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Fred Couples finally switches irons—after 10 years

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Fred Couples still moves the needle. For a Seattle-born gear junkie (me), pretty much anything the guy does is a big deal.

Earlier this summer, I wrote an article about the makeup of Couple’s bag. What you see is a player committed to feel and trust more than anything. He, like very few others, will stick with a club for years. His 3-wood is 12-years-old and his irons (at least a version of the same head) for over 10.

Until this week.

The part of his bag that I believe has made the biggest impact on his stellar play over the past decade was the switch to the Bridgestone golf ball (currently the Tour B RXS). It allowed Couples the ability to not tweak the overall DNA of his bag over the years, all while giving Fred the firepower and spin he needed off the driver and around the greens. Sometimes, players who love old gear can keep it current with a serious golf ball.

The PGA Tour Champions is in Phoenix this week for the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, and Fred paid a visit to Ping HQ on Monday to test some gear.

Brad Millard (Ping Tour Rep) was the man running the session, and in a Herculean effort, was able to spin Couples out of some old standbys and into a new driver and irons. Trust me, it’s no small feat. If you get Freddy to change nine clubs in one sitting, you deserve a medal. Not because he’s difficult, he’s just Fred Couples, and if he’s making a switch it’s gotta do more than just impress on TrackMan.

Regarding the switch into the new Ping G425 LST driver, Millard said this

“Fred loved the look and feel of the G425, his launch and spin were perfect (12.5 launch spin around 2300-2400) and we dialed in the flight he wanted.”

Driver: Ping G425 9 LST (Dot Setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 TX (45 1/4″)

Couples cruises in around 108 MPH swing speed and 160-165 MPH ball speed—depending on how his back is feeling. 

The irons were the next frontier. Couples isn’t one to play around in that category and has tested (at home) different sets from time to time but hasn’t ever found that true replacement for the Bridgestone Dual Pocket CB he has loved for 10 years.

Photo courtesy of @fullyequippedgolf on IG

Ping I210 irons seemed to get his attention quickly, however. Not only do they resemble a club from his past (Ping Eye 2) but they have a few things Freddy loves. Offset, bounce, and a long blade length. Once Millard dialed in the lies, it was a no-brainer from there.

Fred Couples’ new iron setup

Irons: Ping I210 (3-PW)
Shafts: Aerotech Steelfiber I110 CW X

Std Lofts, +.25 inches, and 1 degree up.

Fred is also testing Ping Glide 3.0 wedges 54-WS and 58 and 60-SS. We will confirm if any or all go in play. All wedges with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. KingJames

    Dec 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Great article!

  2. Boom Boom

    Nov 15, 2020 at 3:56 am

    Maybe its my ocd but why is there a pic of two Tensei AV Raw shafts if Freddie is using a Tensei CK Blue 65 TX?

    On the other hand I was surprised to find out Freddie prefers offset and longer blade length.

  3. Pick it clean

    Nov 9, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Has Freddie ever been a staffer for anyone?

  4. Tom Duckworth

    Nov 8, 2020 at 10:12 am

    I would like that setup. The golf ball is interesting I think that many players could do well to look into what ball they play more.
    I based what I play on feel more than anything but I think I should throw that out the window and do some testing and just look at spin numbers. You hear complaints about low spin irons I would like to see more testers use different balls when they test. Hit the same iron with low spin and high spin balls.

  5. Jo Flo

    Nov 7, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Paulo is a dck.

    • Pureswinger

      Nov 7, 2020 at 8:28 pm

      Biden is President now so it’s time to get along.

      • Paulo

        Nov 8, 2020 at 8:10 am

        Over the moon Biden did it. Thank god that lunatic is out of the house. My dads older than him and we don’t trust him with the tv remote , never mind the nuclear launch codes

        • Pureswinger

          Nov 8, 2020 at 10:53 am

          Didn’t you date Jennifer Anniston?

          • Paulo

            Nov 8, 2020 at 11:55 am

            If she’s your mom then yes I did. Many times.

            • Purseswinger

              Nov 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm

              That’s great! Maybe you’re my Dad? I do have some issues about that. There’s this crazy gene in me that makes me want to screw sheep. Guess I got that from you. LOL!

  6. Peter

    Nov 7, 2020 at 5:28 am

    No glove and now Pings! Two things that Fred and I have in common. Yay!

    • Abbie @Golf Mario

      Nov 22, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      I like your comment! My husband is the same way. Here in Utah we golf a lot during the season and he is a no glove, Ping golfer! Made me laugh when I read your excited about having that in common, haha!

      • Peter

        Mar 8, 2021 at 2:38 am

        cheers! Does he also hear the commentator in his head as he stands over the shot?. “6th hole, Couples’ second to the green…”

  7. Mick

    Nov 6, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Cink wins a few weeks back with Ping i210. The LPGA has a heavy usage of Ping i210 ( most amateur men should watch what they play) . Now Couples switches to them. They will go down as an all time great for PING.

  8. AG

    Nov 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    What’s with the weird Bridgestone golf ball ad thrown into the middle of the article?

    “Fred Couple switches irons… but first let me tell you how amazing this golf ball is!”

    • John Wunder

      Nov 7, 2020 at 8:09 am

      It’s not a weird ad, if you wanna know why a player can maintain older equipment for a longer period of time, the golf ball is the lynchpin of the whole thing. to not reference it is a discredit to the whole process. We don’t do weird ad’s in the middle of a players bag info.

      • Pureswinger

        Nov 8, 2020 at 12:15 am

        Your grammar sucks!

        • John Wunder

          Nov 9, 2020 at 7:16 am

          Well, thank god I have experts like you to track it all and make sure it’s called out.
          Thanks for reading.

          • Pureswinger

            Nov 9, 2020 at 10:10 am

            God is capitalized. Is Wunder your real last name? If so, you are obligated to be better than us all in everything. Seriously Mr. Wunder, can you save the world? I wonder. Lol! It would be great to see a follow article about Couples’ play after such a big change. Please do that. Thanks Mr. Wunder. Have a nice day.

            • Blake

              Nov 10, 2020 at 11:02 pm

              I am a bit of a jerk. I’m used to jerks because we are all kinda jerks. I’ve never felt the need to call someone a jerk on an online forum, because it would take an overwhelming jerk for me to make such a statement. You stand out for you overwhelming jerkishness. Please be a jerk somewhere else. And take your pure swing with you.

              • Pureswinger

                Nov 11, 2020 at 7:19 pm

                Thank you Blake. It’s always a guy with a name like Blake who wants to play but only by his rules. There’s one in every crowd. Have a nice day, Blake.

      • Zach

        Nov 9, 2020 at 10:16 am

        Can we confirm what he bagged? I think the driver and irons were in there. What wedges?

        • FamousDave

          Nov 9, 2020 at 6:44 pm

          I’d guess Freddie has bagged a lot during his career. LOL!

  9. Mike Barnett

    Nov 6, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Would you guys consider the Ping i210 irons a low handicap player set? I see they are high bounce.

    • Paulo

      Nov 7, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Mike. Fred can have them any way he wants. He’s one of the all time greats. His are probably hand forged unlike the retail models. What’s your index ? Ping might make you a custom set with your exact bounce spec. Drop them a line as they may have lost your contact details and club specs

  10. FamousDave

    Nov 6, 2020 at 11:07 am

    This confirms even more that Bridgestone is getting out of making clubs.

    • Paulo

      Nov 6, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Excellent point and a huge shame. Still don’t understand the shift to ping irons though , obvious choice from Bridgestone would be hand made irons by whomever he wants to make them because he’s Fred couples after akt

      • Desert Hacker

        Nov 6, 2020 at 3:26 pm

        Yep, I would’ve expected the same. I have the 2015 version of those Bridgestone irons and I’ve been waiting for something to come along and replace them…might go back to Mizuno. Not going to be easy to take them out of the bag.

    • DJ

      Nov 19, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Bridgestone Tour 201mb and 201cb. We’ll see if they come to the US market.

  11. Imafitter

    Nov 6, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Very satisfies with my Ping i500’s, 3.0 Eye2 Wedges, 410 fairway & hybrids, and especially my G400MAX driver, which I shortened and re-weighted. Just outstanding equipment!

  12. Dave M.

    Nov 6, 2020 at 9:58 am

    I sold those bridgestones this year on eBay for $300 more than I bought them for in 2014…I guess they are good, I just hit them too much to the right

    • Dave M.

      Nov 6, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      I meant to the left

      • pureswinger

        Nov 6, 2020 at 4:47 pm

        You liberal golf you!

      • Paulo

        Nov 7, 2020 at 3:22 pm

        Maybe you were aiming there or presenting dynamic lie too upright or, Jesus H Christ it could be a thousand things but I promise you it was unlikely an inherent design defect in the iron head .

  13. Pingback: Morning 9: Sneds ahead in Houston | Why fans now? | Couples’ new irons – GolfWRX

  14. Delbert

    Nov 6, 2020 at 9:47 am

    What’s his specs? That would be cool to see. Didn’t he play a set off the rack once?

    • Pureswinger

      Nov 6, 2020 at 10:04 am

      They’re posted you dummy! Tiger should switch to these and give his body a break. With the Steelfiber shaft, they are great sticks. The driver is a beast. Anyone struggling with their game should seriously consider Ping for everything.

  15. Kalle

    Nov 6, 2020 at 9:44 am

    The i210 are legendary. I may never abandon them.

  16. Karsten's Ghost

    Nov 6, 2020 at 6:03 am

    The i210 keeps getting more and more… it’s an all-timer.

    • Mark it Zero

      Nov 6, 2020 at 8:30 pm

      It’s cool to see the love for the i210 because I’ve had a lot of success with mine. But, obviously, I’m no Fred Couples, or other staffers who have had success with them. Also, aren’t they bound to be replaced soon? I’ve had mine for two years…

  17. Paulo

    Nov 6, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Is he a ping staffer now?

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Equipment

Bridgestone launches special First Tee edition e6 ball

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Bridgestone Golf has launched a special First Tee edition e6 golf ball, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to First Tee, a youth development organization that helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf.

The special First Tee edition ball is available now exclusively through PGA Tour Superstore and comes in both white and optic yellow color codes.

“We’re very pleased to offer this special First Tee edition e6, exclusively at PGA Tour Superstore. For decades, First Tee has done very fine work, helping young people learn and grow through the game of golf, building strong individuals and communities. It is an honor to create a dedicated product where the proceeds from the sales will bolster their charitable endeavors.” – Dan Murphy, President and CEO, Bridgestone Golf

As a reminder, the e6 is the longest-running model in Bridgestone’s current lineup. The latest model, new for 2021, features a larger, softer core in design for a more responsive feel added distance for moderate swing speed players.

The new design, which is specifically tailored to modern players who value a ball that provides a very soft feel at impact, retails for $21.99 per dozen.

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Adidas unveils new Stan Smith golf shoe in classic colorway

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Adidas Golf is bringing the classic Stan Smith colorway to the course, with the new unmistakable white and green golf shoe.

Building upon the new PimeGreen upper made with high-performance recycled materials1 as part of Adidas’ mission to End Plastic Waste, this version is also waterproof (one-year warranty) to help keep golfers dry both on and off the course.

The new Stan Smith golf shoe features a PU cushioning in targeted areas in the midsole to go alongside a PU die-cut sockliner in a bid to provide maximum comfort.

The shoe also contains an adiwear spikeless outsole that features lugs inspired by the shoe’s original sole design, offering some added traction for all course conditions to go along with their style.

“When we were talking about bringing this shoe into golf, the original white and green colorway was a must-have as part of our planning. The Stan Smith silhouette is known throughout the world for being so versatile from a fashion standpoint, so we’re excited to give golfers that same style and versatility for when they head out to the course, now in a more sustainable way.” – Masun Denison, global footwear director, Adidas Golf.

As an ode to the traditions of the past, Adidas has also included a removable white kiltie to provide players another way to wear their shoes and give off some added flair for their round.

This classic white and green colorway of the Stan Smith Golf will be available on adidas.com, through the Adidas app, and at select retail partners worldwide beginning Saturday, May 1.

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Lob wedge or no lob wedge? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the necessity of a lob wedge. WRXer ‘rickybooby25’ kicks off the thread, saying

“Do you use a Lob wedge in your current set-up or not? Players nowadays immediately default to using a LW when playing a chip shot around the greens. I currently have a LW in the bag but have been debating on taking it out completely because it creates bad habits when facing a chip shot. What are your thoughts?”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts on the subject in the forum, with some very interesting responses.

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.

  • Chadwickog: “I am in the NO lob wedge camp, it simplifies the decision making when it comes to wedge play, and all shots are still possible if you know how to hit them.”
  • jholz: “I’ve always looked at the lob wedge as a specialty club for special situations. Lower lofted wedges (54* or 56*) are the ones I use for the vast majority of generic chip shots.”
  • timmekang: “I’ve mentioned this in prior posts, but I carry 2 lob wedges. Not all lob wedges are created equal to don’t be afraid to bring more than 1 out on the course with different bounce/grind/etc. and see what works best depending on your lie and circumstances.”
  • lefthack: “I bought one, learned to hit it, but didn’t find a need for it in my bag when there are other clubs I would use more.”

Entire Thread: “Lob wedge or no lob wedge?”

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