AMF: Bull Whip SE

by Bob Johnson 0

52 Hook 15.5 Length 16.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Bull Whip Special Edition is the other go-to option in the AMF retro line,” says Eric Thomas of 900 Global. “Featuring a classic version of the Bull Whip core that has an RG of 2.52 and differential of .051, coupled with our F73 pearl cover, the Bull Whip picks up right where the original left off, whipping back ends with ease.”

Core Design: The symmetric design is slightly modified from the original Bull Whip’s core. The RG has been raised to 2.52 and the differential remains strong at .052. We saw up to 6 inches of track flare with our strong 3-inch pin distance using a lower quadrant weight hole. You can watch Dick Weber throw the original Bull Whip in a 1997 commercial posted on YouTube.

Coverstock: AMF decided to upgrade the veneer for the Bull Whip SE with its F73 pearl reactive. This cover is one of the stronger pearlized formulas available today. It comes factory-polished and is colored in red with bronze pearl. Response time in dry is quick and strong, while oil traction is very limited. The Ra value is low, which increases length.

Test Results: The Bull Whip SE is a powerful pearl for medium to medium-heavy oil volumes. The core/cover combination matches perfectly for bowlers requiring fast revs with a strong arc or flip breakpoint shape. The Bull Whip SE allowed us to play 4 to 8 boards inside the oil line and either swing it toward friction or keep it inside the friction line. The aggressive F73 cover handled oil carrydown and allowed us to stay with it for quite some time throughout the breakdown transition. It’s always nice to be able to keep a great reacting ball in your hands when the lanes begin to change.

When to Use: With the strong cover and high-flaring core, this ball will suit many a player on many a condition. With OOB finish, our best looks were on medium oil volumes, both fresh and broken down. Players opting for a slower, smoother response off friction should consider using layouts with the pin positioned below the fingers. For my test staff, this layout design was 2 to 3 boards less flippy downlane than our pin position above the fingers.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.