It has come to my attention that I might not know that much about bowling, particularly when it comes to equipment. I have thought about buying a new bowling ball for the last couple of years. My main concern is trying to get one that is lighter, as hefting a 16-pound ball has become a bit of a chore.
Beyond that, what kind of ball I should get is a mystery. I did a little research and actually found a review of three new bowling balls. Trying to make sense of the information was difficult. Perhaps you have more knowledge than I, and if a new ball is in your future, I am more than willing to share this info with you. Here, then, is everything you could possibly want to know, and perhaps a whole lot more. As is always the case, you are welcome.
Brunswick: Mastermind Genius: Hook 53 - Length 13 - Breakpoint Shape 15.
Intent: The Mastermind Genius is the hybrid complement to the original Mastermind (November 2013). The Genius is designed to give a cleaner motion with stronger back-end reaction and improved versatility compared to its predecessor.
Core: The asymmetrical "Mastermind Ultra Low RG" core's RG is 2.54, with a differential of .052 and a PSA of .015. It has 5 inches of flare.
Coverstock: The Genius has the Honor Roll Hybrid coverstock around it, using black, green and gold to make it shine down the lanes.
900 Global: Network: Hook 53 - Length 16 - Breakpoint Shape 17.
Intent: 900 Global offers its newest covertstock blend and its strongest asymmetrical core to date in order to get you "on the network" to conquer your lanes.
Core: The Network uses the CFT2 asymmetrical core with an RG of 2.49, a differential of .051 with a PSA of .030. It has 5 inches of flare.
Coverstock: The gold and caramel XPT74 pearl cover is finished with neaT (4000 grit).
Brunswick: Johnny Petraglia LT-48: Hook 46 - Length 16 - Breakpoint Shape 13.
Intent: The Johnny Petraglia LT-48 is the first in the Vintage Series by Brunswick. The company is bringing back the great balls of the past and adapting them for modern lane conditions.
Core: The symmetrical LT-48 Medium RG core has an old school-looking block with a tall and solid cylindrical design. The RG is a high 2.60 with a lower differential of .038, producing 2 to 3 inches of flare.
Coverstock: The LT-48 has a retro slick black color. The finish is sanded with a 500 Siaair Micro Pad polished with Royal Compound and finished with Royal Shine.
So there you go. You now have the basics to help you make an informed decision. When I processed this data, some things did come to mind. Maybe my thoughts will help you.
My intent is to get a lighter bowling ball so I really didn't give a hoot about the manufacturer's intent. As for the core, who cares what's inside the ball when you can't even see it. RG doesn't mean anything to me unless there is III following it. The differential makes no difference to me and I believe your PSA number is a little too personal to share.
The coverstock seems to be telling you the color of the ball, which unlike your automobile is not particularly important. I can tell you that the Network looks like a candy bar that was left in the sun.
Hook, length and breakpoint shape? Whatever.
So maybe we need some more information. The folks who reviewed these three balls also went bowling with them and provided an overview. Much of what they had to say dealt with different oil conditions, another factor that means little to me. They did however say something of potential value, so I will pass that on as well.
The Mastermind Genius. The Genius lived up to its hype. I guess that means if you can figure out what they say it will do - it does it. Good to know that it delivers on a promise even if we can't figure out what the promise is.
The Network. The Network provides a strong mid-line roll with a pop off the spot because of the pearlized cover. Uh, what?
The LT-48. This ball allows slower ball speed bowlers to get the ball down the lane and save the energy for impact on the pins.
Of the three balls the LT-48 has the most appeal for me for three different reasons. First of all they did not mention the personal PSA number. Secondly it is supposed to fit slower ball speed bowlers and I surely qualify in that respect. Last but not least is the fact that I have owned three bowling balls in my life. The second was an Ammo. My current ball is a Track. My first? A Johnny Petraglia LT-48.
Whether I pull the trigger on a new ball or not remains to be seen. For me the game boils down to a) throw the ball down the lane and b) if pins remain standing - repeat the process.
Any ball can handle that strategy. Just make it a little lighter please.
Here are scores from around the leagues for the past week.
Sportsman: Scott Hartsel 709, Ken Butturff Jr. 674, Alex Wagner 669, Scott Ferguson 660, Rich Yates Jr. 631, Jim Archer 616 and Rich Yates Sr. 600.
55 Plus: Rick Hanna 633, Bill Mizen 584, Bob Reinhart 568, Jim Ruess 567, Paul Gosche 531, Jim Ferstler 509, Dick Gabel 475, Dan Coppes 447, John Ferstler 444 and Jim Donaldson 430.
Rocket: Tyson Shope 691, Steve Barnes 646, Tim Sturgill 631, John Funk 566, Dave Coppus 549 and Dottie Funk 525.
Alley Cats: Robin Dickman 622, Carla Siebenaller 533, Jan Houk 523, Deb Cleveland 500 and Jamie Thom 488.
Twilight: Tom Tiell 693, Chad Tiell 672, Steve Barnes 670, Kevin Young 651, Rhonda Fitch 485, Michelle Wagner 437 and Robin Brownell 425.
Big 8: Scott Plickert 709, Dave Ross 669, Matt Hoover 667, Greg Tiell 663, Brian King 660, Ryan Chevalier 660, Rich Yates Jr. 655, Jim Ross 649, Brian Soals 648, Gary Golden 647, Dave Westbrook 643, Tom Tiell 639, Mark Huffman 639, Chris King 631, Jeff Smith 629, Rich Yates Sr. 621, Dennis Scherger 620, Chuck Jones 620, Jim Hershberger 613, Aaron Sherman 601 and Mike Babcock 600.
Imperial-Majorette: Steve Steinmetz Jr. 737, Ben Hoyda 643, Benji Hoyda 608, Tracy Gerber 606, Deb Nominee 517, Linda Brookes 443 and Phyllis Hyde 437.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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