Last week we discussed the” 3-6-9” method. Today I’d like to discuss converting the 10 pin in a little more detail. The 10 pin can be a bit tricky for the right handed bowler. Your ball needs to be hooking or it can drop off into the “Gutter” or “Channel”. If you are standing on the 22nd board at the stance to convert the 1 pin for example, then you would need to stand on the 31st board to convert the 10 pin according to the 3-6-9 method, since the 10 pin is 9 boards over from the 1 pin.
When I began to bowl, I was terrible at making the 10 pin and my scores were low because of it. I was getting so frustrated and decided to just talk to some of the better bowlers in my league. Two of them told me that they bought a cheap plastic ball to use for the 10 pin. I didn’t know it, but Plastic Balls do not hook, so I took their advice and went to the pro shop and purchased a plastic ball. I went practicing and just kept my palm flat and released the ball out over the middle arrow without any turn of my wrist. I started making so many more 10 pins after that and was thrilled with my higher scores! I’m not saying you must do this, but if you throw a large hook and have trouble making the 10 pin, then this may be the answer for you.
The 5 pin, or “King Pin” as it is sometimes referred to, is in the very center of the lane. You need to aim for this pin because without hitting it, you will not be able to get the domino effect that knocks it into all the other pins, resulting in a strike. Sometimes I’ve seen people throw a large hook and barely touch the headpin (1 pin) but still manage to get the strike. The thing is, it’s NOT consistent. In bowling CONSISTENCY is a huge factor in the game!
By now you should know where to stand and which arrow or board to aim at for the 1 pin. The 5 pin is directly behind it but a bit furher back on the lane. Since your ball will have a little more time to hook, you need to compensate for this by moving a few boards to the left, or on the 24th or 25th board.
You should have an idea where to stand for the 2 pin and 3 pin. Since the 8 pin is directly in back of the 2 pin, and the 9 pin is directly in back of the 3 pin, you just have to apply the same principal as you did for the 5 pin, by moving slightly left again. This should do the trick. If you try this and you miss, remember Rule # 3 from the previous week. If you miss to the right, adjust by moving to the right a board or two. If you miss to the left, move a board or two to the left. You can move at the stance, or at the arrows but be consistent.
Double Wood Spares:
Double Wood just means that there are 2 pins left on the lane you need to convert, and one is directly in back of the other. Examples are the 2-8 and the 3-9 pins. If you only convert one of those pins, it is referred to as a “Chop” or “Cherry Picking Off” the spare. If you throw a perfectly straight ball, this one may be easy for you to convert. The right handed hook bowler needs to move left because the weight of the pin will deflect the ball slightly to the right and you might miss that back pin. The left handed bowler needs to do the opposite, or move slightly more to the right. Just experiment when you are practicing to see what will work best for you according to the size hook you throw.
Check out my new ebook on Amazon/Kindle--"Let's rev Up Those Bowling Scores".
Join me here next week when I'll be discussing "How to Make Spares-Part 3"---"Cluster" and "Bucket" Spares.
See you then, Good Luck and High Scoring!
Hello!! My name is Joanie. Although I'm not a professional bowler, 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.