It Bigger]

The thumb hole in your bowling ball plays a vital role in your game. But if your thumb hole is too big or too small, it can mess up your performance. But how can you fix it? We did the research to bring you the answer.

In order to make a thumb hole smaller, you can use the following methods:

  • Custom thumb slug
  • Thumb insert
  • Bowlers tape

Now to make a thumb hole bigger, you can use the following method:

  • Sand paper
  • Dremel bit
  • Pro shop

When releasing the bowling ball, your thumb should be the first thing to come out of the hole, but it can really affect your game if it doesn't fit right. In this article, we will discuss each option in detail for both making your thumb hole smaller or bigger. In addition, we will answer other questions about bowling balls, so keep reading!

Man's hand holding a red bowling ball ready to throw it, Bowling Ball Thumb Hole Too Small [How To Make It Bigger]

How To Make A Bowling Ball Thumb Hole Bigger Or Smaller

Thumb holes are drilled into bowling balls to provide a comfortable grip for the player. The size and shape of the thumb hole will vary depending on the player's hand size and preference.

Many players find that a thumb hole that is too small can cause discomfort, while a thumb hole that is too large can make it difficult to control the ball.

When bowling, your thumb should be the first thing that comes out of the hole when you release the ball. If your thumb does not fit correctly in the hole, it can negatively affect your game. There are several ways to adjust the size of your thumb hole to ensure a comfortable and consistent grip.

Making The Hole Smaller

Let's take a look at how to make the thumb hole smaller first.

Happy young man throwing bowling ball and looking at camera

Custom Thumb Slug

A thumb slug is a small, cylindrical piece of rubber that is inserted into the thumb hole to reduce its size. Pro shops can custom make thumb slugs to fit your hand size and bowling style.

Thumb Insert

Like a thumb slug, a thumb insert is a small cylindrical piece of rubber inserted into the thumb hole to reduce its size. Thumb inserts can be purchased in different sizes and shapes to fit your hand and bowling style.

The nice thing about a thumb insert is that they are interchangeable. For example, your thumb can swell depending on the weather conditions or after bowling for a long period of time. You can simply remove the thumb insert and replace it with a larger size if this happens.

Bowlers Tape

Bowlers tape is a type of adhesive tape that is used to reduce the size of the thumb hole. The tape is wrapped around the inside of the thumb hole, reducing its size.

Bowlers tape is a great option for those who want to quickly adjust the size of their thumb hole without having to purchase new equipment. However, the downside of bowlers tape is that it can be difficult to remove and may leave residue on your ball.

Making The Hole Bigger

Now, let's take a look at how to make the thumb hole bigger.


Brown sandpaper for woodworking

If your thumb hole is too small, you can use sandpaper to enlarge it. Simply insert the sandpaper into the thumb hole and twist it until the hole is the desired size.

Sandpaper is a good choice for minimal enlargement of the thumb hole. However, it can be difficult to control the amount of enlargement with sandpaper.

Dremel Bit

A Dremel bit is a small, handheld power tool that can be used to enlarge the thumb hole. A Dremel bit is a good choice for those who need to make larger adjustments to the size of their thumb hole.

After using the Dremel tool, smooth out the thumb hole with sandpaper to avoid sharp edges. Remember, less is more; you can always make the hole bigger, but you can't make it smaller.

Pro Shop

If you are not comfortable making adjustments to your ball yourself, you can always take it to a pro shop. The professionals at the pro shop will be able to properly adjust the size of your thumb hole so that it fits comfortably in your hand.

It may cost a few dollars to have your thumb hole adjusted at the pro shop, but it is worth it to ensure a proper fit.

Now that we've gone over how to make a bowling ball thumb hole bigger or smaller, let's answer some common questions about bowling balls.

How Should My Fingers Fit In The Holes?

Your fingers should fit snugly in the holes but not too tight. In addition, you should be able to comfortably insert and remove your fingers from the holes.

Every bowler has different sized hands, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, experiment with different hole sizes until you find a configuration that feels comfortable for you.

Your preference could also change as you become more experienced. For example, beginner bowlers may prefer a looser fit so that they can easily insert and remove their fingers from the ball. However, experienced bowlers may prefer a tighter fit for greater control over the ball.

Bowling ball at hand of man background bowling alley

Do You Need To Clean Bowling Ball Finger Holes?

Small amounts of oil and dirt build up inside the finger holes each time you throw your ball. Over time, this buildup can affect your ball's performance. For this reason, it is important to clean your ball's finger holes on a regular basis.

It is good to bring a towel to the bowling alley to wipe down your finger holes between throws. You can also use a finger hole brush to remove any buildup inside the holes.

When you are done for the day, wipe down the bowling ball and holes with a dry towel, then store it in a cool, dry place.

What Is The Best Way To Store My Bowling Ball?

When you are not using your bowling ball, it is important to store it in a cool, dry place. Do not store your ball in direct sunlight or in a humid environment.

The best way to store your ball is in a bowling ball bag. A bag will protect your ball from dirt, dust, and other elements that can damage the ball.

The two best places to store your bowling ball are at your home or at the bowling alley. The reason being is that the indoor temperatures don't fluctuate as much as they do outdoors. This will help prolong the life of your ball.

Bowling balls are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. For example, if you leave your ball in a hot car, the heat can cause the ball to warp. Similarly, if you store your ball in a cold garage, the cold temperatures can make the ball brittle and more susceptible to cracking.

Should I Get Custom Finger Holes Drilled?

There are many benefits to having custom finger holes drilled. First, a professional driller can ensure that the holes are the correct size for your fingers. Second, custom-drilled holes will be more comfortable than stock finger holes. Finally, custom-drilled holes can improve your ball's performance.

We recommend getting custom finger holes drilled if you are serious about bowling. However, if you are a casual bowler, stock finger holes will suffice.

Usually, beginners won't get their finger holes drilled until they have more experience and are ready to take their game to the next level.

Once you have decided to get your finger holes drilled, the next step is to choose a driller. Again, we recommend finding a local pro shop or bowling alley that offers this service.

The reason being is that they will have the experience and knowledge to drill the perfect holes for your fingers.

A adult boy lift up the bowling ball to strike into the tenpins bowling lanes

How Much Does It Cost To Resize A Bowling Ball?

The price of having your bowling ball resized will vary depending on the type of ball you have and where you take it to be done. On average, you can expect to pay $50-$70 to have your ball professionally drilled.

However, this price typically includes thumb slugs, finger inserts, and custom fitting. If you only need the finger holes drilled, then the price will be on the lower end of this range.

While you are there, it isn't a bad idea to have the bowling ball resurfaced. This will remove any dirt or grime that has built up on the ball over time. The price for resurfacing a bowling ball is typically $10-$30.

Do I Need Bowling Ball Finger Inserts?

Finger inserts are not required, but they can be helpful if your fingers are slipping through the finger holes. So if you have trouble with your fingers slipping, we recommend trying finger inserts.

Finger inserts come in a variety of sizes, so it is important to choose the size that fits your fingers snugly. In addition, finger inserts can protect your fingers from calluses and blisters.

Final Thoughts

Ensuring that your fingers and thumb fit snugly in the holes of your bowling ball is crucial to having a good game. If the holes are too big, then you will lose control of the ball. If the holes are too small, then your fingers will be cramped and uncomfortable.

Talk to a professional at your local bowling alley or pro shop to find out what size finger holes are right for you.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

Why Does My Bowling Ball Hook Too Much?

Why Is My Bowling Ball Speed So Slow?

Why Does My Bowling Ball Bounce?

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