It looks like an advanced trigonometry problem, with angles and lines and found centers and squares, all sketched out in yellow wax pen across the face of the bowling ball.
Scott Wohlwend, 35, of Moline, owner of Twisterz Pro Shop, uses a flexible ruler to extend a line on the ball, then clamps it in the drill press and drops the spinning drill bit onto the ball's face, creating what will be a thumb hole.
"The game's changed a lot in the last 20 or so years," Mr. Wohlwend said. "Surface materials, cores, techniques, computers, it's all brought out a new understanding of the game. How a ball moves, breakpoints, when it breaks, how hard it will break, it's all different now."
Mr Wohlwend points out a display showing bowling ball cores. In bowling's beginning, the cores resembled a wedge-shaped weight. Today, bowling ball cores are sophisticated collections of shapes and weights, designed to impact a rolling ball's movement.
"It's a lot more than drilling three holes into a ball," Mr. Wohlwend said. "When you get to be a better bowler, it really comes down to very small things. Everyone is within a couple of pins, so every pin really matters."
The pro shop formerly was owned by area bowling legend Bob Neff. Mr. Wohlwend worked for him before buying the store. He also worked customizing bowling balls for bowling titan Brunswick in Reno, Nev.
"I learned a lot from him," Mr. Wohlwend said of Mr. Neff. Known as one of the area's better bowlers, Mr. Wohlwend also offers lessons. He started bowling when he was 8 and went on to bowl for the University of Nebraska. "Watching him do his work in the pro shop, helping people, that sparked my interest in this. It's something I enjoy, something I know well. I like helping people."
Mr. Wohlwend said one of the biggest kicks he gets is having a bowler come in, get fitted for a ball and then having them come back and tell him how much it has improved their game.
"It really makes a difference," he said. "Compared to maybe renting a ball off the rack or buying something off the shelf. If they come in here, they get something that fits their hand, fits the way they throw the ball, it makes a huge difference. It's asking the right questions, getting the right input. Most of my customers are upper level, but I still have beginners who come in, kids, high school kids. I'm not going to get rich doing it, but I love what I do."
The Midwest is a bedrock of sorts for bowlers. Mr. Wohlwend said we have a lot of good bowlers in the area who compete against other good bowlers out of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana.
"I think it started with the older generation, those guys reached out to the younger kids and got them involved, and it made a difference," Mr. Wohlwend said. "It's something I hope I'm doing, too."
Twisterz Pro Shop, 3711 Avenue of the Cities, Moline. (309) 797-2090. You can also find them on Facebook.