Why this long-hitting pro removed driver from his bag

Brandon Matthews has two woods in the bag this week at the Huntsville Championship — the longest being a 3-wood.

Korn Ferry Tour

Peruse the Korn Ferry Tour’s driving distance leaders and you’ll find Brandon Matthews situated at T29 with an average poke of 306.8 yards this season. For a guy who ranks 3rd on the Tour’s points list, the driver remains a weapon in Matthews’ bag.

But for at least one week, the 27-year-old pro is opting to go without the longest club in his bag.

In a video posted on the Korn Ferry Tour’s Twitter account, Matthews revealed he’s replacing the driver with a souped-up 3-wood for the Huntsville Championship. His longest club will be a 13.5-degree Titleist TSi3 3-wood that’s equipped with a UST Linq Tour M40X White 8F5 shaft.

“It’s a low launch, low spin shaft because he creates so much speed and spin,” said UST Tour rep Scott Wilkerson. “The heavier weight helps him feel the clubhead better as well.”

If you’re wondering why one of the KFT’s longer hitters is shaking things up, it mostly has more to do with the tight setup at The Ledges. Matthews also happens to rank 141st in driving accuracy this season, so if ever there was a week to remove driver, this might be the one.

It also doesn’t hurt that Matthews is hitting it as far as most of his peers with a 3-wood in hand.

“Driver just doesn’t fit on this golf course,” Matthews said. “I’m trying to be a lot more intelligent with my decision-making. I feel like even without driver in the bag this week, we’re at a little bit of elevation, so for me the 3-wood I had built is still going somewhere around 320, 325 yards.”

You read that right: “320, 325 yards.” It’s an absurd number for any pro with a fairway wood.

As we’ve discussed on this site, there are situations where 3-wood might be the better option off the tee. If accuracy tends to be a problem and you’re playing a tight course, consider the length of the layout and use 3-wood on a majority of the holes.

You don’t have to be Brandon Matthews-long to benefit from a similar setup.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.


Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.