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George Freeman's Expert Bowling Tips

-Taking Your Time On Spares
01/16/2002 - By George Freeman
      First of all, I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season. :)

      Spares are the foundation of this sport.  The old saying goes, "Strike for show, spare for dough."  In today's high-powered era, however, spares are sometimes not given the attention they require.  It's great to have eight or nine strikes in a game, but when the other frames are missed spares, that 250 game becomes 200-210 in a hurry.  Here are some things to think about concerning spares.

      First of all, take your time.  Yes, it's frustrating leaving a corner pin on a good shot, or making a bad shot and having to shoot the spare, but just going up and throwing the spare shot without lining up is a good way to throw away pins.  Take a deep breath, think about where you want to line up for the spare, and take your shot.  That extra couple seconds between strike and spare shots can make the difference between making your spare and missing it.

      Next, when leaving single pin spares, it's best to not hook the ball into the pin.  The more boards you cover, the more of a chance the ball has to reacting erratically (especially with today's equipment).  It is advisable to learn how to throw a straight ball at spares.  Next time you're practicing and leave a spare to shoot at, try breaking the wrist back and relaxing your wrist at the point of release.  This will create a minimum of rotation, allowing the ball to go straighter down the lane.  Many players also invest in plastic bowling balls, since plastic balls generally go a lot straighter than reactive bowling balls.

      Spares are the key to success in the long term.  Make the most of your spare game, you'll be glad you did.


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