BOOM! Bombtech's slogan of choice. Sully, their owner and originator set on a journey to produce a driver that not only outperforms the market share of big-brand drivers, but also does so at half the cost. The products they produce are in bold colors and seek to make a statement when you pull them out of their respective covers and tee up. Do they stack up? Keep reading for our first-impressions of the Grenade 3.0. After a little more testing we'll follow-up with some data and final thoughts.
**Edited** We finally were able to get some data on the driver and update! Thanks for the wait. Photos and video to come!
Who tested the club?
For this series we had three testers take a rip at the Grenade 3.0: (1) The Four Putt Prince; (2) Fairway Queen; and, (3) KrolMaks.
The Four Putt Prince-- the author and yours truly--is an 18 handicap male that recently picked up golf with an athletic build, high swing speed, and stone-hands around the green. Best known for "accidentally" bombing Par 4s for 300+ over the green, artfully chipping back on, only to end up putting for bogeys. Known weaknesses are unnecessary body movement when trying to do too much, trying to track the ball early, and the occasional wicked slice.
The Fairway Queen is exactly that-- a Fairway Queen. She's an athletic 12 handicap female who specializes in finding good terrain regardless of the par, hole, or conditions. The Fairway queen is the type to drive a bunker only to have the ball skip out over the lip, launch skyward and roll for another 20 yards. Her drives are picturesque only punctuated by the smirk and smile when she smokes you from the Men's tees. Her other strengths are chipping for clean putts. Known weaknesses include "rescue" anything clubs and hitting woods off the deck.
KrolMaks is the self-proclaimed King of the Course, showing up in the exact same outfit whether its 55 degrees outside or 105 degrees-- LONG pants, starched collar polos, and a cap to doff when he sinks putts with flair. KM is a tall, lanky player whose strengths include extreme focus in sticky situations and sharp reads on greens. Known weaknesses are consistency and tempo of his strokes. KM runs about a 30 handicap with strokes of brilliance followed by shots that make you scratch your head.
The unit we tested was a standard weight and length Grenade 3.0 in their "Stiff" Flex shaft. The specs below are taken directly from their site. Our model was a 9*.
BombTech 3.0 Driver Club Head Specs
Face Material: Titanium
Head Weight: 200 grams
Face Angle: 1* closed
Hosel Depth: 38mm
Hosel Diameter: 0.335 inches
Dexterity: Right Handed
BombTech 3.0 Shaft Specs
Weight: Regular 54 G, Stiff 56
Driver Length: 45.75 inches
I'll admit, the Grenade 3.0 is not a club for everyone. I personally happen to love neon/lime green and black in just about every combination so the Grenade 3.0 popped to my eyes and brought a smile to my face. Having said that, the club is downright garish to others. On public courses, we had several people come up to us(within 6 feet!) to ask questions after hearing the club-holder tee off (more on this later ). At private clubs, we may have... possibly... potentially... maybe offended the sensibilities of some of the more traditional patrons. (Oops!)
One thing you'll notice right away is that the Grenade is a statement-driver. The reflective black bottom is highlighted with points of Green where the weights sit and BOMBTECH GOLF boldly written across the bottom. You'll also find markings that reflect the degrees of the club, and head-size. The crown/top of the driver is a bit less pronounced with a nice soft matte and an alignment "Bombtech" script giving you an indication of the sweet spot. The shaft is neon green and marked with "Bombtech" and "stiff".
I'd buy a neon green driver any day of the week, and twice on Sunday if it performs to my standards. My playing companions weren't so keen.
Sound and Feel
This is likely one of the most commonly griped about sections that lovers and critics of Bombtech debate. The feel and look of the driver at address is clean, and simple. However, it does not share the aggressive styling and feel of other name-brand drivers-- you get what you pay for. The grip itself is a standard/ basic grip that is replicated on all of their clubs, whether they are a driver or a wedge. Fairway Queen and I had no issues with the grip on the club, but KM was not a fan and found that the surface actually discolored/ rubbed off on his hitting glove. Typically I prefer more robust grips (I can palm a basketball) and I found that the grip was less comfortable and did not inspire confidence when attempting to relax and loosen up for a smooth down-swing. Players with large hands or looser grips may find that the club can torque in the hands at unexpected times depending on where the shaft is kicking in the downswing; unfortunately, this can promote mishits.
Swinging the club around and through practice swings felt ok, but a bit unpredictable. Many reviews and users have found that the "Stiff" shaft is quite flexy and have had trouble finding the sweet spot in their swing. All three of our playtesters agreed that it was difficult to "feel" where the head was in their swing and to adjust their swing to accommodate for the shaft. All three also found that the driver felt a touch lighter than what they were used to. Personally, I struggled finding a good tempo and swing-speed for this driver but I'm also used to playing with a 76g X-stiff shaft.
Holy cow this driver is loud and piercing. You. Will. Draw. Stares. There's no two ways about it and no way to mask the report off the titanium face. One common reaction is the assumption you automatically smashed a drive, and questions of "how far is that?" The other most common reaction is for people to ask if you either broke your driver, or the ball when hitting it. I'll admit, it's amusing the first few times but quickly gets old. Two thumbs down here across the board from our testers.
While Bombtech presents a really nice package and works hard on their advertising, we did not find that the Bombtech Grenade 3.0 outperformed whatever we had in our bag at the time of testing. While I'm sure there's a market of people who enjoy the Grenade 3.0, it didn't work well for me and the numbers proved it.
The absolute best shot I was able to hit with the Grenade produced the following results with a Titleist Pro V1:
Swing Speed-- 104.2mph
Ball Speed-- 155.3mph
Launch Angle-- 12.7
Smash Factor-- 1.49
The AVG on-course data I was able to collect with the Grenade was as follows with (5) Bridgestone 330 RX balls:
Swing Speed-- 107.6mph
Ball Speed-- 149.2mph
Launch Angle-- 12.0
Smash Factor-- 1.39
The AVG data from my usual driver taken from a recent practice set (and range balls) removing the highest and lowest statistical outliers is as follows:
Swing Speed-- 110.7mph
Ball Speed-- 155.2mph
Launch Angle-- 10.4
Smash Factor-- 1.40
I struggled mightily with the feel of the shaft and the club-head as I swung. As mentioned above I had to drop my swing-speed to get any sort of consistency with this driver and even then I was snapping off shots far left of center and slicing balls right with the same discomfort. Hitting the fairway was do-able but less than confidence inspiring. Case and point, we've been doing a series of tests on putting aids and ball-markers lately which includes a fair-share of wiping sharpie off club heads-- one of the shots I hit dead center in the hot-zone of the club produced a 250-something carry. I assumed I mis-hit the ball until I went to put the driver head-cover on and noticed the sharpie stripe smack in the middle of the club. On that particular shot I had no feedback of where impact was, or that it was well struck other than I hit the fairway. It was an unsettling feeling. On the other hand, I attempted to toe and heel a series of balls and could quite literally feel the club torque in my hands on some impacts. Forgiveness even in these situations was surprisingly good.
One area where I wasn't particularly confident with the readings we received was in the apex flight. While I personally hit to the clouds, I don't think this was accurately reflected in our data. The Grenade Driver felt like it launched excessively high even by my standards, to the point where my playing partners and I struggled to track balls initially off the tee. The driver we received was a 9.5* but I wouldn't be surprised if it were a 10.5* or greater.
While I may wow my playing companions with a prodigious slice every now and again, my feeling of inconsistency was mirrored by my testing companions. Shockingly, Fairway Queen failed to find the fairway with this club producing a series of slices that are completely uncharacteristic for her game. KM similarly struggled to find a rhythm, but was able to produce more consistent shots.
Did we mention it's loud and obnoxious? Although it really doesn't affect performance of the driver in any way, we noticed that all of the bombtech clubs get phenomenally dirty in no time at all. One session at the range with about 50 balls had me searching for water and my scrub-brush. 18 holes had me wishing I brought some soap with me. I've played with the wedge set only one time on-course to date and the 60 degree legitimately looks like I played in mud. Yet, my other 60*, which I played side-by side for comparison, looks regular and in need of a wipe-down if I'm being generous. **Good News!** It scrubs clean very easily.
I struggled quite a bit with this portion of the review. I see the potential for this club in someone's bag, but it's not for me or the crew-- take it with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, Bombtech produced a relatively modern driver that can be found paired with a matched 3-wood and the right promo-code for under $300. From a value standpoint that's incredible. If you evaluate the driver from a... say...$200 standpoint, I'm impressed with what Bombtech has put together. When you back it with what has been (in my experience) great customer support and responsiveness, it's a steal for a weekend golfer who is happy to get out and play the game. Having said that, anyone who is picky about their equipment will struggle with these clubs and will likely end up buying a big-name replacement. For someone with a lower swing-speed the Grenade may be a fairway-blaster. but we felt that at anything 100+ mph, without pro-level understanding of what the club is doing, it's somewhat unpredictable.
While the Grenade 3.0 doesn't quite make it into my bag, I don't rightly understand the shade that the club has received from the review community provided you evaluate it objectively. Taken SUBJECTIVELY, the club does not meet the marketing claims that Bombtech boasts. I've heard some back and forth about other claims and manufacturing along the way but have not considered them for the purpose of this review. Objectively speaking you're getting a $200 driver that looks good, sounds terrible, has a solid support team, and is capable of putting up some decent numbers in the right hands.
The team and I struggled quite a bit with this driver (yes, there was a 230yd shot, total distance, that looked like a bomb ) but to say that the testing results we received were a complete wash would be a misnomer. We struggled with the shaft on this driver, but it does show some promise from a numbers standpoint. With a swing speed of 104mph and a launch angle of 12.7*, I was able to produce a 267.4y carry which was likely in the 280+ roll range. Smash factor was near 1.5 on that shot. I'll take 280 on a fairway any day. But, the club has to be right for you, no the other way around. With BT, you're going to have to take a chance and bank on the refund program before you can say whether it will work for you or not.
Personally I'd consider giving the Grenade 3.0 a shot if I could find more consistency in the stroke and the shaft but until then, I'll keep my Adams!
NOTE: I paid for this demo out of pocket to review. I also ran into an issue with the 3-wood that came with the driver where the shaft broke-- I contacted BT and within a day they offered to have a replacement shipped free of charge, no questions asked. Similarly, they have answered all of my questions and inquiries within a day of sending them. It's a good feeling to know that there's a person at the other end of the line.
Next Up: Mavrik magic!!