Elite: Gold

by Bob Johnson 0

51 Hook 15 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Elite specializes in niche-type balls for the bowler who wants something unique and performance-oriented,” says Nick Melnikoff of Elite. “The Gold continues Elite’s long-standing history of proven ‘oilers,’ but this time with a newly developed pearlized E85M cover formula.”

Core Design: The Gold Rush symmetric core measured in at 2.46 Rg, which revs quickly and smoothly. The .052 diff enabled nearly 5.5 inches of flare with stronger drillings, also good for added hook. All layouts rolled smoothly with an arcing finish whether pins were above or below the fingers.

Coverstock: The Gold’s E85M coverstock is the strongest pearl cover from Elite to date. The factory finish is 1500-grit polished, which adds to its medium length. Colors are a manly blend of blacks and gold. Response time off dry is quick, and oil traction is slightly above average. The 1.70 Ra is best for medium volumes.

Test Results: The combination of a strong pearl cover and a high-flaring, low-RG core is destined to supply controlled back-end power with easy front-lane push. The Gold handled medium and heavier volumes with ease, and finished with a hard-arcing breakpoint shape. When faced with a broken-down midlane, the Gold did read a little early and lost some back-end continuation, but Elite has many tamer balls to handle such conditions. When compared to the Elite Platinum (August 2011), which shares the E85M cover, the Gold was a couple of boards stronger and about a foot “sooner,” with a similar hard move when leaving the pattern.

When to Use: The majority of player styles will be able to use the Gold on most fresh house shots with light-medium to medium-heavy oil amounts. Players looking for an earlier mid-lane reaction can sand the Gold with 1000 or 2000 grits and see a much earlier motion, as well as more total hook in the oil. High-gloss polishes will always get you added length and flip, but also can create some down-lane touchiness or carrydown wiggle. We loved our 50x4x50 layout on many of the fresh Sport and house shots used in testing. On the burn, we had better looks with our 65x5x35 dual-angle layout, which provided more push and a quicker response when playing deeper angles.

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.

BJI Subscribe Now