Bowler Ratings


Bowler ratings are from 1 to 10 in order of Stroker (ST), Tweener (TW), Cranker (CR)

General Info

Reviewed:December 2011
Coverstock Specs
Name:New Standard Reactive Hybrid
Type:Reactive Hybrid
Box Finish:800 Abranet / 1000 / 2000 / 4000 Abralon
Color:Purple / Silver / Orange / Plum
Core Specs
Int. Diff:0.000

For details on our standard test layouts, please click here.

The Columbia 300 Benchmark takes the proven core of the Power Swing and surrounds it with the first marketed Columbia 300 hybrid reactive cover. The cover is three parts solid to one part pearl, giving the Benchmark added length over a traditional fully solid cover, but a smoother downlane motion than a purely pearl veneer. This ball at the box finish matched up with nearly everything we threw it on.

The best reaction the testers had was on the medium test pattern. The Benchmark glides through the front of the lane and starts using its energy in the midlane. The ball has enough hook downlane to avoid flat hits in the pocket, but is far from an angular motion. We are usually skeptical lately of balls claiming to be smooth and predictable because they have hooked more than we expected. This was not the case with the Benchmark. We were able to find some success with it at the box finish on every test pattern.

Because of the difference in rev rate, Stroker had the best reaction on the dry test pattern. What the other testers found when they moved left was that the Benchmark gave as smooth a transition as it exited the oil pattern as it did on the medium pattern. For Cranker and Tweener, it was just a matter of getting their feet far enough left. None of the testers had to adjust the box finish.

On the oily test pattern, Cranker squared up to the lane with his feet and target and was easily able to strike with the Benchmark at the 4000 Abralon box finish. Stroker and Tweener were able to get out around the first arrow. One of the benefits of the New Standard Hybrid cover being three parts solid is that it gave them the traction needed to strike with the box finish on this pattern. To see if it would help our reactions any, we roughed Tweener and Stroker’s Benchmarks with 2000 Abralon. This caused the Benchmark to start quicker, but stand up more as it went through the pins, making their carry suffer.

The Benchmark was good on our sport pattern, offering significant traction with superb control. Keep this one in the bag to not give up the pocket on difficult lane conditions.

Performance Ratings

This cover and core combination uses its energy in the middle section of the lane. This ball is smooth and predictable.
This new coverstock gives this ball enough bite for oily lanes and just enough skid on drier lanes. This is right up there with the Ransom Demand in terms of versatility.
Back End15
As expected from a ball with a medium RG and hybrid coverstock, the back end on the Benchmark is a controlled motion. If you’re looking for more angle, look into the Eruption.
Total Hook49
The Benchmark will be a fine choice for bowlers to start with. This ball should be right in the middle of Columbia 300’s lineup in relation to overall hook.


The strength is in its name. The Benchmark lives up to its calling as a ball that combines power and predictability.


The only conditions that will keep the Benchmark from being thrown are a flood of oil or not oiling the lanes every day. Surface changes can be made to help with these patterns, but there are better ball options.

Overall Summary

The Benchmark will be the ball for Columbia 300 fans to start with. If you want to see more hook, pick up an Encounter or Ransom Demand. If you need a little less, try an Eruption or Freeze.

Columbia 300 Benchmark Comparisons

Click below to see a comparison table of each pair of bowling balls shown:

To compare the Columbia 300 Benchmark to any other bowling ball(s), please use our Bowling Ball Comparison tool.

The BTM Ball Testing Team

About The BTM Ball Testing Team

The BTM Ball Testing Team is led by Eric Martinez. Our team of three testers has thrown and reviewed hundreds of bowling balls for Bowling This Month. When not testing balls for BTM, Eric owns and operates University Pro Shop in San Antonio, TX and he is an avid competitive bowler. Click here to learn more about how we test and review bowling balls.