How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bowling Ball Drilled? (Updated Prices)

The cost of getting a bowling ball drilled is an important consideration for avid bowlers seeking optimal performance. However, the cost of this process can differ based on various factors.

Let’s explore the key elements that influence the cost and how to make an informed decision for a well-fitted bowling ball.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Bowling Ball Drilled?

At bowling pro shops, ball drilling is a custom craft with a price range that varies based on your preferences. The cost can range from $20 to $50+ depending on the level of customization you desire. 

Whether you’re on a tight budget or seeking premium features, there’s a drilling option to suit every bowler’s lane to victory.

Different Factors Affecting the Cost of Drilling a Bowling Ball

Bowling is more than just a sport; it’s an art, and the right bowling ball can make all the difference in a player’s performance. Getting a bowling ball drilled to suit one’s unique style and hand specifications is essential for achieving optimal results. 

However, the cost of drilling a bowling ball can vary significantly based on various factors. Let’s delve into these key elements that influence the price of this personalized process.

Number of Holes

The number of holes in a bowling ball is one of the primary factors affecting the overall cost of drilling. The more holes required, the higher the expense. Traditional setups with two holes for gripping are typically less expensive than finger-tip grips or those with additional balance holes. 

The choice of grip ultimately depends on the player’s comfort and playing style, but it’s essential to be aware of how the number of holes can impact the final cost.

Type of Material

Bowling balls come in various materials, each offering unique properties and performance characteristics. The type of material selected can influence the complexity of the drilling process and, consequently, the cost. 

Basic materials like plastic or urethane [1] are generally more affordable to drill due to their simpler structures. In contrast, high-performance balls crafted from reactive resin or particle materials may require more intricate drilling techniques, leading to a higher price tag.

Custom Finger Inserts

For bowlers seeking an extra touch of personalization and comfort, custom finger inserts are a popular choice. These soft rubber or silicone inserts fit into the gripping holes, providing a snug and tailored feel for the player’s fingers. 

While they enhance the overall bowling experience, they can contribute to an increase in the drilling cost due to the additional materials and labor involved.

Drilling Technique and Complexity

The drilling process requires skilled craftsmanship to ensure that the ball’s layout and grip align precisely with the bowler’s needs. Complex drilling techniques, such as layouts tailored for specific lane conditions or advanced grip patterns, may demand more time and expertise, leading to higher drilling costs.

Bowling Pro Shop and Location

The choice of the bowling pro shop and its location can also impact the cost of drilling a bowling ball. Different pro shops may have varying pricing structures based on their expertise, reputation, and location. 

Bowlers need to research and compare prices from different shops to find the best balance between cost and quality of service.

Why Do People Get Their Bowling Balls Drilled?

Bowling enthusiasts understand the importance of having a bowling ball that complements their playing style and fits their hand like a glove. Customizing a bowling ball through drilling is a popular practice.

It allows players to maximize their performance and enjoy a more comfortable and effective bowling experience. Here are the primary reasons why people opt to get their bowling balls drilled:

Personalized Fit

One of the main reasons for drilling a bowling ball is to achieve a personalized fit. Each bowler has a unique hand size, finger span, and grip preference. By drilling the ball to match these individual specifications, bowlers can ensure a snug fit that enhances comfort and control during each throw. 

A proper fit minimizes the risk of injury and reduces tension, allowing players to focus on honing their skills and improving their game.

Optimizing Performance

Customized drilling can significantly impact a bowler’s performance on the lanes. By selecting specific drilling layouts and grip patterns, players can optimize the ball’s reaction to different lane conditions. 

Whether it’s adjusting the ball’s track flare potential, increasing hook potential, or fine-tuning the overall ball motion, drilling plays a crucial role in unleashing the full potential of the bowling ball and the player.

Adapting to Lane Conditions

Bowling alleys can have varying lane conditions, from dry to oily surfaces. A drilled ball allows bowlers to adapt more effectively to these changing conditions. Different drilling techniques can be employed to create versatile bowling balls that perform well in different environments. 

Bowlers can have multiple balls with varying drilling setups to handle a wide range of lane conditions, giving them a competitive edge during league play or tournaments.

Customization and Style

Beyond the functional aspects, drilling a bowling ball also offers a chance for self-expression and style. Bowlers can choose from an array of colorful and creative inserts or label their balls with custom engravings, making their equipment a unique statement on the lanes. 

The ability to customize the appearance of the ball adds a touch of personality and flair to the game.

Is Getting a Bowling Ball Drilled Worth It?

Whether getting a bowling ball drilled is worth it depends on individual preferences, playing style, and commitment to the sport. For many bowlers, the benefits of a customized bowling ball outweigh the costs, making it a valuable investment. 

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if drilling a bowling ball is worth it:

Comfort and Control

A properly drilled ball provides a comfortable and secure grip, allowing bowlers to maintain better control over their shots. This enhanced comfort can lead to improved performance and reduced strain on the hand and wrist, making the game more enjoyable.

Performance Enhancement

Customized drilling can optimize a ball’s performance on different lane conditions, increasing hook potential, and adjusting ball motion. This tailored approach allows bowlers to adapt more effectively to varying oil patterns and improve overall scores.


Having a selection of drilled bowling balls with different layouts and grip patterns allows bowlers to adapt to changing lane conditions, giving them a competitive edge in leagues and tournaments.

Self-Expression and Style

Drilling a ball offers a chance for self-expression through custom inserts, engravings, or unique colors, making the equipment a personal statement on the lanes.

Commitment to Bowling

For serious bowlers who regularly participate in leagues or tournaments, a customized bowling ball becomes an essential tool for consistently improving their game and reaching higher levels of proficiency.


In the lively world of bowling ball drilling, where strikes and spares dance to a customized beat, remember this: the cost may leave your wallet with a slight split, but the joy of wielding a perfectly tailored ball is a priceless strike every time.


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