Why TOUR Championship qualifier Adam Schenk travels with two golf bags
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PGA TOUR players face myriad variables each week, from new courses to ever-changing weather conditions. That’s why it’s not uncommon for them to keep a few extra clubs on hand should they need to switch something up to meet an unexpected challenge.
For example, Jon Rahm keeps a driving iron on deck to replace his 5-wood if the wind picks up and he wants a lower-flying club. Likewise, Collin Morikawa travels with a few different lob wedges that have different degrees of bounce so he can select the one best-suited to that week’s course setup. Name any player you want, and he probably keeps a reserve club around as an option when he travels from event to event.
It’s common practice for PGA TOUR players to travel with 15 or 16 clubs, rather than just the USGA-allotted 14 clubs. Adam Schenk, however, takes that approach to an extreme. It’s a strategy that has worked for Schenk, who is making his TOUR Championship debut this week.
How Adam Schenk sets up his golf bag for different courses
In fact, Schenk travels with so many extra clubs that he needs not one, but two golf bags to carry them all.
“I travel with a little more equipment than most people,” Schenk said. “It’s fun for me, probably more fun than playing, honestly.”
He’s a shot maker, and he sets up his golf bag to play to that strength, keeping multiple drivers around for different courses and conditions.
“I’ll do something different (with each of my driver setups),” Schenk told GolfWRX.com. “Some are for a draw, some fade, some I can do both with. Some high, some low. Just fitting whatever the golf course is calling for. If I’m slicing it, I’ll probably play a driver with more loft to help me turn it over a little more.”
But that’s not the only reason he travels with so many clubs. It’s also for the pure enjoyment of strategizing and tinkering.
On Wednesday, GolfWRX.com photographed Schenk with three drivers, two 4-irons and two putters, for a total of 18 clubs.
Schenk’s caddie, David Cooke, whose job it is to carry all those extra clubs, said his boss changes his equipment setup based on a number of factors, including the daily wind direction.
That’s right. Schenk doesn’t just change clubs week-to-week, but he often makes strategic club decisions day-to-day!
When speaking with GolfWRX.com about Schenk’s rotating club strategy, Cooke remembered one anecdote in particular that stands out.
As the story goes, Schenk and Cooke were analyzing wind direction and course setup prior to the third round at the John Deere Classic. During the planning session, Cooke realized that Schenk likely wouldn’t have to use his 4- or 5-irons at all, because all of the par 3s were set to play downwind and had front pin locations.
“Well, let’s take (the 4- and 5-irons) out,” Schenk said to Cooke.
“I kind of thought he was joking at first,” Cooke said, “but then he was like, ‘No. Let’s take them out.’”
Things were going smoothly for most of Saturday’s round until the duo was standing 210 yards from a back hole location on the ninth hole and hitting into a breeze.
“What do you think here?” Schenk asked Cooke, who was now in a predicament.
“‘Well, the only option is the 6 (or the 3-iron],’” Cooke said. “We laughed about that pretty good.”
Ultimately, Schenk hit a trap-draw with the 6-iron to 30 feet and two-putted for par. He went ont to finish T4, one of six top-10s for Schenk this season.
Regardless of the reasoning, Schenk finds himself at the TOUR Championship with a chance to win the FedExCup. He’s proven that his strategy works over time, and he’s having fun doing it. It also helps that he can hit a trap-draw 6-iron from 210 yards into the wind; let’s not forget about that part.photographed Schenk with three drivers, two 4-irons and two putters