Brunswick Mastermind 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: 35 x 3 ¾ x 60
When I decided to drill this Mastermind, it was for one reason…LONG OIL/HEAVY OIL.
The Mastermind was released in November of 2013 and after seeing how strong the Aura was, I looked forward to drilling this ball out as well. According to Brunswick, this new Honor Roll Solid reactive coverstock was innovative technology and the most aggressive coverstock to date for Brunswick. As I am a speed-dominate player that appealed to me on long oil. My question, would dropping the surface down result like my Storm Balls and burnout early thus hitting flat?
I will say that I was amazed at how smooth even at 180 Abralon the ball got through the ends without losing energy. Those who are not speed dominate will find that dropping the surface below the factory finish might never be required. Those with high rev rates mind find the opposite and opt to go up in surface adjustments; a rarity for balls designed for oil.
The Mastermind’s ball core had a lot to do with energy transfer down lane. The new Mastermind Ultra Low RG core features a single density squared-off elliptical inner core. In layman’s terms, it retains a lot of energy, still gets angular down lane, and the transfer of energy just shreds the pins for great carry. According to Brunswick, the hook potential for this ball was 240 on their chart that only goes to 225. I have to agree as I was amazed at the hook, yet still had control even on a typical house shot just by playing with surface adjustments. This ball has similar shape down lane to the Mystic and Paranormal however it is a beast through the front part of the lane on heavier oil.
I first tried the ball on a typical house shot and was surprised how deep, for a lefty I could get and score. I was also pleasantly surprised how I could still get out to the dry and the ball didn’t just kick right or burn early. Those with little hand or slow ball speed (women) will find this ball could easily increase their carry in the end. Those with hand might be surprise that they can still use this ball on a house shot and open up their lines to the pocket without sacrificing energy lost through the pins.
The second time I tried this ball was on the Badger, 52 feet of oil, pattern. Every Storm ball I owed just about backed up on this pattern and I couldn’t get anyone of them to wrinkle a board. I got the same reaction with this ball, AT FIRST! I think those with a heavy rev rate or slower ball speed might have had a bit more luck. That is when I started to drop the surface. Once I got down to 500 the ball made a small move, maybe two boards, yet still had plenty of energy at the pins. I dropped the surface down to 360, something I could never do with the Storm balls as they would burn early and have nothing left at the pins. I got another two boards of hook and still didn’t lose any power on the backend. I had to keep the lines tight, right down the 10 board on this pattern and didn’t have much room for mistakes. Again, my speed would have something to do with that as well. I sat looking at my Abralon pads and noticed the 180 pad. Hey, I’m in practice why not! I dropped that surface to 180 expecting the ball would just burn up at 40 feet. Okay, this ball is just awesome. Even at 180, I was able to stand on 19 hit 13 to 10 and have plenty of recovery down lane on the Badger Pattern. Yeah, 279 with the Mastermind on the Badger. Really! I now have a ball that when I hear the word heavy oil, I go…BRING IT ON! The continuation of this ball through the pins even at 180 was unconceivable. Now I can’t stress enough this pattern is severely long and my ball speed extremely high. Those with slower ball speeds or high rev rates would never be able to keep this ball on the lane. I expect to see many Brunswick players dominate the tour on the Badger pattern with this ball.
I was looking forward to drilling out a Paranormal, but now might just wait for the Mastermind Genius, which from the reviews will compliment this the original Mastermind easily.
Now for all that technically stuff! This was a short pin only 1 ½” so we were able to do what I wanted to do with the drilling angles. The numbers for the drill are 35 x 3/34 x 60. We had to adjust the centerline up just a bit to avoid drilling into the pin with my ring finger. This got the pin under my ring finger and starts up very early. The ball has 5/8” side and a 5/8” finger weight. I tested the ball before drilling a weight hole to see which quadrant we wanted the hole. Now keep in mind my PAP is 4 ¾” over and a 1/8” up. We did keep the 29/32 weight hole on the VAL but dropped it down 1 ½ inches that got the ball to go a bit earlier yet kept the overall shape.
I will say those with lower ball speeds will find this ball could easily make them look like someone with a lot of hand. On the right side of the lane, it might be a bit too strong unless you go with a higher Dual Angle Drilling number as well as some polish. Lower rev players will like the added motion they will get off the dry thus increasing their angles and carry percentage. Even on a typical house shot, this ball at factory finish was very playable for me and it should be the same even on the right side of the lane. I might also add that I used this Mastermind heavenly during Team Trials. By adjusting the surface, I was able to play this ball on a variety of patterns. Many use the Storm Disturb on a variety of patterns this Mastermind will do the same thing for all you Brunswick fans. Exceedingly glad I made switch! Now just have to get up to speed with all their new and old equipment.
New Brunswick Equipment
The Absolute Nirvana combines the Nirvana Ultra Low RG core with our new ECS Hook coverstock to produce strong mid lane traction with outstanding continuation through the pins on heavy oil lane conditions.
The purple/light blue Fanatic features the I-Block Symmetric core matched with the new Relativity V coverstock to provide outstanding all-purpose ball motion.
The Mastermind Strategy combines the Relativity Solid Reactive coverstock with the Modified Mastermind Asymmetric core for a ball motion that is very similar to the proven performance of the original Mastermind.