How Much Does It Cost to Drill A Bowling Ball?


So, you’ve bought one of the finest bowling balls for your upcoming match, and you must be wondering what’s next. It’s obvious that you should now be thinking about the holes in the ball. 

Most of the time, top bowling balls come solidly without any holes on them. Because these days, pro bowlers focus on custom holes that can coop with their skills in games. But how much does it cost to drill a bowling ball?

These days, the cost of drilling a bowling ball starts at $20 in the US. And the cost can rise to $80 or even more in few cases of a custom drilling. However, there are lots of things that determine the drilling cost and how well-finished it’d be for  the price. So, let’s look further into this matter. 

What Exactly Bowling Ball Drilling is?

Take the ball and throw it on a lane with pins to let it roll and hit the pins- that’s the basic of bowling, right? If so, then, you must’ve realized lots of things depend on the player’s holding and releasing position of the ball. 

Now, to hold a bowling ball firmly, there are three holes on every ball where players put their fingers in to hold and release with the preferred style. 

Bowling ball drilling is to make smooth and precise holes on a ball’s top that favor’s a player’s bowling style along with featuring a firm hold on the ball. 

Anyone can make holes on the bowling balls according to the alignment of the fingers of the hand mainly used for holding the ball. With perfectly drilled holes on the bowling ball, as a player, you can play the game with your own bowling style and create spin while releasing the ball. Along with this, you can make custom drills on a ball depending on the lane type to score more often. 

In short, you can generate pace and spin with minimal effort when you drilled your ball flawlessly. 

How much does it usually cost to get a bowling ball drilled?

When you buy an undrilled bowling ball, you need to spend some extra on making holes for putting your fingers to hold the ball. The cost of having a bowling ball drilled typically ranges between $20 to $80, depending on the type of ball, the size of the hole, and the shop.

Let’s divide the cost into two different parts. The first one is the primary amount that you need to provide to the bowling shop or pro shop for making the holes in your bowling ball. 

If you want traditional holes, then any shop would demand not more than $25. But when you demand custom holes according to your comfort and skills, the minimum spending here is $50 or so. 

Another part of the total drilling cost is the finger inserts. Obviously, you’ve to add grip inserts in the newly made holes so that your fingers don’t hurt and you get ease in holding the ball. 

Normally, these insert sets would cost around $10 to $15. You can ask the shop where you’ve drilled your bowling ball to add inserts or you can pick and attach it on your own. 

Combining those parts together, the total cost never exceeds 80 bucks. However, some places might even charge you $100 if you’re unaware of the charges. 

Better you take your solid bowling ball near any bowling arena. You can find several pro shops selling stuff and giving services to bowlers near any area. Those shops would charge reasonably and their work would be more professional than other places. 

Which Factors Affect The Cost Of Drilling A Bowling Ball?

We’ve said earlier that the cost of drilling a bowling ball isn’t fixed. It depends on several factors. Let’s look at some of those major facts below. 

  • Drilling pattern: There are some popular drilling patterns you can have from pro shops. Each pattern has its own unique facility. Apart from that, you can have your own type of pattern according to your fingers’ alignment. Depending on the pattern, the cost varies hugely. 
  • Bowling ball type: There are some bowling balls with hard coverstocks and filler materials that can be hard to penetrate. Bowling shops can charge extra to make holes into such balls. That’s why bowling ball type matters too. 
  • Shop location: Suppose you’re in a remote location and the area has only one or two bowling shops. In this case, both of the shops can demand more than the usual rate as you’ve very few options to go. 
  • Equipment for drilling: Usually, experts use ¾ inch drilling bits for making holes in the coverstock. But you can also find some places where diamond drill bits are being used. Diamond bits bing extra preciseness in work. So, if you demand diamond bit drilling, you need to spend a few bucks extra. If not, you could finish the work at a very reasonable price.

Are You A Pro? How Much Do Professional Bowlers Pay To Get Their Bowling Balls Drilled?

Professional bowlers have their own hole patterns on the bowling balls. They customize the traditional holes’ alignments depending on how much speed and spin they want. 

Usually, only custom drilling costs around $50 to $70. There are even records of bowlers spending a hundred bucks in drilling excluding the price of finger inserts. 

If You Want a Custom Drill, How Much Does It Cost?

As said earlier, custom drills cost not more than 70-80 bucks. Generally, drilling services make proper holes and add inserts to the holes. You need to pay for the inserts if you haven’t bought a set along with you. Apart from that, some bowlers also want some polishing after the drill job. 

Usually, pro shops don’t charge any extra money for polishing a bowling ball with chemicals after drilling holes. But if you’re meaning resurfacing by polishing, then you must give the pro shop at least $10. 

Resurfacing means bringing back the actual friction or changing the friction rate of a bowling ball. Resurface jobs need some time and effort. That’s why you can’t get it done free. 

Keeping this stuff aside, you’ve to admit that custom drills have lots of benefits that positively impact your performance in arenas. Few of the noticeable facilities you can get are, 

  • Perfectly fitting holes for your fingers with the right alignment
  • Compatible with your bowling approach and style
  • Creates the right amount of spin on fingers’ reaction in release
  • Suitable with the lanes you use most in games

Doing It Yourself? Know The Risks Associated With Drilling Bowling Balls

DIY bowling ball drilling is a good decision for semi-pro or pro bowlers. But there are some risks when you try to drill a solid ball all by yourself. 

One of the most common risks is the potential to crack the ball. This can happen if the drill tries to penetrate the coverstock harder and quicker. Using a drill bit that has less sharpness can also break the coverstock sometimes. 

Another risk you need to keep in mind is if the bowling ball somehow slips from your hand while drilling, the bit can make larger holes than needed or damage the surface. 

Overall, trying to drill holes without any aid from experts is a bit tricky job unless you know the right way to drill a bowling ball. So, you should better learn the right method and start drilling at home.

Want To Save Money On A Drill Job? Here Are Some Tips

Drill job surely charges less than $100. But it can be a huge amount for those who are new in the game or don’t have a healthy budget. Then, how can bowling ball drilling costs be saved? 

The best thing to do here is to buy a pre-drilled ball from the market. Though traditional holes might be uncomfortable, you can adapt them with your skills with a few days of practice. 

You can also buy a drilling machine by spending around 300 dollars. Having a bowling ball drilling machine at home can let you drill several bowling balls you buy in the future without any cost. 

How much to drill holes in bowling balls without adding new inserts or grips? Of course, it’d be less than usual charges. You can bring out finger inserts from old balls and ask the pro shop owner to place them into the new one. Surely, this trick can save at least $10. 

Not Happy With The Results Of Your Drilling Job? Here’s What Should You Do

On many occasions, bowlers complain about the newly drilled holes despite hiring an expert for the job. That’s why one should always visit shops that professionals suggest mostly. For example, BOWLERX and Buddies Pro Shop are two of the most recommended stores you can rely on. 

You can judge a pro shop by asking them to see some of their previously drilled bowling balls. You can observe their past works and know whether they’re okay with the job or not. 

Wrap Up

Hopefully, you’ve got to know how much does it cost to get a bowling ball drilled. And we’ve also pointed out some facts about drilling holes on coverstocks so that you could make the right decision and not hesitate in investing an amount for making three perfect holes in your bowling ball. 

Drilling a bowling ball is not a nuclear theory at all. The method and purpose of drilling are pretty translucent from any angle. Thus, we think there’s no need to stretch the matter any further. We’ve tried to cover up things related to drilling costs that players usually think most. We wish you the best of luck and hope you find the right place for the job at a reasonable price.