Hard-swinging Ollie Schniederjans has a unique equipment setup

Ollie Schniederjans Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Hard-swinging Ollie Schniederjans has a unique equipment setup

Equipment

Hard-swinging Ollie Schniederjans has a unique equipment setup

Take a good look at the picture at the top of this article. Do you see anything out of the ordinary about Ollie Schniederjans’s golf bag? Here’s a hint: It’s what you don’t see that makes it unique.

Here, have a closer look …

Ollie Schniederjans

Ollie Schniederjans’ Callaway golf equipment. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Schniederjans, 24, a former All-American at Georgia Tech who won nearly $2 million last season, has played many tournaments without carrying a fairway wood or hybrid. There is a cover on his putter, but aside from that, the only headcover you see in that photo is on his driver.

Starting several few years ago, many big-hitting PGA Tour players began tinkering with their club setups. Instead of opting to use a traditional line-up that includes a driver and two fairway woods, they started going with only one fairway wood. Typically, that lone fairway wood has about 16.5-degrees of loft, making it a 4-wood. The pros could do it because today’s manufacturers have become so good at making distance-enhancing fairway woods and straight-flying driving irons. Pros such as Jason Day believed they could compete, and win, by going with this type of setup and adding a fourth wedge.

Schniederjans takes it a step further. He has used a Callaway GBB Epic driver but no fairway woods or hybrids during numerous PGA Tour events. For example, when he shot 66-63-66-64 and was runner-up at the Wyndham Championship last August, the longest club in his bag after his driver was a Callaway Apex Utility 2-iron.

“We were talking during some fittings for the new Rogue driver this past offseason, and he told me that he and his caddie, Lance Bailey, had just talked about (his setup),” said Johnny Thompson, a PGA Tour Rep for Callaway Golf. “He asked his caddie to try to remember every time he hit his old 3-wood last season, because they used to go back and forth between carrying the 3-wood and the 2-iron, depending on the course. They came up with two shots over the entire PGA Tour season where he hit the 3-wood. That’s unbelievable!”

Ollie Schniederjans

Schniederjans’ 2-iron is a Callaway Apex UT. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Schniederjans’ Apex UT 2-iron is hollow and has 16 degrees of loft. It is 40 inches long and is fitted with a Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 120 X shaft. That is half an inch longer than standard.

“I think this year, you’re going to see him carry that 3-wood even less, just because he has the ability to hit that driving iron about 300 yards on firm ground,” Thompson said.

Rounding out Schniederjans’ bag is a 2014 Callaway Apex 3-iron, Apex Pro ’16 irons (4-PW) and Mack Daddy 4 wedges (52 bent to 53 degrees, 58 degrees bent to 57.5, 60 degrees bent to 61.5).

There are two lessons that recreational players can take from Schniederjans’ unique setup and preferences.

1. If you are not going to use it, don’t carry it.
After he and his caddie realized how infrequently Schniederjans hit his 3-wood, they were confident he did not need to carry it. Sure, he still brings it to events in case the course setup and hole locations dictate that a 3-wood could be more helpful than a 2-iron, but day-in, day-out the 2-iron is in the bag because Schniederjans is going to hit it.

If you have a club in your bag just because you’ve always carried it, try to think about your most recent three to five rounds. You might be better served by pulling something out and adding an extra wedge or a different club.

2. Today’s driving irons are hot
Recreational golfers do not create the clubhead speed that Schniederjans does with a long iron, but if you have a repeatable swing and prefer the control a flat-faced iron can provide, talk to a custom fitter about hollow-bodied long irons. Blending game-improvement or distance-enhancing irons with control-oriented mid and short irons is all the rage on the PGA Tour, and a good fitter can make that type of setup work for you too.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home