Roto Grip Idol Pro Ball Review
Layout: 125 degrees x 1 1/2" x 45 degrees
Surface: 3000 grit polished
Core shape: Symmetric
What I wanted from this ball: In the sport league that I bowl at Ward Parkway Lanes, I find the track area of the lane to be so worn that many of the patterns play very wet/dry. With a very defined hook spot in the 8-12 board area, and lots of oil in the pattern in the middle of the lane, I wanted a ball that would hook early and "set" in the backend. Smooth roll and low amounts of backend motion was the goal here.
What I ended up with in this ball: Not surprising since I used this drilling, I got exactly what I bargained for. This is a "specialty" layout that I believe most travelling weekend bowlers should have in their bag throughout the year. It's one of those balls/layouts that you're unlikely to use a lot, but when you do you'll have a significant advantage over the bowlers that don't. Using a short pin to positive axis point distance lays the core on its side as it rolls off the bowler's hand. This creates stability in the ball the moment you let it go. It doesn't have the imbalance created by normal layouts, so it simply sits there on its side all the way down the lane. I see about 1" to 1 1/2" of track flare from this ball, where standard layouts would produce 5" to 6" of track flare. All of this combines to give me smooth motion with limited change of direction in the backend.
You'll notice that I polished this ball from the factory spec of 3000 grit sanded. My axis tilt and axis rotations are low enough that with the duller surface, this ball would hook too early and force me to move left. But without the change in direction down lane, I'd simply end up with a weak hitting ball. By polishing the surface, it allows me to stay further right when the conditions create the advantage to do so. Short oil patterns, flatter sport patters, and wet/dry lane conditions (particularly from left to right wet/dry) will all be a good spot for this piece.
While not a standard layout to use for a ball review, I can tell you that I've seen many of these going down the lane and they look to be pretty solid for a wide range of styles. That's typically our indicator that the ball matches up on a lot of conditions, and is one that bowlers trust. Take a look at the Idol Pro for a mid-price ball that offers great versatility!