Oddly, one of the most difficult shots in the game for a right handed bowler is making the 10 pin. You would think that knocking down a single pin wouldn’t be that hard. But the problem is that, unlike all other one pin spares, the 10 pin has no room on the right side of the pin for missing it as it is right next to the gutter. You either have to hit it head on or slightly to the left. If you throw it too far right, your ball lands in the gutter. If you throw a hook ball, this makes it even more difficult as you can’t throw the ball out right of the 10 pin and let it hook back. It will end up in the gutter before you know it. This shot just gives right handers fits. For left handers, it’s the 7 pin, which has the same problem.
After the single pin shots, the next difficult double pin shot is when you have what they call double wood. That’s when you have one pin in back of another, such as the 2-8 or 3-9 shots. These are difficult because you have to hit the 2 or 3 pins dead on. If you hit them to the right or left, you won’t take out the pin behind it because the pin goes in one direction and the ball deflects in the other direction, leaving the pin behind standing and staring you in the face. This is another shot that gives all bowlers fits.
After these shots come the splits. Splits are where there is more than one pin standing on the lane with at least one space between them. Pros generally consider the easiest splits to be the baby splits, such as the 3-10 or 2-7. With these splits you have to place the ball just inside of the 2 pins that are standing. The ball will deflect off the first pin and into the second pin. These aren’t too difficult as far as splits go, but they do need pin point control.
There are splits, however, that are very difficult, such as the 5-7 or 5-10, which requires you hit the 5 pin into either the 7 or 10, depending on which pin is standing. The 5 pin must be hit in just the right spot in order to send it sailing into the other pin. There are other splits which are harder variations of this one such as the 4-10 or 6-7.
All bowlers agree that the hardest split to make is the dreaded 7-10 split. These pins are 180 degrees apart and because of this it is almost impossible to send one pin into the other. Most pro bowlers try to bounce one of the pins out of the pit in the back into the other pin. It is rare that this split is made, though it does happen.