Brunswick has put out a great new line of equipment that includes the Melee, Mastermind, Mastermind Genius, Ringer, Ringer Platinum, and the “new” LT-48. Here, we look at the Melee and the two Masterminds.
Specs here. Drilling: 90 x 41/8 x 60 which puts the pin just outside my ring finger with the CG in a line towards my thumb with no weight hole. I am a big fan of control drillings, as I do not usually have hooking head problems.
Reaction: Medium hook, very smooth with great continuation through the pins. Reads both the friction and the hold in a controllable and predictable manner, allowing one to play a more direct line on a wet/dry shot instead of having to cross the oil. Might not be aggressive enough for high-speed and/or low rev players. Shot 300 my third game with this ball.
Specs here. Drilling: 55 x 5 ¼ x 35 which puts the pin about 1” above my ring finger and the CG in line with my thumb, and the mass bias even with and about 2” left of my thumb. I normally shy away from pin up drillings but this cover is so aggressive I figured I needed a little length.
Mastermind Reaction: Maximum hook, and then more hook. I had to polish before I could get it anywhere down lane. Being in New England there are generally drier conditions (especially in winter where the sand and salt get on the lanes). However, I have been on shots in California where even this would not have been enough. With the polish and a hand position that delays hook I was able to line up well inside the oil line with a relatively slow loop, generating amazing read in the oil, unlimited swing, and fantastic pin carry.
Specs here. Drilling: 55 x 4 3/4 x 35 which puts the ring finger through the pin – my favorite control drilling. The CG kicks slightly out in line with my thumb and the Mass Bias is below and left of my thumb by about 3”. No weight hole.
Genius Reaction: The best Brunswick ball I’ve thrown. Allows me to move just inside the wet/dry line and stroke it out across the oil. Reads perfectly with great recovery when swung to the dry and drives relentlessly when pulled up the oil. I bowled league the first time with this ball and the only misses were on the dry lane when I laid it down too short. Other than that – perfect. I realized at the end of the night I didn’t need my spare ball because I didn’t leave a single corner, which is unheard of for me on a league shot – that’s all I usually leave.
SUMMARY: Brunswick balls are known for strong roll and not a lot of flip, and from what I’ve seen of this line they are true to that heritage.* However, the difference in this generation is continuation through the pins – these balls get to the pocket and don’t even consider deflecting. This feature gives the bowler the best of both worlds – a controlled shape making it easier to stay in the pocket / follow the transition combined with amazing pin carry. Nice job Brunswick!
DISCLOSURE: While I selected and bought the Melee and Mastermind on my own, Parker Bohn arranged to send me a Mastermind Genius. I am not officially on staff.
* – Most players could probably get both the Genius and the Melee to skid/flip with the right drilling and some surface management.