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The Idol
Review Date: 14 August 2018

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.50" over and 1" up

The IDOL is a brand new creation in the HP-3 segment of the Roto Grip lineup.  It is driven by a brand new Ikon Core and wrapped with the likewise brand new MicroTrax S-18 solid cover – one of the strongest Roto Grip covers to date, an enhancement of the Micro DNA solid cover on the original NO RULES.  It has moderate RG at 2.49 but mega flare potential at 0.052. 
 I have to say, this ball fooled me at first.  It’s one of the most unique balls I’ve thrown in a long time – unique in a good way!  I completely underestimated the strength of its cover the first few times I threw it.  Here’s the deal.  The IDOL is not going to boomerang for you, so if that’s what you’re looking for, look elsewhere.  Some have described it as similar to the HAYWIRE, but I don’t see the forward tumbling motion here that I had and still like about the HAYWIRE.  What I see here is strong, smooth arc.  In the vast majority of the circumstances, especially if you do some serious tournament bowling, the IDOL, I believe, should be a mainstay.
If you’ve been watching PBA Tour, PWBA Tour, and especially PBA50 Tour at all this year since the release of the IDOL you have seen it get a LOT of lane time.  It’s just that uniquely good.   It’s a welcome combination of cover strong enough to handle any amount of volume and any viscosity of oil with a core that doesn’t create craziness and unpredictable ball motion off the spot. 
There are some who have fought the IDOL reading too soon.  I drilled my first one with a standard pin-over layout for me.  Roughly 5.25 Pin to PAP.   Approximately a 55 degree drilling angle.  And then, as I often do these days to grab just a little bit of extra easy length, I rolled the layout up relative to my grip center so that the pin buffer ended up being about 2.5 from my VAL.  I was not seeing any of the read-too-early, hook-too early stuff that some others were.  However, in preparation for Syracuse this year, I did drill a second IDOL pin under --- about 5 inches Pin to PAP and about an 75 degree drilling angle and left it at box finish --- and around town practicing it hooked at my toes.  One of the rare occasions I’ve seen THAT much difference between what are standard pin-up and pin-down drillings for me.
The IDOL has performed well for me – with surface tweaking – on everything from medium to long sport patterns with medium to heavy volume.  It helped me salvage a nice 668 set in Singles in Syracuse after I spent Doubles unnecessarily struggling for 568 and going through four other balls that in my head made more sense given what the pattern seemed to be.  If I had gone to the IDOL near the outset of Doubles it would have been plenty to handle the pattern and my 1929 AE score would certainly have been over 2000.
For a league bowler in the STL, as many learned in our summer 2Ball Challenge League this year, you might likely not think that the IDOL is really “all that” because it’s behavior --- while enormously effective especially on sport --- will look pretty understated compared to many other options on the market.  It will score, but it won’t look like a behemoth doing it.  However, as said above, the combination of cover and core here is one you won’t find on anything else I’ve seen….and, I bet, especially the serious tournament bowler will undoubtedly find himself or herself facing someone beating your brains in with an IDOL and wonder “why didn’t I get one of those.”

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA  Diff. 
16 2.49 0.049 N/A
15 2.49 0.052 N/A
14 2.54 0.049 N/A
13 2.59 0.045 N/A
12 2.65 0.035 N/A
11 N/A N/A N/A
10 N/A N/A N/A