CLUSTER SPARES: Are spares that have 3 or more pins close together.
The “KEY” or Target pin is the one you must hit in order to convert a spare successfully. If you concentrate on that one pin, you can almost ignore the other pins and still make the spare. For the more difficult spares which have a cluster of pins together, you need to focus on the KEY PIN. For example, if you are facing the 3-5-6-9 “BUCKET” spare you will need to look at and concentrate on the very back pin which is the 9 pin. If you can do that, then your four pin spare becomes an easier one pin spare! If you leave the 2-4-5-8 Bucket, then your KEY pin to focus on would be that back pin again, or the 8 pin.
If you are faced with other difficult 3 or 4 pin spares, you’ll need to figure out which is the KEY or TARGET PIN to aim for in order to successfully convert the spare. If you have four pins in a row, for example the 1-3-6-10 spare, your KEY pin to aim for will be the one CLOSEST to you. Therefore, you need to hit the 1 pin but on it’s right side, so the ball will hit into half of the 1 pin and half of the 3 pin. The 3 pin will hit into the 6, and the 6 pin hit into the 10 pin. If you leave the opposite of that spare, the 1-2-4-7 spare, the KEY pin would also be the 1 pin, but you’ll need to hit it on the left side.
If you have a two-pin spare, aim for the pin that’s CLOSEST to you. If you’re faced with the 5-9 spare for example, aim for the 5 pin. Hit it slightly to the right, since the 9 pin is to the right of the 5 pin, or if you have a cluster of three pins like the 2-4-5 or the 3-5-6, just aim for the pin closest to you.
Focusing on this “KEY” pin will help you avoid the stress of going for those more difficult spares. Try this method during your practice sessions and remember those KEY pins in each of these difficult spares. Make slight adjustments remembering to only move a board at a time to the left or right to suit the size of your hook.
Join me next week to discuss "Splits". See you then.
Hello!! I'm not a professional bowler, but I have loved the sport for more than 45 years, averaged over 200 for several seasons, and learned quite a bit with research and experience.