Hammer Envy Tour Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 45 degrees x 4 1/2" x 70 degrees
Surface: 1000 Sia Air
Core shape: Asymmetric
Manufacturer's Intent: Obsession Tour was one of the most unique releases over the last few seasons; the asymmetric core with a low RG and low Differential offers bowlers a shape they have not seen before. The Obsession Tour is always in our pro’s bags, and the ball still wins tournaments. The Envy Tour was developed to add a stronger and more responsive cover to the Obsession Tour core, creating that same unique shape, just more of it. Bowlers will love the solid black color and the dark purple logos that don’t show as the ball travels down the lane, and the extra mid-lane and recovery will make this a popular ball for everyone.
I used my pin down layout on this asymmetric core release by Hammer. I don't often drill asymmetric balls with lower pin layouts, but this lower differential core shape gives me the ability to create an earlier rolling ball without seeing it roll out down lane. Envy Tour's differential (.034") on a high-performance ball is pretty unique in the bowling industry. Most high-performance balls feature large differentials with strong mass bias ratings designed for super heavy oil. What makes Envy Tour unique is the super dull, aggressive cover and finish combined with a lower differential core system. The end result is an early rolling, smooth backend type of product that exhibits a strong but continuous shape throughout the lane.
With the 1000 grit Sia Air surface, Envy Tour is best on medium to heavy oil lane conditions. With the lower flare potential, it's also going to perform best when the backends are strong and the lanes are fresh. For my game personally, I also preferred Envy Tour when I can go more direct up the outside of the lane. The smoother shape at the breakpoint becomes an advantage when you can go a little straighter with this piece. When moving too far left, the smoother backend becomes a bit of a negative unless you have above average axis rotation on the ball.
I personally don't care for many of the Brunswick covers with polish added to them, so I haven't made any surface adjustments to this one yet. When looking for more length, my preference is to simply take them up to 2000 or 4000 grit Sia Air or Abralon, and let them laneshine from there. My plan with the Envy Tour is to simply let it laneshine for 15-20 games and see how the reaction changes. I'm hoping over time I'll see a little more length with a similar breakpoint.
This ball has all kinds of potential at USBC Nationals, where the backends are super crisp and control (with hook) is needed. It could also be in play at Greater Ozarks this year, depending on the pair you draw and the weekend you bowl (and who you bowl with). At times, Sunshine can be super slick, requiring an early rolling, smooth backend ball like the Envy Tour. This one is 100% going to be in my bag for the trip to the Open Championships this year. I'm not sure what surface it will be yet.
We'll most likely be drilling these a touch stronger than normal for most of our customers to make sure you see enough track flare out of the ball. If you have questions about the Envy Tour, give us a call or stop by the store and check them out. They're in stock now in both 14# and 15#!