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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

40 Comments

40 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. Pick it clean

    Nov 9, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Has Freddie ever been a staffer for anyone?

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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 .

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

  13. 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.

  14. Kalle

    Nov 6, 2020 at 9:44 am

    The i210 are legendary. I may never abandon them.

  15. 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…

  16. Paulo

    Nov 6, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Is he a ping staffer now?

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‘Anyone else not carry any fairway woods?’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the strategy of leaving fairway woods out of the bag. WRXer ‘Nfogle’ says:

“I rarely need a fairway wood, and when I do, I usually end up with a penalty or just not hitting a good shot. My misses with the 2 iron keep me in play I just don’t get quite the distance out of the fairway I need. Anyone else have this problem and if so, what do you do?”

And our members have been discussing the issue, with plenty of other members taking the same route as ‘Nfogle’.

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.

  • schwollo: “Was in the same boat then got a G410 3 wood easiest 3 wood ever to hit and plenty long.”
  • jmtbkr: “At my age, 69, I don’t worry too much about hitting par5 greens in two. So my 3 iron bent to 20* is just fine for me. It also doubles as my driving iron on short par 4’s.”
  • capking: “I used to not carry any, my miss is a closed club face at impact, and most FW woods are closed at address. I fixed it by getting some jumbomax xl grips and by visualizing hitting it down the right side on follow through. Before this I went a year without any in the bag.”
  • Roejye: “I started out this year with no fairway wood, I went driver to a 17.5° Adams xtd super hybrid. Because I’m a club ho, and because my dad has one and likes it, I bought a Cleveland Hibore XL 3 wood off eBay. I love it off of the tee, but merely like it off the deck. As much as I love it off of the tee, it’s also possibly the most replaceable because my home course I have little to no need for it. Luckily I don’t carry a 3 iron or hybrid so I don’t need to get rid of it.”

Entire Thread: “Anyone else not carry any fairway woods?”

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2020 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Golf gifts for the Purist

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff. 

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.”

You know the purist by his/her love forged irons, natural fibers, and Golden Age golf courses. 

Here are our best recommendations for “the purist” in your life.

Titleist Pro V1, Pro V1x: $47.95

 

 

The No. 1 ball in golf, yes, most widely played on the PGA Tour by a wide margin, yes…The performance of the Titleist Pro V1 is doubtless best-in-class. But for the purist, there’s nothing in the golf ball space quite so iconic as the “Titleist” script stamped on the Pro V1.

Buy here.

The Golfer’s Journal: $75/year

Do you subscribe to The Golfer’s Journal? If you consider yourself a purist, it’s surprising if you don’t. And if you’re buying a gift for the purist in your life, TGJ is the perfect pick for superb reading material, best-in-the-golf-media photography, and of course, as a coffee table adornment that signals your aesthetic sensibilities are as high as your appreciation for our maddening game.

Buy here.

Vintage Hogan blades

Classic blade models can be had from many manufacturers, but there’s something about the Ben Hogan Apex—one of the most iconic and influential iron models of all time—that warms the heart of every purist. The 1999 model was an excellent vintage. 

MacKenzie golf bag

The carry bag of choice for golf hipsters and purists alike. We’re big fans of the Waxed Canvas Original Walker (and the “Mac” custom builder).

Buy here.

Louisville Golf: Classic 50’s Series Persimmon Driver

Among companies still making persimmon, Louisville Golf is best in class. And as we all know, nothing resonates in the purist’s soul like a well-struck shot with a persimmon wood. (Our Peter Schmitt took a trip to Louisville Golf and filed this report). You can’t go wrong with the 50’s Series Persimmon.

Buy here

BB&F ferrules

It may seem counter-intuitive that the purist would want something more bold than the traditional black ferrule, that is until you remember that historically, ferrules were often times ringed with at least one color. BB&F is the best (only?) player in the bespoke ferrule game.

Buy here. 

Best Grips

The purist loves all things leather and antiquated. Grips were originally made of leather. Ergo, the purist will be entirely enamored of Best Grips offerings—we recommend the MicroPerf Leather Golf Grip.

Buy here.

Goodwood putter

No shortage of putter makers sit near to the purist’s heart. Tad Moore, T.P. Mills, and Scotty Cameron, among other, fill the wooden racks of both the purist’s home and the corridors of his equipment fantasies. Goodwood, however, which was “Founded on the idea that tradition still holds an important place among new technology in an ever evolving industry,” is plenty appealing to the purist.

Buy here. 

Western Birch Golf tees

Premium wooden tees in classic designs are plentiful, yes, but nobody does it better than Western Birch.

Buy here. 

Golf trip: Sweetens Cove, Bandon

While this is certainly for the budgetarily endowed, what could be better than sending the purist—with his golf architecture obsession—to one of his dream destinations for a round or two? The tracks at Mike Keiser’s Bandon and the Tennessee King-Collins gem are deeply etched on all purist bucket lists.

Buy here.

 

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2020 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Big Spender

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff. The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” and “the big spender.” In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to improve,” “the clothes horse,” and “the big spender.”

You know the big spender by his/her when the math “golf bag + 14 clubs = more than the value of your car…and maybe house.”

Here are our best recommendations for “the big spender” in your life (and yes, in this scenario, you are a big spender as well).

JuCad Phantom Titan eX 2.0 Electric Push Cart: $4,990

Built from titanium and carbon fiber, the Phantom Titan eX 2.0 is one of the wildest pushcarts in golf. Super minimal design that hides the electric motors and battery in the frame on the cart. Comes with a remote control and double-sided electronic parking brake. Folds up small enough to fit in a large briefcase-sized case.

Buy here.

TAG Heuer Connected Golf Edition: $2,500

A smartwatch geared towards golf and crafted by one of the biggest names in luxury watches. TAG Heuer’s Connected Golf Edition gives you GPS data to any point on the golf course and its screen is bright and easy to read. It has the most comfortable band I have ever strapped on my wrist to keep it in place throughout the swing.

Buy here. 

Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitor: $20,500

This is one of the best launch monitors on the market and the best option for anyone stuck practicing indoors. The GCQuad accurately measures your clubbed through impact and has a Putting Analysis option to dial in your flagstick. The GCQuad will accurately measure your ball speed, clubhead speed, launch angle, spin, carry distance, and many more metrics.

Buy here.

Footjoy 1857 Shield Tip Golf Shoes: $495

Is there a more classic and well build golf shoe out there? Crafted from soft calfskin leather the 1857 Shield Tips are built with full leather linings and outsole. A Good Year rubber welt keeps the waterproof and a cork underlay cushions your feet hold after hole.

Buy here. 

Kjus Gemini Rain Suit: $1,048 ($549 jacket/$499 pants)

The Gemini series is lightweight, breathable, stretchy, and quiet. Creme de la creme of rain suits. It features a reversible design that allows you to also wear it inside out as a warm and ultra-breathable jacket. The Gemini features fully taped seams and an adjustable hem with a drawcord to get the perfect fit.

Buy here.

PXG 0311 Milled Wedges Black: $2,250 ($750/wedge)

Triple forged from 8620 carbon steel and then CNC milled to exact specifications. The iconic PXG weight screws help increase MOI and fine-tune CG location. Weight in the toe moves the CG higher for increased spin and better consistency on open-faced shots.

Buy here.

Titleist CNCPT Irons: $4,500 ($500/iron)

CNCPT irons are an exercise in engineering and pushing the limits of iron design. Titleist uses the CNCPT line to try new materials that have never been used in the golf space as well as packing more tech into smaller spaces. With three different models available, there is a set of irons for the low to high handicap player.

Buy here. 

Dormie Workshop “The Green Jacket” Headcover: $190

Who isn’t still thinking of the Masters and that green jacket? Dormie Workshop created this amazing headcover to pay homage to the most iconic piece of clothing in golf. Made from high-quality leather, this could be the crown jewel of your golf bag accessories.

Buy here. 

Full Swing VG2 Virtual Putting Green: $61,000+

This has to be one of the most advanced and customizable putting greens in the world. Dozens of individual actuator modules shape and mold the green into real-world topographies so you can practice any putt you can think of.

Buy here.

 

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS: $160,000+

If it is good enough for Rickie to promote all weekend during the Masters, it should be good enough for any unlimited budget golfer! With massaging seats and every luxury option you can think of, the Maybach GLSGLS could be what you need to relax after a rough round. Just remember, Joe Skovron (Rickie’s caddy) says the back seats should be set to 38 degrees of recline for optimal seating!

Buy here.

 

 

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