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Q&A: BombTech Golf Founder “Sully” Sullivan

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If you’re into golf equipment, you can probably name several small companies that make putters, irons and forged wedges. Now name a small company that makes drivers. Yes, it’s much more difficult.

BombTech Golf is on the short list of small golf equipment companies that produce metalwoods, and it’s almost certainly the smallest. Founder Tyler “Sully” Sullivan is a true one-man show, building and shipping every club himself.

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The BombTech Grenade Driver ($299).

Sullivan’s story goes like this: His niche was long drive, and he broke several drivers that another club builder had built for him in a span of two months. He thought he could do better, so he started to start his own custom-fitting company in 2011. A few months later, he had what he calls ” a crazy and expensive idea.” He wanted to design his own driver.

The idea became less crazy when he reached out to his alma mater, the University of Vermont, whose engineering department agreed to co-design the golf club that ultimately became BombTech’s Grenade driver.

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Why green? To honor Vermont (The Green Mountain State) and the University of Vermont’s colors. Sullivan also lives in a suburb of Burlington.

College kids and professors designing golf clubs? That’s out-of-the-box thinking, which is why Sullivan likes it.

[quote_box_center]”The reason I use the University of Vermont instead of golf engineers is that they’re not in golf.” Sullivan says. “They can come up with ideas that people in the golf industry might not.”[/quote_box_center]

Sullivan, 30, says business is good, especially considering the difficulties the large equipment manufacturers have had selling their products. He guarantees every BombTech clubs he sells — drivers, fairway woods, hybrids and putters — and says his return rate is miniscule, roughly 1-to-5 percent depending on the month.

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A BombTech Grenade driver (10.5 degrees) at address. 

Sullivan expects to shed his one-man show persona in 2015 and hire club builders and shippers to meet increased demand. One thing the former salesman says he never let go of, however, is his role in customer service.

“I promise to be the person who takes the phone calls and calls and does the customer service,” Sullivan says. “They’re buying from me, so there’s a connection. That’s one of the reasons things are going so well.”

Learn more about Sullivan and the BombTech brand in the Q&A below. 

ZK: Every major golf equipment manufacturer seems to have its own view on what will create more driver distance. For TaylorMade, it’s a driver with a low, forward center of gravity (CG). At Ping, it’s a driver with a low, rearward CG. Other companies such as Callaway believe that different golfers need different types of drivers to hit their longest drives. What’s your take?

Sully: There’s all this talk about center of gravity (CG), but there are two things missing. The first is the production process. Here’s the question to ask: Is your driver manufactured out of two pieces or four pieces.

Most companies use a four-piece forged technique because it is more affordable, but tolerances will be wider. Why is this important? A two-piece driver has tighter tolerances for loft, weight and most importantly COR or CT. A four-piece driver has wider tolerances. As you may have guessed, the Grenade is manufactured using a two-piece cast with a plasma weld. This is not propriety to us, but most companies that use it charge double what we do.

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The second thing missing is design. Yes, TaylorMade is now using a low-and-forward CG and Ping’s are low and back. Low and back would be considered the traditional placement for CG. Our Dual Cavity design offers a CG that is low and back with an intersection with the face at true center. The benefits are increased club head speed due to the reduction in drag, which leads to high ball speeds. Our design also offers unique accuracy benefits as well, due to airflow.

Bottom line? We don’t promise 20 more yards, but we are so confident that you will add distance and accuracy that we offer a 60-day money back guarantee. We want you to try it, and then you can decide.

ZK: How did you come up with your design?

Sully: All of our products are co-engineered with the University of Vermont. This unique relationship takes the marketing piece out of the equation.

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We could have designed a golf driver that was adjustable, but our testing found that a bonded driver creates better numbers in all categories. Our pure engineering approach has proven that with high quality materials, production processes, and a great design, you can compete with the big brands.

ZK: We’ve found that the biggest advantage of adjustable drivers is that they allow golfers to fine tune the launch conditions that help them hit their longest, straightest drives. How do you fit someone for a driver without them hitting it?

Sully: Adjustable drivers are a great option for fitters, but we tested our bonded driver versus adjustable options and saw better ball speeds and tighter dispersions with our bonded driver versus a driver with an adjustable hosel. For this reason, we engineered a driver that you can’t adjust. Adjustability is/was hot, but we don’t let marketing influence design.

bombaugust2014_153954_1__73233.1418601132.1080.1080
BombTech’s Grenade Putter ($249)

Each BombTech golf club is hand assembled in Vermont for the individual customer. This custom build approach gives the consumer more control over their golf club. Especially with regards to shaft length — this is rarely talked about but has a huge impact on performance.

Since each club is custom built, we offer a free online fitting service. This online fitting helps insure that you find the proper specs for your unique goals. We’ve found that many golfers are playing shaft flexes that are too stiff and too long. Our online fitting helps address that and insures increased performance without adjustability. In addition to the online fitting, we are available to communicate directly. Call us to discuss your driver, what you like, what you don’t and what you want out of your next club.

ZK: Do you measure the loft and face angle of the drivers you sell? Do customers ask for specific lofts and face angles?

Sully: Yes. It is not extremely common, but some of the more experienced golfers know exactly what loft and/or face angle works best for their swing. For these instances, I gladly will spec out a driver head for their exact needs. So if you want a 10-degree loft, 1 degree open, it can be done. This type of “hand picking” is offered at no costs.

ZK: You’ve recently partnered with World Golf Hall of Famer Chi Chi Rodriguez. What kind of relationship is it, and what does he bring to BombTech?

Sully: It is a dream come true to have Chi Chi on our team. Chi Chi is an unbelievable golfer, person and representative for our brand and he brings wisdom and input that others couldn’t possibly offer.

Golfers have been asking for more shaft options and I honestly have tested hundreds of different combinations, but it wasn’t until we brought Chi Chi on board that we found a shaft technology that was worthy of the upgrade cost.

Chi Chi, Matrix Golf Shafts and I worked together to make a lighter shaft that would still be stable. The new Chi Chi Signature Series Shaft is 5-to-7 grams lighter depending on flex but is actually more stable due to the HD technology that Matrix designed. The lighter shaft is a benefit to those that want to increase club head speed and it surprisingly has been popular with our higher swing speed players as well.

IMG_3729Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.10.31 PM

Bottom line, I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with a true legend in the game of golf. Welcome to the team CHI CHI!

ZK: What’s next for you and BombTech?

Sully: The answer to that questions changes daily! But right now, I am working with the University of Vermont on a new wedge design. The goal is to increase spin and forgiveness and will certainly be a challenge for the Engineering students and department. Potential launch date is May 2015.

In addition to new product expansions, I personally am making an effort to ask as many questions as I can from our fans and loyal customers. It is my hope that I can give our current customers and potential future customers a golf equipment experience that they enjoy.

If anyone from WRX has feedback, please let me hear it!

ZK: Thank you, Sully.

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Benjamin Alcaraz

    Feb 4, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Mr. Sully, is it possible to replace the 4, 5 and 6 irons with the 52, 56 and 60 degree wedges in the iron set? Please email me for I am very interested in picking up your iron set if my request is granted.

  2. David

    Jun 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Definitely does compete with the big brands. Marketing budgets do not dictate quality design and engineering. Sully has that.

  3. Rob Henry

    Jan 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Hi Sully. I’m a 75 year old Australian and have for many years been hitting an offset driver. My average distance is around 210 metres with a regular shaft and I hit it straight. All drivers I have tried without the offset I have hit an enormous slice. Is it likely that I would also hit slices with your driver as it is not offset?
    Regards Rob Henry

  4. Chris Stadler

    Dec 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I purchase the Bomb Tech Golf Grenade 3 Wood and I finally went to the Golf Range and I was CRUSHING IT ! The Sound of the Ball off the Club is very distinct and everyone was turning their heads . Great Job ! Next the Driver.

  5. Jon

    Dec 30, 2014 at 11:34 am

    My Callaway Big Bertha V Series smoked the Grenade, same loft, same flex, same length.

  6. David Myers

    Dec 30, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I have owned the Grenade for several months and absolutely love it. I play to a 3 handicap so I feel that I can offer a real review for better players. I am not the longest, but I am longer with this club, 5 to 10 yards consistently. More importantly, a lot more accurate. This club will fade or draw on command. My only con would be that it is a bit higher launch than I would like but thanks to Kickstarter I will have the 9.5 in hands very soon.
    Anyone who snubs their nose at this simply because it is not one of the big boys is a fool. Keep up the great work Sully!

  7. Jem

    Dec 30, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I’ve been playing one of these for about three months now. I have found it to be as good as any driver I’ve played, and I’ve spent way too much money on drivers. I find that if I get a good center face hit on this club I get better distance compared to anything I’ve played. I’m also hitting a lot more fairways, and the sound and feel are great. One of my buddies who usually hits the ball about 250 used my driver the other day and hit one over 300 yards. He now bugs me every time we play to let him tee off on par 5’s with the Grenade. I don’t think you can do a lot better, and the price for this club is pretty appealing. For the first time in years I’m not scanning the literature to figure out what my next driver will be.

    • 300 Yard Pro

      Jul 18, 2016 at 12:31 am

      That’s a huge increase in distance considering it’s not possible.

  8. Bob A

    Dec 24, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Hire non-golf engineers to develop a golf club? That’s a great idea!!! Kinda like hiring a mechanical engineer to design a new computer or a chemical engineer to design a draw bridge.

    • Justin

      Dec 26, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I think it is. They’ll already have ideas on things like launch parameters, maximizing ball velocity, etc., but won’t be beholden to “traditional” design ideas. What you’re comparing is two different things; obviously a mechanical engineer might not design a computer, but would be able to design a golf club… even if s/he doesn’t play golf. “Golf engineer” isn’t a specific major.

  9. Robert

    Dec 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I managed to find a good deal on a used Grenade driver off eBay not long ago. It “feels” long when I’m using it at the range, but it’s hard to say whether I’m really hitting it farther than my previous driver (Callaway FT-9). One of these days I’ll try to play a round where I hit two tee shots on every hole so I can make a better comparison between the two drivers. One thing I would like to note is that the stiff shaft on my Grenade seems a bit “whippier” than others I’ve used in the past and also my ball seems to launch higher even though my Callaway is also a 10.5 degree loft. Just curious whether others have had similar experiences with their Grenades.

  10. Bill Davis

    Dec 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hi,
    I am a 73 year senior currently using 12 degree Titleist 913 and 915 in a couple more days.
    Can you get your driver to 12?
    What is the loft on Putter.
    Thanks,
    Bill

    • Sully

      Dec 29, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Bill,

      I can hand pick 11.5. Putter is currently sold out. But I am be releasing a new blade this week!

  11. Jon

    Dec 20, 2014 at 12:49 am

    The paint job is nice but I still prefer the more pear shaped drivers. I keep using my old 905R until I cave in the face again.

    • rymail00

      Dec 22, 2014 at 2:01 am

      I had a 905 for awhile, but the best “older” drivers I’ve played were the 9015 and 9016. Played the 9016 up till last year when I got a SLDR and actually went down roughly 2* in loft with the SLDR compared to the 9016.

      Ok, my bad got off topic.

      Sully, have you ever found any sorted heads around 9.5 or lower? Sounds like your heads you have very good tolerances from the sound of if. My sent my old man a link to your website trying to convince him to at least try one (that way I can swing his. :-). ) regardless I’d like to find a demo day in VT or across the lake it give it ago. The 60 Day trial period makes it really hard to not try if.

      Good article.

  12. rymail00

    Dec 19, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I have had some PM’s with someone who bought this driver and they really like it. Might have to take the ferry across the lake and give one a try. Silly you planning any demo days around Burlington or across the lake in upstate NY?

  13. pack7483

    Dec 18, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Any plans to come out with some bombtech irons?

  14. j.a.

    Dec 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I’m glad that Zak did this interview to Sully as his efforts, dedication and high quality products deserve to be shown to the world. It’s a matter of time for me to pull the pin and bring one of his products Down Under. I hope Zak may interview another small manufacturers which deserves similar attention.

    The beauty of Bombtech is that everything is thought out of the box. It is not the traditional stuff from the big brands, it’s technology and great personalised service, a combination not available everywhere in these days.

  15. Don

    Dec 18, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I own a Bombtech driver. Received it in October and I love it! Previous drivers I have owned include Ping G5, Taylormade Superfast Burner, R9, Cobra BioCell, and Callaway X-hot. The Grenade is the most solid feeling driver I have hit and while I have not noticed any noticeable difference in distance (usually 275 carry) I have noticed that my shot dispersal has narrowed (ala more accurate). For the first time I would say that I am not really looking at driver upgrades. The only complaint I would have is that the driver is the only piece of equipment that Bombtech sells for lefties. I am more than willing to spend the cash on their other products (3 wood, putter and WEDGE) but with no options it is frustrating.

    • Sully

      Dec 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks for your business and support! I wish I could say that we have more lefty options in the works, but the demand has been modest. As the company grows, I hope to expand lefty options as well. Thanks again for your business.

      -Sully

  16. Teaj

    Dec 18, 2014 at 10:42 am

    really something to think about and the return policy is a plus, since we cannot try before we buy its a good option that more smaller club manufactures almost have to do. When the snow melts I will be taking a look at my options and this will be one on the short list.

    • Sully

      Dec 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks Teaj! Its kinda a double edge sword. We could go into mass retail, so everyone could try it first, but the price would have to go up and there would be no custom shaft or length options. So to keep price fair and quality high I am planning on offering online and to select high end club fitters.

      Talk soon.

  17. James

    Dec 18, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Interesting that Sully will custom tune a driver. One reason I didn’t go with a Grenade is the lofts were 10.5*. As picky as it sounds, I have always been fitted into a 9.5 to 10 degree driver or the ball will balloon on me. Given the technology of this one, 10* would be more correct for me. I will have to get in touch with them and see about getting one built at 10*.

  18. skylar

    Dec 18, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Are there any plans to realease a new driver as well or are you guys just sticking with the grenade for now?

    • Sully

      Dec 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Skylar,

      A commonly asked question, but I will not release anything new until I can find a production process, material or design that outperforms the current Grenade models…

      Good question!

  19. Jason

    Dec 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

    I would love to get some feedback from some guys that currently use the bombtech driver, with all the major OEM’s getting the front page news I would love hear how a smaller company compares on the course with the big boys.
    I would love to try one!

    • Sully

      Dec 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Jason, there is another thread that has like over 700 comments. I know its too much to read, but there are a number of WRX’ers that have bought the driver and put it up against their gamer.

  20. Golfraven

    Dec 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    nice stuff. rather neat and driver cries to be hit

  21. Dakota

    Dec 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Really neat article would love to work for one of the smaller equipment companies after college, a lot of these companies make clubs with tighter tolerances and they will fly under the radar until people seeing you hit them.

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Equipment

Callaway Golf launches new titanium Jailbreak-powered Super Hybrid

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Callaway Super Hybrid

Callaway Golf aims to redefine what a hybrid can be with the introduction of the all-new, multi-material, titanium-powered Callaway Super Hybrid for 2020. Built to offer the distance, ball speed and forgiveness of a fairway wood, with the added benefit of being built into a hybrid chassis, the Callaway Super Hybrid is the designed for those golfers that want control without sacrificing distance.

Creating a hybrid that performs like a fairway wood takes some serious engineering, and in the case of the new Callaway Super Hybrid, it means pulling out all the stops with technology and packing it all into one finely tuned club.

Here’s everything the R&D team at Callaway has been able to accomplish with this hybrid design

2020 Callaway Super Hybrid: Details

High-Strength Titanium Face insert

The Titanium face insert of the Super Hybrid promotes greater ball speeds and ball speed consistency thanks to variable face thickness, according to the company. Adding in Callaway’s proven Jailbreak technology helps stiffen the total structure of the clubhead’s titanium body. This places, as Callaway says, more impact load on the Face Insert to push the limits of flex and ball speed retention.

Light Weight Carbon Crown

An all-new T2C Triaxial Carbon Crown has a tighter weave than other composite crowns used in the past which increases strength and saves weight versus a traditional hybrid’s steel crown. The weight savings are then redistributed within the head to lower the Center of Gravity, and raise MOI for consistent distance on mishits.

Full Titanium Body With Precise Tungsten Weighting

Using a titanium body (the crown not withstanding) allows Callaway engineers to place a large volume of tungsten into the heel and toe of each clubs to once again increased MOI and optimized ball flight.

Using the same Metal Injection Molded Tungsten Weighting technology seen in other Callaway clubs, including the Epic Star line, Callaway is able to place a very high volume Metal Injection Molded (MIM’ed) tungsten weight to optimize CG for launch and control. How much tungsten you might ask? 68 grams per head—that’s close to 30 percent of the average hybrid’s total head mass!

Tech Specs and Options

The Callaway Super Hybrid will be available in three loft options, all three of which will also be available in left-handed. The stock shaft is the popular Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK PRO Orange 80 Hybrid shaft, but like anything Callaway, it will also include a large amount of no-upcharge options for custom orders.

Callaway Super Hybrid Pricing and Availability

The Callaway Super Hybrid is now available for preorder with retail stock hitting shelves on November 1st.

MSRP: $319.99

 

 

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2019

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*Equipment accurate as of The Challenge: Japan Skins

Driver: TaylorMade M6 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 70X

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 80X

Irons: TaylorMade P760 (3-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Itsy Bitsy Black (2015)

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

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Whats in the Bag

Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 CJ Cup

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60TX

justin-thomas-witb-driver

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 620 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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How @justinthomas34 marks his @titleist Pro V1x ????

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Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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