The Interview with Perfecta-Grips Inventor
by Brian Regan
MichiganBowling.com Interview with Arnie Goldman, Inventor & founder of PGI inc. 11-13-03
I recently had the opportunity to interview former PBA member, Arnie Goldman. Some of Arnie’s claims to fame would include defeating PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber in Weber’s first nationally televised match in 1980, and later winning the richest bowling event in history--the 1999 July High Roller in Las Vegas, NV (then worth - $125,000.00).
Goldman has earned a living solely from the sport of bowling for more than three decades. In 1987, although continuing to bowl competitively, Arnie left the PBA in pursuit of a dream which he had conceived while on tour; a dream he firmly believes will greatly enhance our sport of bowling. Although people all across the country are very familiar with his on-lane accomplishments, I’m amazed by how many of his off-lane accomplishments have managed to remain a virtual secret. His goals include incorporating his state-of-the art technology through certain products and services to be offered to everyone soon. His philosophical belief was so strong that he actually has bet his career on it by founding his own company, Perfecta Grip Industries.
Many people (myself included) wanted to know exactly what it is about Arnie and his PGI innovations that has created such a stir, and in fact shaken the very foundation of bowling. Goldman aims to prove to the bowling world that the traditionalists were in fact wrong. I wanted to know the truth, and what I learned truly amazed me. I have summarized a bit here for you.
Arnie’s copyrighted text manuscript entitled “Perfecta Grip” disputes the widely accepted theories that proclaim static-weight imbalances, inner weight block design, pin placement, and surface attributes as being the predominant influences which control a bowling ball. Goldman sees those “influences” as factors that (cumulatively) affect what a ball does. His patents will prove that in actuality, it is the specific geometry of a bowler’s unique grip (their 3-D triangle) that encourages specific physics to be expended, which determine the ball’s actions & subsequent reactions. In short, the grip controls what the ball does. While those other factors do definitely affect what a ball does and are very important, it should be noted that they are not a measurable commodity, while the “grip” now is. There is no predictable means to utilize other said influences either separately or together. Arnie’s “Bowling Ball Dynamics - Control” technology can actually teach us through “Rapid Grip Modulation” the secret of how to totally control our bowling ball.
With that said, there are many people within the industry that have chosen to view Arnie’s philosophy and technology as a threat. Conveniently, some of those same people have littered the market with similar products in hopes to denounce such technology by creating inferior products. They have worked overtime to sway people’s opinions before they even get to try and experience Arnie’s Perfecta-Grips.
The ironic thing is…those people couldn’t be more wrong.
Arnie already has hundreds of customers that use his products, and very few, if any, have purchased fewer bowling balls as a result. In most cases they actually buy more! Arnie’s technology is filled with knowledge just waiting to be learned by bowlers at every level; a specialized brand of knowledge, that will keep bowlers from losing interest, and will hook new bowlers into our sport!
What are Perfecta-Grips?
For those of you who may not know what Perfecta-Grips are, here’s what I’ve managed to learn so far from both my own personal experience and from inventor, Arnie Goldman.
Most of the detailed technical explanation was supplied to me directly from Arnie, and as much as possible, I have done my best to provide word for word his accurate explanation.
Perfecta-Grips are interchangeable and indexable finger & thumb inserts for bowling balls. They can also be used as a teaching tool to study all variable aspects relating to one’s grip as opposed to viewing your grip’s geometry as a fixed constant that you hope was correct. Goldman claims to have effectively proven that the all-important triangular configuration that makes up your grip actually pre-determines the physics expended by your ball, and also it’s functional properties both in and out of your hand. With Perfecta-Grips you can quickly and easily learn to program the ball’s total performance through a learned process. Because lane conditions are ever changing, a variable problem requires a variable solution; therefore your bowling ball’s dynamics should also be an adjustable commodity.
Once you experience this wide ranging set of interchangeable options, it is then hard to ever imagine bowling any other way.
Although PGI’s innovations offer many hidden benefits almost too numerous to mention, here’s what I consider to be the three most important advantages I‘ve experienced so far:
The Perfecta-Cast Thermal Inliner molded within the thumb hole provides a superior feel and also allows you to precisely transmit every aspect of that "perfect fit" that you may already have in another favorite bowling ball. You can successfully transfer all hole-size, pitch, & texture variables, including bevel, thumb tape, and any other features that are unique to your thumbhole. You can even transfer your ball’s roll pattern characteristics!
The second major benefit of Perfecta-Grips is that the inserts are readily interchangeable.
The other major benefit exclusive to Arnie's Perfecta-Grips is that they provide a simple way to totally control your bowling ball, according to Goldman! This is the part that was a little hazy to me at first, as I simply did not believe it at all...until I tried it! Not only are the inserts interchangeable, but they are indexable as well. In other words, you can loosen the insert, turn the insert either clockwise or counter-clockwise, and re-tighten the insert. This will in fact, vary the geometry and the balance and reaction of your bowling ball. Go ahead and read that sentence again. Yes, you can actually learn to control the actions & reactions of your bowling ball by transferring and indexing your thumb & finger inserts, (& fine tuning your dynamics while you are bowling) to produce the results you want!
Within this concept lies several other benefits which further support the main philosophy. The ability to transplant sets of inserts will allow you to learn more about your bowling than you had ever dreamed possible. You’re even able to then try your friend's bowling balls by simply swapping inserts. You may have at your disposal several various inserts that feel good at different times of the year so you’d then have the opportunity to mix & match whatever fits and reacts the best at that time. Harness and lock in a specific reaction or change it at will (even between frames!) This amazing product opens the door to an entire universe of possibilities. These are merely a few of the exciting benefits. I found this all to be quite fascinating and I feel as if a new field of learning has been opened up for me.
Brian: Why hasn’t the entire bowling world and especially the big companies accepted your new Perfecta Grip philosophy with open arms?
Arnie: Because although it potentially could have done a lot of good for our industry then, at the time they viewed it as a risk they weren’t willing to take, basically a long-shot. Also, Bowling’s economy was better, and they were making lots of money the way things were. So why should they change? People tend to fear radical change. Things are different now.
Brian: How so?
Arnie: First, the bowling economy is suffering from internal stagnation and people are bored with the same old “same-old”. Secondly, my ideas are now a proven fact, and are no longer a risk. Third, the majority of work is already done. We have a market-ready product line, all the necessary regulatory approvals in place, as well as a solid reputation with a long historical track record of success. No one can argue with success! Bowling is ready for our technology.
Brian: Arnie, were there any other any other (practical) interchangeable finger or thumb inserts introduced before your Perfecta-Grips?
Arnie: Absolutely not. I, in fact, created the reasoning for which they would be needed. I also initiated the legalization process whereby they could then be used in sanctioned play.
Brian: How long did that process take?
Arnie: The PBA Executive Board approved them in 1993 in a few weeks. The ABC/WIBC delegates took right around two years.
Brian: Did you file for a patent?
Arnie: I have filed a total of 5 patent applications thus far on my technology.
Brian: Wow, That's a lot of patents, Arnie!
Arnie: It's a lot of technology, and I went through a ridiculous amount of trouble and expense to properly disclose it.
Brian: Why was that so important?
Arnie: Primarily, so I would be later recognized as a primary inventor. But also, to have a marketable commodity, namely a sound patent, that large companies would then take an interest in.
Brian: Why did you need them?
Arnie: Because, at that time I'd hoped to gain the support of a large company knowing that my dream (to dramatically improve our sport) would then be correctly implemented with a high degree of efficiency. I wanted it done right.
Brian: What went wrong with your plan?
Arnie: My disclosures in my estimation were suppressed, and as a result my pioneering innovation did not immediately harvest the respect it deserved.
Brian: Well don't you have a valid patent on your technology?
Arnie: Technically…yes. But if they have no respect for the fact that I filed 5 Applications on my technology... then of what practical value is there in having a patent at all? Seems to me, it's WHO owns the patent that really matters.
Brian: Are you concerned about infringers?
Arnie: I'm not concerned about them stealing it because I'm the only one who understands the entire field of discovery for which it pertains. I am concerned that they will litter my field with junk, polluting it, and consequently turning people off to "removable insert" technology.
Brian: Do you believe in "Free Enterprise"?
Arnie: You better believe I do. But, know also... that "FREE ENTERPRISE" does not mean that I spend 16 solid years, hundreds of thousands of dollars, & file 5 patent applications on my previously disclosed technology...and you all of a sudden decide to horn in - and get it for FREE!
Brian: Can't argue with that. But what rights does your patent actually give you?
Arnie: Basically, I own the right to make, use, sell, license, or EXCLUDE any removable insert to be used in any practical application within any standard bowling ball - until my last valid patent has expired.
Brian: So what are you waiting for?
Arnie: Actually, I'm not waiting. I'm working on developing large scale programs that will be ready to implement, which once enacted, will dramatically enhance the betterment of our sport. These things along with a 24-product product line can take many years to perfect when done by an individual. If anything, we are awaiting the right opportunity from the right company, eager to do the right thing. That day will come, and I expect very soon.
Brian: But what if no company steps up?
Arnie: Then we will revolutionize the sport all by ourselves…it will just take longer.
Brian: From what I've seen, Arnie, I believe you will do exactly that.
For more information about Perfecta-Grips, please visit www.perfectagrip.com, and please check back soon for the rest of this story!