Once you've come to grips with the differences, experiment until you find the right grip for you.
In bowling, you need a comfortably weighted ball that fits your hand and a grip that feels natural to you in order to attain the optimal blend of power and control. The conventional and fingertip grip serve as standbys, and one does not innately trump the other; the issue ultimately boils down to personal preference. However, the standard and fingertip grip styles undeniably differ, in their execution and in their utility on the lanes.
For a time-tested standard grip, formally known as a conventional grip, insert your thumb fully into the ball's thumb hole, then insert your middle and ring fingers -- known as your вЂњbowling fingersвЂќ -- into the respective holes, pushing those fingers into the ball up to the second joint. Your thumb should fall at a 10 o'clock position, with your bowling fingers placed at 4 o'clock, or 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock for left-handed bowlers.
The Fingertip Variation
For a fingertip grip, insert your thumb fully into the ball as you would with a conventional grip. However, only the tips of your bowling fingers, down to about the first joint crease, go into the finger holes. For a semi-fingertip grip, your bowling fingers go into the finger holes down to the first or second joint. The 10 o'clock and 4 o'clock finger positions remain the same for a fingertip grip.
The conventional grip typically serves beginning bowlers well, as it offers a firmer hold than the fingertip variation. Because more of the hand comes into contact with the ball and the fingers remain on the ball after the thumb is removed, this grip also features a more secure release. While this type of grip does allow bowlers to hook the ball, the conventional grip doesn't offer as much lift as with the fingertip style.
While the conventional grip caters to beginners, intermediate and advanced bowlers -- those who typically average at least 140 -- may benefit from a fingertip grip. This positioning creates more leverage than the conventional grip, which gives a bowler greater lift, striking power and turning capabilities. However, the wider finger span of the fingertip grip may result in a more difficult or less-controlled release of the ball. The semi-fingertip grip essentially provides a middle ground for those transitioning from the conventional grip to the fingertip grip, but it doesn't offer any discernible benefits over the fingertip style.