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WHO is Rico?

Rico is the nickname given to Ric Hamlin, ball drilling, fitting & layout guru for close to 30 years, by Nick Smith AKA BrunsNick.
"RICO" is also the name of a specific bowling ball layout accredited to Ric.

WHAT is Rico?

RICO is a layout that has been accredited to Ric Hamlin. Primarily a layout that Ric implimented at many tournaments that he was a rep at.

Portrait of Ric Hamlin.

About Ric


  • Owned Pro Shop from 1996-2000 in San Jose, California (R and D Professional Bowling Services)
  • Worked for Coast Casinos (the Orleans, Gold Coast & Sun Coast) as director of pro shop operations from 2000-2003
  • Brunswick NorthWest Product Specialist 2003-2008 (2 time ACE Award winner for excellence in sales)
  • Steve Cook's Bowling Supply 2008-present Outside Sales Specialist

Bowling Career Highlights

  • Bowled in sanctioned league since 1970
  • Career Totals-(20) twenty 300 games and (5) five 800 series (high 820)
  • First junior bowler (AJBC) in the 1981-82 season to record two 300 games.
  • Never booked under 200 as an ABC member (20+ years)
  • ABC National Tournament average 10 years 206+ (1987-1998)
  • Brunswick World Team Challenge Title-1999 Dublin, Ca (R and D Professional Bowling Services Team)
  • Self acclaimed world record 216 bowling balls drilled in one day (Mini Eliminator-Gold Coast-Jan 2002)
  • PBA Member from 1985 to 2001 Regional as well as National Tour
Ric's typical 4 course meal.
  • Grew up in bowling as father managed numerous bowling centers for the Air Force. Mother went into labor (with Ric) watching father bowl league.
  • New passion is learning to play golf.
  • Been involved (employed) in the bowling business since 1980 as well as drilling since 1980.
  • Proud father of 2 puppies Lucky & Sierra (both Jack Russell Terriers)
  • Rico is also known for consuming massive amounts of pure cane sugar in a single sitting.

About Rico Drill

Ric Hamlin, who is credited with this layout, has been known to use this pattern quite a bit for tournament arsenals. Every serious bowler should have a bowling ball with this layout in their bag. When NO OTHER layout works, this layout gives the bowler something they would not find otherwise. The 'Rico' layout is one that tends to aide many different bowler types when lacking reaction. When using this layout, it is a must in creating the proper reaction, that this layout is known for, in using the weight hole. Many times I see the layout attempted without the weight hole and you will not create the overall strong reaction without it. The weight hole creates the strongest amount of asmmetry, in symmetrical core balls, by placing the weight hole 6 3/4" from the pin through the CG. Static weights, other than staying within USBC requirements, are irrelevant in the reaction. It is the placement of the weight hole. Bowler's that tend to be speed dominate will find, with the correct bowling ball choice, a stronger overall reaction, along with more continuation on longer patterns or patterns/conditions that have higher volume or amount of conditioner. When reaction is lacking, this layout will aide in creating. Bowler's that are considered 'rev' dominate tend to use this layout to help smooth out wet/dries by blending out the reaction from oil to dry. It helps slow the ball down in the oil to not be as responsive to friction. Bowler's that are considered 'rev' deficient or lacking revs and tend to struggling to find reaction on higher volume patterns, similar to speed dominate, find more reaction with this layout. Lower track bowler's or spinners, who tend to lack reaction, will find a stronger overall reaction using this layout. Higher track bowler's, who tend to have a larger track circumfrance and have issues with over/under type reactions, tend to find a smoother reaction in controlling the breakpoint by slowing the ball down in the conditioner.

Example of Rico Drill.

How to layout Rico

To layout for Rico, the pin is placed in the bowler's center of grip, and the ball is layed out "45 degree" or with the CG layed out in a 45 degree angle in accordance with the bowler's positive axis point. In the example shown to the right, there is an extra hole drilled into the ball to complete the rico layout. This extra hole is placed 6 3/4" from the pin through the CG, the purpose of this extra hole is to raise the bowtie to prevent the final few flare tracks from migrating over the finger holes, causing the ball to thump on the backend.