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WHEN BOWLING MEETS GOLF: This is a three-dimensional view of a depressed lane, illustrating the kinds of undulations that can often alter the contour of the lane surface to resemble a terrain closer to what a golfer might encounter on a golf course.


cause the wood lane underneath the synthetic surface to, in Thompson’s words, “act like an accordion.” A lane depression in the summer

months could amplify four-fold in the winter. The swelling of the lane caused by heat could even create a crown, or the opposite of a depressed lane. Whereas a depressed lane features slopes toward the center of the lane, a crowned lane features slopes toward the gutter. “People think synthetic lanes are

flatter. The panel itself is clearly flat, but it’s got to go on top of something, and it’s got to get laid down on top of something,” Thompson explains. “They are putting a relatively thin panel on top of another substrate, on top of a structure which can be levelled differently. The lane is going to take the shape of what’s underneath it all the way down. “You have all these screw rows that can be tightened down differently, so you can have some crowns; you can

have some depressions, you can have cross-tilts right or left,” Thompson adds. “You have a lot of randomness in topography today because of synthetic lanes.” The plot thickens from there. “Different companies have different

construction underneath,” Thompson explains. “We have synthetic overlays placed over wood lanes. We have centers where the first seven-to-24 feet of the lane are cut out and replaced with MDF [Medium Density Fiberboard]

or LSL ([Laminated Strand Lumber), then the overlay is placed over that, and then it is laid on top of the wood lane from there on out. So, we have different scenarios.” And, for bowlers, different outcomes. “Depending on the length of the

pattern, you might see two entirely different styles dominate on a lane with a certain shape,” Thompson explains. “If you go 38 or 39 feet on a depressed lane, most likely they will go left pretty quickly because that’s a little too long

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