Note: This review is not about Temasek club, but about the Bowling Alley in the newly opened rifle range club, run by Singapore Bowling Federation.
In order to create awareness about the new bowling alley, there is a promotion of “Free Bowling” for 2 hours for each player until end of September for this bowling alley. I heard about it, booked a time slot in advance (together with my family) and decided to take the trouble to come down to this newly opened facility Today (24 September). As the Rifle Range Road facility isn’t fully completed yet (and location is not easily accessible), we had to take the trouble to take a cab down to the place and give directions to the driver so he could drive us to the place. But I’m not here to complain about the location.
Since the bowling games would be conducted free we shouldn’t be expecting much, should we? Well, I came down to the place not expecting much. In fact, I was wowed and impressed by the bowling alley at first, but MASSIVELY DISAPPOINTED and frustrated after playing just 1 bowling game (~15 minutes) at this bowling alley.
But I’ll try my best to be nice. I’ll cover the positives of the bowling alley first. The set-up and first impressions of this bowling alley were impressive, with hd-tv displays, fresh and new lanes, and impressive extras like having your scores projected on screen, as well as very nice looking scoring system (possible thanks to their new SWITCH Bowling Alley system) to make your bowling scorecard look much more flashy and interesting with animations and bright colours. The drinks store isn’t open, but that’s really fine with me. we got my timeslot on time and I thank the staff for that.
But once we played about 1.5 (Yes, One and a Half) games into the lane, I had one of the biggest disappointments that I ever had in a bowling alley.
As my family is keen and serious about bowling, we brought our own bowling balls to this bowling alley. Obviously any bowler would know a good ball costs quite a lot (compared to the cost of every game), so we take very good care of our bowling balls.
Anyway, back to my experience here. My family played just 1.5 games at our assigned bowling alley, when suddenly got a horrible and nasty shock. We realized midway thru the second games that our bowling balls were pretty heavily chipped and scratched up because of the bowling alley’s system!!!
Here’s a picture of my bowling ball after playing 1.5 games (we stopped using our own bowling balls immediately once we realized that they were being damaged).
On this picture, you can see my ball has sustained about 3-4 chips and dents just on this side of the ball (circled in yellow). I’m sure these are fresh chips/dents that have come about because of this bowling alley (as for the rest of the scratches, I can’t be sure that they are from this alley and they don’t look as serious, so I close one eye on that). It’s really obvious to see that these highlighted ones were new chips (the colour change on the chipped off part of the cover stock make fresh ones very obvious)
As you can see, the chips/dents that my bowling ball has sustained (no thanks to this bowling alley) are deep and cannot be simply polished away.
Thought this is as bad as it can get on 1 bowling ball? NO. THERE IS WORSE. My bro’s Bowling ball has sustained 15 PAIRS OF THESE HEAVY SCRATCHES/CHIPS ON HIS SHINY (AND RELATIVELY NEW) SINISTER BOWLING BALL. THAT BALL COSTS $3xx. ’ll leave it to you to imagine his horrified and angered face when he realized his bowling ball was heavily chipped!
Let me do the calculations for everyone. We played about 1.5 games, which roughly means we did about 16-30 throws for each ball. This means my bro’s ball got CHIPPED ALMOST ONCE EVERY THROW. When we looked at the house balls, we realized that many of the house balls were chipped in this manner as well. THIS MEANS MANY OF THE LANES HAD THIS PROBLEM OF CHIPPING THE BOWLING BALLS.
Horrified with what had happened, we spoke to one of the main staff running this bowling alley and told him about the problem with his bowling lanes. (I shall now share his name) Guess what he said? He ‘threw smoke’ at us and said those dents could be easily cleaned off and would not affect our ball. This sentence alone made me really angered as I knew that was complete BULLSHIT. He just said we could use the house balls to try and sand the sharp ends of the bowling lanes down or something. As if that would help us with our now heavily chipped personal bowling balls. =.=
We consulted a Bowling Shop and learned the only way that such deep chips/scratches can be repaired is to resurface the ball, which will cost about $50 PER BALL. (SO MUCH FOR SAYING WE CAN CLEAN THE SCRATCHES AWAY. WHAT A HORRIBLE LIE). Polishing the ball (which would cost $5-10) would not take away such deep chips that have been sustained on the bowling ball.
And another bad factor I shall highlight is that the bowling approach area (the place where you do your bowling footwork) has not been processed properly. You will notice it is quite slippery and there may not be enough grip to do your bowling footwork. And the board lines of the bowling approach area are not exactly aligned to the board lines of the bowling lane. You will notice the lines sort of ‘breakout’ somewhere between the bowling approach area.
To me, I am very reasonable and can look over the slightly flawed approach area. BUT I CANNOT CLOSE AN EYE ON LANES THAT CAN DAMAGE BOWLING BALLS that are thrown in.
I’ll make this clear: WE WERE NOT told to only use House bowling balls at this bowling alley. I noticed many others using their own balls in this bowling alley today and I really hope their balls are not heavily chipped and damaged due to this problem as well.
Honestly I would rather that these free games weren’t given out if it would mean that bowling balls would be chipped and harmed in this manner. I Treat ALL bowling balls with high respect and I am angered to see my balls scratched up this way. I would rather they fix the damned lanes and make sure they don’t scratch up balls like that.
1) YOU CAN’T CALL A BOWLING LANE READY FOR PUBLIC USE OR READY FOR COMPETITIONS/PROS TO USE THE LANE, UNTIL THESE TYPE OF MAJOR PROBLEMS ARE FIXED, AND
2) You can’t consider yourself as a true bowler if you don’t even respect your bowling ball, which helped you to score that pinfall of yours.
So to any other potential bowlers who want to come down to this bowling lane, just a heads up about this, so just use their house balls if you wanna play there still.
As for me, I’m personally gonna stay away from this bowling alley for a VERY LONG TIME. Logically, my impression of the company running this alley has been TOTALLY RUINED.
IT IS JUST MY LUCK FOR DECIDING TO TRAVEL THE DISTANCE, AND TRY THIS HORRIBLE NEW LANE FOR MY BIRTHDAY. This incident totally ruined my mood for an otherwise pretty good day.
Note: I am not going to accept any silly comments saying that it is common sense that we should not use personal balls in new lanes as they will surely be scratched. To me, that is complete BULLSHIT and I will NOT accept that. By BASIC Business Ethics, If you want to open a bowling alley, make sure the lanes are COMPLETELY RUNNING FINE BEFORE YOU OPEN FOR ANY BUISNESS. Seriously, I don’t mind PAYING to play a game so long as the facilities are working properly and most importantly, NOT SCRATCHING UP BOWLING BALLS LIKE SOME DIRTBALL.