Friday, March 11, 2011

Bowling alley review 3 - Orchid Bowl Tampines

The 3rd bowling alley review brought me to Tampines Safra. This was the last place for me to bowl before I left for HK as I used to stay nearby. The whole SAFRA compound changed quite dramatically with new soccer pitches and the upgrades to the bowling alley...

Location
Located on the 3rd floor of Tampines Safra, the easiest way to reach this place using public transport will probably be taking the MRT to Tampines station and take another bus. Carpark to lift to bowling alley takes less than 20 metres.

Price
S$4 for non-peak (before 6pm)
S$4.50 for peak (after 6pm)
The most expensive rates so far. But if they can charge it then obviously they have something going on for them. Bowling is such a competitive business in Singapore that if you don't have what it takes then most likely you are already out of business.

Scoring Systems
Touchscreen, after-games statistics and animation. The best of the lot so far although the only way I could find out actual frame scores from previous games was thru score edit. If there was a way to view it, I couldnt find it and thats the problem. Scoring systems should be more user-friendly like the UI on mobile phones.


Lanes
Well-oiled lanes. You can see the shine the moment you step into the place. Consistent reaction on all parts of the lane. The way I like it.


Easy to read lanes. Super pin reaction. After a warm-up of 150 I was scoring 190s to 210s at my first session there. It worked out really well for a conventional stroker like me. Right to centre. Doesn't matter if I hit 1-3 pocket or over to 1-2 pocket.

Atmosphere
Quite a few schools train there. Also caught a private instructor with 2 young girls. Very bright and clean place. Just a bit too much techno and pop music for my liking... Overall I would be happy to play league bowling there but...

Proshop
But the pro-shop didn't impress me. The array of balls wasn't that impressive but maybe I should give it a try and see what its like. End of the day its about the skills, experience and techniques of the driller.

Other Services
2 coin-operated pool table and a cafeteria in the bowling alley with a small arcade outside. Safra also offers a vast array of recreational facilities for the right price.

Conclusion
Score: 8/10
The highest score so far. The only minus point is the location. I will give it a 9 to 9.5 if the location is swapped with Kallang Bowl.

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