Brunswick Aura Ball Review
By Tina Marie Caouette
Before I get into the heart of my review please take a moment to look over my Drill Sheet as well as the picture of the layout. I use these sheets for my records. If you have any questions please feel free to post them below and I will try to answer them as soon as I can. Also, keep in mind that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Please consult a qualified Pro Shop or Coach to help customize a layout for your game. Initial test was done on a typical house shot, however I did throw a few on a longer modified house shot as well and will additionally add my thoughts.
My personal specs:
PAP: 4 ¾” over 1/8” up.
Speed: 18-19 MPH
Rev Rate: 325-350 (Tweener)
Dual Angle Drilling: 60 x 4 ¼” x 50
I bought the Mystic to compliment my Aura. I love my Aura but needed something to get through the heads smoother when the shot starts to break down. I was hoping this ball would be a good match.
The Mystic’s release was July of 2013 and after seeing how strong the Aura was, I looked forward to drilling this ball out as well. In theory, this new Optimum Versatility Reactive Coverstock was to provide more length as well as more backend than the Aura. The core of the Mystic is the same as the Aura, the Aura Ultra Low RG. For those not familiar with this core it is a single density rounded-off elliptical inner core, which extends the rotational energy, boosting angular velocity and increase transfer of energy to the pins.
Before I get into what I think in regards to the layout and lanes condition, you first really need to understand what we did for this layout.
All that technically stuff! This was a short pin only 2” and requested by design so we could do what I wanted to do with the drilling angles. The numbers for the drill are 60 x 4 1/4 x 50. We had to adjust the centerline a bit but still ended up drilling the ring finger into the pin. Now normally I am not a fan of this but have had previous balls that rolled well. Mainly on sport patterns but they did roll well. The ball has 5/8” side and a 1/2” finger weight. I tested the ball before drilling a weight hole to see which quadrant we wanted the hole. I loved the motion before we drilled the weight hole and was very apprehensive of how it would react once we drilled the hole. Now keep in mind my PAP is 4 ¾” over and a 1/8” up. We kept the 27/32 weight hole on the VAL and drilled it only 1 ¾” hoping to keep the overall shape and motion the same. It did effect the motion a bit but not as drastic as I thought it might.
I will say my first reaction was for a Pro Performance ball it did manage to get through the front of the lane consistent even on a worn house shot. I am a fan of solids for my game especially for tournament shots, as they tend to be smoother off the end of the pattern. This ball’s design, according to Brunswick, is to be more angular. I really didn’t see that in the ball. It was strong off the end of the pattern and very continuous but I wouldn’t say angular compared to some of the other Brunswick equipment I’ve thrown.
I first tried the ball on a typical house shot and I loved it. However, the second time I was not as impressed. The more I thought about the reasoning the more it made perfect sense due to the dual angle drilling. Let me explain. The first time was in a center that uses the Ice Oil which is a bit thicker than most of the other center’s oil in town. This extra oil gets the ball down the lane and tames the backend reaction. This ball has a rough buff but looks and rolls more like a Pearl up front. Now if I was just looking for a house-shot ball I don’t think I would have gone with this type of drilling and I know I wouldn’t have drilled into the pin. Now read below on why I like this ball.
Having tried it on a number of different sport shots, I really liked the layout for this ball. This is again, based solely on my rev rate and ball speed, and on SPORTS SHOTS. It seems the flatter the pattern the better this ball reacted for me. It had a consistent and predictable motion to the pocket and I could keep the ball in front of me as well as more down and in. The minute, which is why the house shot was a problem, I tried and covered to many boards this ball was very unpredictable in reading the lane. Again, if I wanted it for a house shot I would have laid it out differently for sure. The patterns I did test it on where the 2013 Master’s Pattern, Viper, Scorpion and WTBA Seoul.
I will say those with a lot of hand (high rev rate) or slower ball speed (under 16 MPH) should really like this ball but again watch for the drilling angles. Those, especially with slower speeds, that want to play the track area or bounce to the gutter will really have to watch the drilling angles and might not find this ball a good fit unless they have a very low rev rate. I didn’t play with the surface, as I really liked how smooth this ball got through the heads so I can’t comment on surface adjustment. I wanted to try to keep the surface factory but might take and play with the surface just to see if I can get a reaction for a house shot I like.
Overall, I am still up in the air about this ball. If you drill it out drill it for a purpose. I don’t think you can drill this ball for a house shot and get a great reaction on a tournament or sport shot; the same can-be-said for the opposite. So if you’re looking for a ball to use on a wide range of house and/or sport shots either get two and drill them differently or go with a ball like the Brawler.
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