It never ceases to amaze me how one gets into the putter business. I have met some of the coolest builders, and it is so rare that you find a single one that graduated from Putter College. The backgrounds go from guard rail to guard rail. From brothers who were in the refinishing business, two young guys in garages making car parts, to engineers in oil & gas, etc. You get the point. Royalty Golf might take the most creative as of late, sports may be the most common denominator here, but Bobby Bradley with Royalty Sports certainly has an impressive background.
We will touch on how Royalty Sports began and who is behind it. We will discuss their product line plans and most importantly their first putter to hit the market. I have had the privilege of being one of the first with this badass flatstick and look forward to sharing it with all of my BreakfastBallers.
Some background on the man behind Royalty.
Bradley played high school baseball in Wellington, FL where he was named High School All American. He was drafted by the Pirates in 1999. Before the 2001 season, Baseball America rated Bradley top 20 prospects in baseball. Unfortunately, injury-plagued Bradley, and he began his next quest as an athlete. Bradley transitioned his athleticism and power into long driving competitions. Bradley has made ten consecutive Long Drive Championship appearances. Some of which he represented the Callaway long drive team.
His current long drive top figure is 465 yards, so pretty much about the same as me. Since his entrance into the Long Drive Championship, Bradley has participated in over 600 charity events as an entertainer and proudly has raised Millions of dollars to various charitable organizations across the United States. All of this biography I am sure has you ready for the next step up the ladder, where I tell you how all of this makes sense as a putter maker. Well, we are almost there.
As Bradley got more engrained with the charity events, he decided to put together a putter for the top boosters of these events. He hired a designer and implemented a plan. He had a small batch made to start introducing them in his charity events as a prize or giveaways. The response he got from the tournaments was overwhelming.
These were guys and gals that donated big money for these events, with some of the nicest equipment in their bags, and they loved my stuff. It was crazy to see that kind of response. That was never necessarily the goal.
–Bradley explained to me during a few conference sessions.
He explained that he had a modest budget because he never intended to scale it as a business. During planning with his designer and manufacturer, he detailed that he wanted the best product he could put out at the said price point. Not necessarily worrying about margin, because again, these were to be given out or raffled at various events across the United States where he participated. The response he got was too big to ignore.
That is when the brand Royalty Sports came alive. Already having the foundation of a great designer, manufacturer and Bradley’s passion for the sport helped catapult him into a full business plan for 2018 to bring a multiple putter line to market. One of the very first, and original, is the Str8 Flush. The current putter line plans will have various shapes referencing some of the most successful configurations over the years. All putters built come with the jet black theme of Royalty. All of the builds will have a jet black shaft, matte black finish, chrome logo with silver paint fill. The headcover offers a carbon fiber texture, along with a magnet closure.
What does 2018 have in store?
Bradley and team are excited to announce their facility is making significant progress.
The STR8 Flush nearly knocked me over after opening the box. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know my love for putters. But generally speaking, my putters are on the minimalist side. Of course, I appreciate good stamping or a vibrant paint fill, but overall minimalist. Royalty would be the complete opposite of that. Excluding the head and toe, there are markings all over the putter. As you go from the top of the grip to the bottom of the sole, you are not left guessing what kind of putter you are holding. But with that said, it’s well done.
The engravings and paint fill work well together. The grip is midsize with a great taper. The logo on the grip flows nicely into the jet black shaft. It all just works and works well. The aluminum insert feels soft, but feedback is still lovely.
The weight system that many golfers love is of course interchangeable. The stock putter right now is at 360 grams. You can purchase the weight kit as a separate part if you would like to manipulate it up or down. The two-tone start weight kit is sharp and when screwed down rests completely flush with the sole. I look forward to experimenting with different weighting systems on this particular putter.
From Royalty Sports:
Full Royal treatment went into developing this state of the art putter.
- 100% CNC milled from 303 stainless block
- Toe Hang Position
- CNC Milled 6061 T6 Aerospace Grade Aluminum Silver Anodized
- Scuff Durable DBM Finish
- Non- Glossy Diamond Black Metal Finish
- Clean Blade Set Up
- Interchangeable Tungsten Weighting Screw
- Full Shaft Offset
The price point for this putter is $799 with everything you see in my pictures. With all the detail on this putter, upgraded grip and shaft, I believe he has priced himself exactly where he needs to be in the market. You can purchase this putter, as well as all future putters released, on the website.
I feel it is doubtful you show up on the practice greens with a Royalty putter, and someone has a “me-too” putter. Sure we can sit here and say the head shape looks like this or like that, every brand has an “Anser” style blade.
This putter is just wild. I have never seen chrome on a putter, and it works. I have never seen a putter go full Nascar and it work. It is impressive how they implemented such a bold strategy, and it works out so well.
On the course
Now I will preface, this is my opinion of the 360-gram setup, with the midsize taper grip. My first impressions when playing with the STR8 Flush was that it was indeed comfortable in hand. Now, of course, I don’t mean, the grip felt nice-which it does, but what I am referencing is the ability to make a super easy stroke with the putter. It felt balanced through my putting stroke, and that was important to me because it’s hard to look much further if it doesn’t feel right in the hands.
The aluminum insert was noticeable at impact, it wasn’t what I am used to with my 100% milled stainless blades, but it wasn’t a bowl of oatmeal soft. It just felt comfortable. Now I will note that outside of the large aluminum insert, there is no face milling near the heel/toe. Which if you are hitting balls off either, your roll will be shit. But, I do think it’s worth mentioning visually. Looking down at the STR8 Flush is where I believe it is unique.
The top line is thick and does not extend all the way to the top toe. It is more of a pronounced angle than ending all the way at the end of the toe. With the top line being thicker on the SRT8, you get less width from the body of the putter.
The appearance at the address to me is going to be a personal preference for what you like. It offers rolled bumper that provides an excellent soft edge to look down at, with an added site line filled with silver paint. Feedback from everyone on the course and off has been great. The other players I know that have seen it, love how different it is, which is how I feel.
In closing, from Royalty:
Royalty Sports believes in quality materials and quality craftsmanship in all of our products. We’re not reinventing the wheel; we’re changing a mindset. Our mission is simple; we want global domination on all continents including Antarctica. It’s not just a sports brand; it’s a lifestyle!
They have got me interested, the majority of putter companies I deal with our more on the boutique scale. And I will admit, that is by design. But unless backed by an OE, it has been quite some time since a putter company arose with plans to scale to offer the product in large quantities. Not only does Bradley plan on having inventory but he plans to do it with multiple product designs.
We are in the first month of the year, and he has already revised the STR8 Flush with a flow neck option, a mallet design, a mid-mallet, and even has design plans for wedges. Every time I speak to Bradley he is full of energy and passion, which is super exciting. At this point, it looks like the brand will continue to focus in the direction of a more high-end flat stick. With customization coming and options like insert/ no insert, to picking stainless or carbon, we are excited to have met Royalty early on because we believe it will be a fun journey to watch.
I believe they have made a home run here, pun intended. I look forward to watching their business grow. He is very active on Instagram, and you can keep track of the brands progress best there. Be sure to also give them a follow on Facebook, and Twitter.
They will continuously update their website as products drop.