Schniederjans follows footsteps

Photo courtesy of Danny Karnik

If the name Schniederjans sounds familiar, that is for good reason. Ollie Schniederjans golfed at Tech and was a three-time All-American who is now on the PGA Tour. Ben Schniederjans is a redshirt junior who is a pitcher on the baseball team. Luke, a freshman on the golf team, is proving that he can carve out his own story.

The youngest of the three, Luke began playing golf at the age of 12, and by the time he was a senior in high school, he was ranked No. 51 nationally in the class of 2016 by the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Following his siblings, he signed with Tech.

It is easy to assume that the youngest Schniederjans’ motivation was solely his family connection, but Tech meant much more.

“This is such a great golf program with all the resources we have to practice. I really like the coach [Bruce Heppler] and what he prides his program on. And it’s close to where I’m from, and I like that,” Schniederjans said.

Coach Heppler has made Tech golf a destination for talented high school players. It is particularly interesting that Schniederjans chose to mention Tech’s practice facilities. Just a few weeks ago, Heppler hit the ceremonial first shot to officially open the Noonan Golf Facility. It became clear that a high level of golf will be played here at The Flats for a long time to come.

Regardless of where he ended up playing golf in college, Schniederjans says his brothers had been preparing him with regards to what it meant to be a student-athlete in general.

“They taught me a lot of time management being a student- athlete, especially here with the difficult academics. They’ve told me over the years to get ready for Tech in that it’s going to be a lot different than high school because you have to manage your time a lot better.”

With regards to his golf talent, Schniederjans is everything Coach Heppler could have imagined and more. He already has many of the finer skills that are immensely important for a golfer to develop.

Schniederjans describes his biggest strength as his “driver accuracy.” As for a part of his game that he’s looking to further develop, he would “like to become a more consistent putter.”

The Powder Springs, Ga., native has played in five tournaments in his young collegiate career, and he has traveled thousands of miles. Golf is a game in which players must always be prepared to adjust to different time zones, weather conditions and course styles. Schniederjans has already had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and Puerto Rico for tournaments, and the benefit of doing so is not lost on him.

“It exposes you to different types of playing conditions and allows you to learn about that early in your college career,” Schniederjans said. “It will really pay off over the next few years.”

Schniederjans has proven himself to be precocious. And while he might prefer to avoid comparisons to his brother, he has outpaced him. Ollie had six career collegiate titles, but none came until his junior year. Meanwhile, Luke has already won two titles: one at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and the another at the Puerto Rico Classic. The latter was a finish that saw Luke shoot a sublime final round 65 en route to a comeback victory.

“I just tried to stay in the present. I was able to feed off my past experience from my first win, and I knew what the emotions felt like, … and I was able to keep making the putts fall.”

Schniederjans will likely keep doing just that.