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GolfWRX Insider: An exclusive look inside the bag of Fred Couples

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He’s my hero, my old man’s hero and my city’s hero. That’s all I need to say on the matter. I love this guy. With the help of the people who get clubs in his bag and the man himself, here is the what and the why of Fred Couples’ WITB.

Something to note: Fred is nuts about his sticks but not in the way we are at WRX. For the most part, he doesn’t pay much attention to the makeup of his clubs, just how they look and what they do.

It’s a fact the guy is a fanatic about them being right and not fussed with, but the how and why for Fred is irrelevant. The ball tells him what’s going on. I’ve heard stories of Freddie trying things on the range and tossing it out on one swing. That’s not arrogant its a commitment to only playing equipment that he loves. We should all be that picky.

And one other thing, if you aren’t in the inner circle (coach, caddie, or close confidant) don’t touch his clubs—that’s a serious no-no. He has never worn a glove, and like fellow Seattle legend Ken Griffey, Jr and his mitt, new hands mean potential grease, stretching, etc. Just don’t touch ’em.

As you can see, there isn’t a ton of new gear in his bag. He’s the kind of guy who could find a club he likes in a bargain bin as easily as he could find one on a truck. If it works of course.

God, I love this guy.

LFG.

Photo courtesy of @ytowns_prodigal_son on Instagram

DRIVER: TaylorMade M3 440 9 @9.5 (upright setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 75 X (45.25 inches, D3)
Grip: Golf Pride CP2 Wrap 58R “Logo Down”

NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 08: Fred Couples his a shot from the 3rd hole during the final round of the Hoag Classic at Newport Beach Country Club on March 8, 2020, in Newport Beach, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

*Freddie hates clubs to look open and prefers the driver to sit square and a bit upright.

3-WOOD: Callaway FTI Squareway (15 degrees)
Shaft: Harrison Mugen Prototype 75 X (43-inches, D3)
Grip: Golf Pride CP2 Wrap 58R “Logo Down”

*So how in God’s name did that 3-wood get into his bag and stay there for going on 12 years? The story goes that Freddie was on the range at 2008 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at Silver Rock. The Harrison rep at the time was testing shafts with Fred and one of the samples was connected to this square-headed Callaway. Remember it’s 2008 and shaft reps usually had test clubs built up to speed the process up. There is no way Couples is gonna respond to the head beyond asking why it’s square but who cares? After hitting a few Fred turned to the guy and said “I love it,” the rep said, “great so what head do want it in?” Fred replied, “nope, I love the whole thing, thanks.” Here we are today.

HYBRID: TaylorMade R11 TP (19 degrees)
Shaft: AeroTech SteelFiber I95 X (40.5 inches)
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R “Logo Down”

*I’ve heard him refer to this as his “Ginty” in conversations with his caddie. In recent years Fred has messed with a 2nd and 3rd hybrid when he gets to Augusta, but typically it’s just this one with a mark dead nuts in the middle. The original shaft was an Aldila RIP 105 TX, but Fred has since switched into the SteelFiber.

IRONS: Bridgestone J15 Dual Pocket Cavity (3-P)
Shafts: Aerotech Steel Fiber 110cw X
Grip: Golf Pride CP2 Wrap 58R “Logo Down”

Photo courtesy of @fullyequippedgolf on Instagram

*Fred has been with Bridgestone since 2006 and started playing the dual pocket molds in 2010 (J38, J40, J15) the irons are identical to each other with the exception of the stamping. Fred likes a little offset in his irons and his lofts have gotten a little stronger over the years. PW loft is now at 46 degrees

Iron Specs: Loft/Lie/Length/SW

3-20/61/39/D4

4-23/61.5/38.5/D4

5-26/62/38/D4

6-30/62.5/37.5/D4

7-34/63/37/D4

8-38/63.5/36.5/D4

9-42/64/36/D4

PW-46/64.5/35.75/D4

WEDGES: TaylorMade ATV (54 degrees), Titleist Vokey SM7 (60-10S)
Shaft: Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (+1/8 from STD, 65 degrees lie)
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R “Logo Down”

Photo Courtesy of @fullyequippedgolf on Instagram

Photo Courtesy of @fullyequippedgolf on Instagram

Photo Courtesy of @johnny_wunder on Instagram

*Funny story on the Vokey wedge: Fred was at the home of Bill Haas and saw this “beautiful” lob wedge in Bill’s staff bag. He ultimately felt that he needed it, and Bill was happy to give it up. So if you saw Freddie with a BH stamped on his Vokey, it’s because it wasn’t his. He has since had Aaron Dill build him some new ones. Also, look at the wear mark—who says you need to hit it outta the center?

PUTTER: Bettinardi FC Proto (37 Inches, 71 Lie, 3 degrees of loft with 17’ Lamkin Grip)

*Fred has had a great relationship with Bettinardi for eight years now. The putter is a “heavy-headed” counterbalanced beauty. He has tried mallets in the past but consistently ends up in this one.

BALL: Bridgestone Tour B RXS “Yellow”

 

 

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Hogan1953

    Nov 11, 2020 at 7:51 am

    The wear mark on that wedge is horrific. I actually find it hard to understand how a player of his calibre can do that.

    • Michael

      Jun 10, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      It’s a lob wedge. Most of the time that club is in his hands the face is open, which moves the impact location towards the toe.

  2. Pingback: Fred Couples finally switches irons—after 10 years – GolfWRX

  3. Larry Mooredale

    Jun 3, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Those irons are J40s with different stampings… lol

  4. DJ

    May 11, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Irons are J38 style built in 2015 when they did the J15 release.

  5. Benny

    May 9, 2020 at 11:24 am

    So true Greg. JW thanks for the hreat article. Especially when its so hard to find new talks without any golf.

    Boom boom is the man. If it works don’t fix it!

  6. BC

    May 7, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    those are not j15 cb’s, they are j38 dpc’s with a j15 stamp.

  7. Imafitter

    May 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    I’ve followed Freddie at tournaments, watched his shots in slow motion, and still can’t figure how that effortless swing causes the ball to go as far as it goes and where it’s aimed! One of my favorites! Plus, I’m a big Bettinardi fan. I just don’t understand why more pros don’t use their putters.

  8. Bob

    May 4, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Whenever I see an article about Couples club make up I have to scratch my head and wonder why I drank the Kool-aide from the major mgf’s that makes me want new clubs.
    IF IT WORKS KEEP IT.

  9. Jack Nash

    May 4, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Just when you think Stenson owns the atomic 3 wood design, along comes Freddie with a Callaway Squareway? OMG Lol.

  10. matt

    May 4, 2020 at 10:54 am

    interesting that one of the most famous faders of all time doesn’t like to see any openness at address. just goes to show you how nuanced all these little things are

    • Nodoubles

      May 5, 2020 at 2:29 am

      Makes sense. People who fade the ball need it to start left. Tiger famously closes the face a little at address when he’s hitting a cut, and opens it a little when he’s hitting a draw. Face angle determines starting line, path determines curve.

  11. Doug Roe

    May 3, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    I thought I had read that Freddie had gone 4 and even 5 hybrids in recent years to save the back ????

  12. Stanley

    May 3, 2020 at 2:50 am

    That wear on the wedge is the most interesting thing I have seen in some time. I mean that is consistent.

    • yumarous

      May 4, 2020 at 1:25 am

      Added a comment in @3puttterritory ‘s question.

  13. Tom

    May 2, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    @ John Wunder does Freddie Pure his shafts?

  14. Greg

    May 2, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    On further thought, Freddie finds clubs that work for his swing. He doesn’t try new clubs and hope to change his swing.

  15. 3puttterritory

    May 2, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Is there any technical explanation for that wear mark on the toe? Never seen anything like it.

    • yumarous

      May 4, 2020 at 1:23 am

      I’ve done some testing when I worked for the JP golf media once and found that there are a bunch of tour pros that deliberately strike their wedges on the toe to increase spin and decrease ball speed, especially on partial distances. Since the toe is moving at a slightly faster speed than the heel/neck, the face impacts the ball with more speed causing the ball to compress a bit more than the heel, but at the same time due to the very low MOI of the wedge head that speed decreases almost instantly after the strike causing it to lose ball speed and the ball to come off the face more dead. With the combination of those two aspects, it actually does make the ball have more spin with a dead ball speed off the turf. This wasn’t the case for bunkers as the face doesn’t really come into contact with the ball.

      • billjack

        May 4, 2020 at 3:48 pm

        That is how you hit the low bounce stop.

  16. Philip Okita

    May 2, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Any info on how that ATV 54 got into the bag? I’m only curious because I love that same wedge (but bent to 55) and haven’t been able to find one that I like better for my sand wedge.

    • John Wunder

      May 2, 2020 at 6:23 pm

      To be honest its a turf interaction thing. Never got the real info but in the past he has liked quite a bit of bounce in his FW wedges.

  17. Vess Hollingsworth

    May 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Huge Freddie fan here. Love this post. Never find enough info on Couples’ clubs. This is great!!!!!

  18. BodineJCS

    May 2, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Looks like he uses CP2 Wrap grips (Blue cap) , not CP2 Pros (Red Cap) … Do WRX editors even play golf

    • John Wunder

      May 2, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      Fixed it. Sorry to offend. Yes we play golf. Thanks for reading.

  19. Matt

    May 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    That putter is delicious….I find it odd so many touring pros have a 46 or 47 degree pw and then the next wedge is 54 or 55 degrees? Guys that confident with opening up with the pw? Seems like always a large gap 7-10 degrees sometimes..

    • gwelfgulfer

      May 2, 2020 at 11:26 pm

      Shouldn’t be odd at all, they actually play to yardages, unlike how we think we play to yardages. I’m sure their ability to play a 3/4 shot is a bit better as well.

  20. Matt Ciganek

    May 2, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    If you don’t mention Tom Watson’s former wife Linda Watson’s 3-wood Freddie used for years, the article is not complete!

  21. CB

    May 2, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    RXS ball? Wow. Never would have thought he would play that ball over the Tour B series.

  22. Greg

    May 2, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Ha! Freddie has a shank proof wedge.

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Modern Classics (Ep. 4): Testing a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 3-wood

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GolfWRX recently launched a new 8-part video series, called “The Modern Classics,” in partnership with 2nd Swing Golf. Throughout this video series, GolfWRX’s Head of Tour Content, Andrew Tursky, tests out 8 legendary used golf clubs that are still being played on Tour today. How do the older, less expensive products compare to modern technologies?

In the first three episodes, Tursky tested out TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC 2011 irons, Adams Idea Pro hybrids from 2006, and a TaylorMade Rocketballz RBZ fairway wood.

For episode 4, we highlight the TaylorMade Burner SuperFast fairway woods, which were released to the public in 2010. Although they’re more than a decade old, we spotted one in Richard Bland’s 2022 WITB.

The Burner SuperFast fairway woods are currently available for $76.99 on 2nd Swing’s website.

Check out the video at the top of the page for more on the product, design, and how it stands up in testing against a modern 3-wood.

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Whats in the Bag

Will Zalatoris WITB 2023 (February)

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 7 X

3-wood: Titleist TSR2+ (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T100
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Prototype Graphite on Steel Technology Prototype Hybrid 10 ST X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08S, 54-10S),Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron T-11 Proto
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour 1.0PT

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

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Equipment

Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing wedges for poor bunker players. WRXer ‘gdb99’ kicks off the thread saying “I’m not good out of sand. I used to be, 35 years ago. I blade shots over the green. It’s all technique, and I need a lot of practice. I know that,” and reaches out to our members who have been sharing what they feel are the wedges that can help him the most.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • hammergolf: “Ping Eye2 is the best bunker club ever. If you’re blading it you’re not steep enough. Open the face and hit down on the sand. The bounce will stop it from digging too much.”
  • flubberlange: “Try a Vokey 60* in a K grind.”
  • Fwitz11: “I also struggle with the bunker and have found that an open 60 and hitting just behind the ball is the easiest out I have used. Has helped me a ton with not blading it over the green.”
  • lazyjc4: “I’ve hit the best bunker shots of my life with PM Grind wedges.  I look like I know what I’m doing almost all of the time.”

Entire Thread: “Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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