By Kevin Bickel
This list excludes obvious bowling gift ideas such as bowling balls, bags, and shoes. The list is sorted by category (equipment, education, and experience) and price within each category.
Microfiber Towels – Cost: $6 – $12 per pack
- Cheap, thoughtful, quick and available pretty much anywhere. Microfiber towels are always handy to have around, and you can never have too many.
3-N-1 Bowler’s Tool – Cost: $38
- My personal favorite. This tool comes in handy more often than you would think.
Interchangeable Thumb System – Cost: $30 per ball
- Interchangeable thumbs are becoming standard for any bowler with more than one ball in his/her arsenal. Turbo Grips offers the Switch Grip whereas Vise offers the IT System.
Personalized Jersey – Cost: $40 – $150
- A must for any tournament bowler. Go the homemade route and get his/her nameembroidered on the back of a collared shirt or go above and beyond and customize a high performance jersey. Either way, this is one of the best gifts a competitive bowler can receive.
Books – Cost: $24 – $29
- Timeless and always useful. These books are full of knowledge for bowlers of all skill levels. My personal favorites are “Par Bowling: The Challenge” by Tom Kouros and “The Game Changer” by Mark Baker.
Magazine Subscription – Cost: $32 per year
- You won’t find these magazines at the local newsstand. Ball reviews, coaching tips, PBA coverage, and more. Bowling This Month and The Bowler’s Journal come to my mailbox every month.
USBC Coaching Certification – Cost: $49
- A novel gift for someone looking to get more involved in the sport. Get started as a Level 1 Coach and give back to bowling.
Coaching Camp – Cost: $250+
- Train with the pros! These camps are perfect for bowlers who want to take their game to the next level. Check out Dick Ritger Bowling Camps, Camp Bakes, and the International Art of Bowling to name a few.
USBC Open Championships Trip – Cost: $180 + travel expenses
- Bowling’s main event. If the bowler you’re shopping for doesn’t attend this event annually, they should.
TAT Nationals Entry – Cost: $200 + travel expenses
- True Amateur Tournaments gives amateur bowlers the opportunity to win big. Featuring 6 separate qualifying divisions, many side events, and a $20,000 first place prize, the TAT Amateur Nationals is the place to be for amateur bowlers of all skill levels.
PBA Regional Entry – Cost: $285 + travel expenses
- Compete with the best. PBA Regional Tournaments are a great way to test a bowler’s skill in a highly competitive environment.
Kegel Training Center Trip – Cost: $330 – $550 + travel expenses
- The ultimate experience in bowling education. This state-of-the-art facility employs some of the best coaches in the world who focus on your individual needs as a bowler.