Bombtech Grenade Driver
With a name like Bombtech Grenade, you would expect my review to begin this review with claims of picking up 25 yards and crushing drives like Gary Woodland. While I do believe the Bombtech Driver may give you extra distance off the tee, I want to begin by telling you why this driver is different than any driver you will find in a store and why it might be the best driver you have ever bought.
Let’s roll back the clock to 2010 when company founder, Tyler Sullivan (“Sully”), was experimenting with different clubs trying to find one that fit his game. Frustrated with the quality of drivers and a mind for tinkering, he started building clubs from assorted pieces and parts. With some success under his belt he approached the University of Vermont with the idea of developing a brand new driver designed from the ground up. So, along with a team of fresh faced senior Engeering geeks, the Bombtech Grenade was launched.
Common sense would say that there is no way anyone can touch a driver market that is dominated by billion dollar powerhouses like Taylormade and Callaway but that is where you would be wrong. The way I see it, there are two basic things that go into making a driver: 1) design and 2) manufacturing.
Sure the big boys have a team of smart people working on their product line, but there is no monopoly on brain power and sometimes design breakthroughs occur in the most unlikely of places. As evidence to my proposition, I would point to the boutique putter and wedge market where some of the finest selection is crafted by tiny companies.
The second part of the equation is actually making the driver. This is where the major brands have both and advantage and dis-advanatage. Clearly they have access to huge manufacturing and command enormous purchasing power. On the other hand, I believe that once a product goes into mass production there is a certain reduction in the basic attention to detail. This is where small companies like Bombtech have an upper hand as they can obsess over every tiny detail until it is perfect and maintain a level of quality control unheard of in mass manufacturing.
Before I ever saw the Bombtech Grenade, I spent and hour speaking with Sully to get some background and learn why he thinks it is the best driver on the market. Admittedly, about 25% of the conversation went over my head but what I clearly understood was how passionate he is about his craft.
For those of you looking to really get under the numbers and the technology behind the Bombtech, you can read a full synopsis of the design process which includes tables, charts and a whole lot of equations that make my head spin.
The first time I actually hit the Bombtech Grenade driver was exactly two minutes before I teed off. That particular day I was playing a new course so I cannot say for sure if I drove the ball farther than normal, but I certainly felt very comfortable. There was also a couple of times I honestly though I had mis-hit the ball but to my surprise each one flew much straighter than I expected. Since that time, I still feel the Bombtech is quite forgiving.
Now on to the all important “but is it longer?” question. For this test I did two things. First I played my regular course about 10 times where I know the yardage and where I land the ball. As a 10 handicapper, I know there are lots of factors going into how far I hit the ball on a given day but I can confidently say the Bombtech is at least as long as other drivers I play with and maybe about 7-10 yards longer.
Secondly, I took it into Golf Galaxy where I know a few of the guys. I hit it in the launch monitor and low and behold it went about 7 yards farther than all the other drivers I have hit in there (which is just about every driver on the market). However, I am not a long hitter so I let one of the Golf Galaxy staff guys hit it. I asked him how far he usually hits his driver to which he said “about 300 yards”. Firstly, I did not believe him but then he hauled off and hit the Bombtech 308 yards. He then hit about 5 more the same distance after which he turned to me and asked “where can I buy this?”
My other antidotal evidence of the distance came on the driving range when I passed the club to a buddy who also is a big hitter. One swing and he exclaimed…and I quote “Holy Fuck this thing is hot”. He then hit three more and asked if we could switch drivers. He has a brand new big name brand driver.
As regular readers know, I am not a gear-head so I am not going to give you all of the phsyics of the driver. However, there are a few basic features that are worth noting. First, it is not an adjustable driver. While some may see this as a disadvantage, I personally think adjustability is over-rated. I like to find a driver that I like and never mess with the settings. Additionally, the current Grenade only comes in 10.5 loft although I expect that to change as the product line grows.
A few other tech notes. First, the driver is made from a 2 piece cast mold and plasma welded face plate. The Bombtech comes with a Matrix shaft in a number of flexes and lengths. Turning the driver over, you will notice the dual cavity design which promotes club speed and bounce. Again, this stuff goes over my head but it looks bad-ass and fits my bill.
Aesthetically, the Bombtech has a nice black matte finish on the club and shiny black paint on the bottom. Beyond the color, the quality of the paint is above average which is another example of Sully’s attention to detail. While you may never think about paint, turn over your driver and take a peak. See how it looks like it is 20 years old? That is because many large manufactures use cheap paint. On the other hand, Bombtech only uses premium paint which will last much longer. Again, small companies sweat the details!
So here is my bottom line: The Bomtech Grenade Driver is chock full of technology and physics. It was not designed to be fancy or have a gimmick but simply to outperform other clubs on the market. The simple fact that it was concieved and built by a small team of incredibly invested people.
The Bombtech Grenade driver retails for $299 and can be purchased on the Bombtech website.