Many bowlers are unfamiliar with the concept of two-handed throws. Or, they consider it “granny bowling” reserved for those who are unable to generate power and accuracy with a one-handed throw.

The truth is much different. In the bowling community, there are a growing number of two-handed bowlers who simply play better with the aid of their non-dominant hand. It’s tricky to throw correctly as a two-hander, let alone release a powerful spin toss that’s executed correctly.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide about the two-handed approach. If you’re a one-handed bowler looking to change things up or a new bowler who’s just not feeling the one-handed delivery, we will help you get the right forward spine tilt and upper body control to make things happen with two hands!

How do you bowl two-handed?

Bowling two-handed is a great way to generate more spin with the help of your supporting hand. And while it won’t give you more power overall, it will make a powerful throw more balanced and more accurate when done correctly.

Let’s look at the key factors needed to properly execute a two-handed bowling technique — from the back of the approach to the foul line.

5 Bowling Tips For Perfecting The Two-Handed Style

1) Use the same initial stance as a one-handed bowler.

With your knees slightly bent and your feet positioned on the correct boards, you should apply the same rules to your bowling stance as a one-handed bowler would. Many bowling articles deal with the concept of the proper bowling stance. They go over everything from the five degrees of forward spine tilt you should employ to positioning your shoes to face your target.

2) Your second step is the key to moving forward with purpose.

The first step of your bowling approach will mimic that of a one-handed approach. On the second step, though, you need to shift your weight to compensate for the correct positioning of your dominant hand. You will, in effect, walk around your normal swing pattern — using your non-dominant hand as a powerful guide from swing to back swing.

3) Enter your slide step with a plan, more speed or not.

Bowling isn’t about breaking the pins. It’s about delivering the right throw at the right time and repeating that over and over again for maximum effect. Your final step, the slide step, should come on your fourth or fifth step. And with correct positioning and timing, you can affect the ball’s trajectory in a way that promotes spin and power.

4) Find the right grip for you and keep your elbow straight.

Some two-handed bowlers prefer to slot their dominant thumb into the bowling ball and nothing else. Others prefer to cradle the ball with no fingers inserted. However you decide to do it, make sure to keep your elbow straight and your shoulder blades working towards your target. Keep your knees bent and your base strong for optimal throw power and technique.

5) Find your swing spot and go for it.

A swing that goes to your shoulder blades will deliver the most power but will lead to the most room for error. You can gain skill playing with your arm swing, tailoring your two-handed throw for the best results. Pay attention to all of the mechanics of your two-handed bowling technique and adjust when necessary. When you find a groove, exploit it!

6) Don’t overdo it with your non-dominant hand.

When you push the ball forward and onto the lanes, don’t be one of those two bowlers that overcompensates with their non-dominant hand. From one throw to the next, the best way to get the results you want is to perfect your stance and swing. Adding little flourishes of spin with your non-dominant hand will only throw you off your game. A good technique leads to better throws, and therefore more power and strikes.

What is the advantage of two-handed bowling?

A two-handed bowler gets the added benefit of their non-dominant hand as a guide and stabilizer. They can also use the non-dominant hand to increase spin and balance for a shot. Decades ago, two-handed bowling was more for those who couldn’t throw one-handed. Now, it’s a great technique for those looking for sharper hooks and better lane length in tricky oil conditions.

What is the disadvantage for two-handed bowlers?

Two-handed bowling can be tough to figure out and work to your advantage. Sometimes, new two-handed bowlers tend to hold the ball longer and get out of whack with their step placement. And if you’re using bowling balls that aren’t optimal for the results you’re trying to achieve, you might head up muddying things up by bringing a two-handed approach into play. If you’re not smart with both your dominant and non-dominant hand, two-handed bowling can be a chore.

Is two-handed bowling easier?

It might be easier for some! For those who struggle to get an adequate spin with a one-handed bowling technique, the two-handed style is a great way to make that happen. However, it requires patience and planning to nail the technique for such spin to occur. Some PBA bowlers have moved over to a two-handed bowling technique or a variation of such, just for the added angularity and control it can provide. However, it may not be easier for those with a swing more tailored to the one-handed game.

Is the two-handed technique allowed in bowling league or tournament play?


Is two-handed bowling cheating?

According to USBC and PBA regulation, a two-handed bowling technique does not provide an unfair advantage for a bowler. Two-handers deal with the same struggles when it comes to reading lanes, perfecting techniques, and finding their grooves. The two-handed technique is perfectly fine for league and tournament play unless explicitly banned by an organizer.

What is the best bowling ball for a two-handed bowler?

It depends on what you’re trying to achieve. For straight throwing, a plastic coverstock is fine — especially for picking up spares. Urethane bowling balls are good bets for those looking for smooth, consistent hooks that aren’t super angular off the breakpoint. And, reactive resin bowling balls are the right choice for those who want aggressive curves that hammer the pins from all angles.

Pay attention to the needs of your own game and buy a bowling ball accordingly.

Do one-handed bowlers have an advantage over two-handers?

Not necessarily. Good bowlers are good bowlers, be they two-handed bowlers or otherwise. Focus on finding the right shot and technique for yourself. And then, focus on getting better through practice and refinement. With the right amount of work, you’ll improve with one hand or two.

Should you switch from one-handed bowling to a two-handed game?

It all depends on what works for you. Keep an open mind about two-handed bowling, especially if you struggle with generating spin in a controllable fashion. It doesn’t hurt to try out a two-handed approach in an open bowling environment, working out the kinks in a low-pressure environment.

If it works for you, then great! If not, there are plenty of ways to improve your one-handed game and get the results you so desire.

Closing Thoughts

In short, the best two-handed bowlers are just good bowlers. And they usually use good bowling balls that help them accurately achieve the results they’re looking for at the pin deck. Two-handed throwing requires just as much concentration and practice as one-handed bowling, just with a different technique. To knock down all ten pins and get to creating powerful tosses as a two-hander, you gotta put the work in.

With the right body position and proper form, your two-handed throw will be the talk of your local bowling alley!