The PGA Tour Champions

Professional golf has well over 10 different tours four our viewing pleasure. Most are feeder tours for the PGA, European and LPGA that provide the opportunity for younger players to cut their teeth in the professional ranks. These tours have developed over the years to meet the growth of professional golf and the demand for more opportunities for the expanding numbers of players trying to make it to the big leagues. All the tours that is, except one: The PGA Tour Champions. Continue reading

Is Phil Mickelson Competitive?

Golf is an amazing sport. It allows many athletes to play well into their 60s at a competitive level. By examining the abilities of professional golfers, it is sometimes difficult to determine if an aging legend has the skills to remain playing at an elite level.

This article was inspired by Brian at All About Golf, his article on Tiger Woods is worth reading. He asks some tough questions that apply to any golfer whose golfing woes seem insurmountable. However, what about that player who appears in the thick of things most weeks, but just cannot garner a trip to the winners circle. Continue reading

The Ageless Fred Couples

Fred Couples is a fan favourite! His calm demeanor and unflappable disposition are traits that all golfers envy. Turning pro in 1980, “Boom Boom” has thrilled the golfing world with 15 PGA Tour Wins, 11 Champions Tour wins and a plethora of other wins outside of the PGA. During the 1990s, he was considered one of the players to beat. His silky smooth swing and long drives never appeared to falter.

After winning the Shell Houston Open in 2003, Couples fell off the radar. Fading into the sunset, this Major Champion’s career seemed to be over. However, once he joined the Champions Tour something strange happened. He started winning again. Adding two more Majors on the Champions Tour for good measure, he became a fan favorite all over again.

In 2013, Couples was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Long overdue, in my opinion, it was not until his career was revitalized on the Champions Tour did Couples regain enough notoriety to be nominated for the induction.  He was very proud of that moment and said:

“Thanks for taking a kid from Seattle and putting him into the Hall of Fame. This is the coolest night of my life.” – Fred Couples, on his 2013 Induction

Interestingly, even during his darkest times as a player, Couples always played well at the Masters. Not any other Major. only the Masters. Finishing 6th in 2010, he is always in the mix. Is it possible he could win his second Masters? It would be great to see.

Throughout Fred Couples’ career, he has been plagued with a back injury. There is little doubt, that his long powerful swing attributes to his medical woes, but he always seems to recover long enough to compete. His current challenge is to keep healthy long enough to continue playing on the Champions Tour. Beating Billy Andrea in a playoff at the The Shaw Charity Classic  this weekend is strong evidence that “Boom Boom” is continuing his winning ways.

Fred Couples has a very interesting swing. The most important aspect of how he generates power is how long he holds the club on his down swing before he releases his hands towards the intended target. It really is amazing. The following video really demonstrates the power he generates in a very short distance.

He also releases his club head “down the line”. He explains the importance of not following your hips during the golf swing, but clearing the hips and releasing the club head on its swing path.

Fred Couples has provided many memorable moments from the golf course such as: his only PGA Tour Major win at the Masters in 1992, his play during five Ryder Cup teams, four Presidents Cup teams, and, of course, his crazy long drives. For me (actually saw this shot live on TV), his most memorable golf shot is his hole-in-three on the 17th hole, TPC Sawgrass, at the 1999 Players Championship.

“I don’t really know how hard I was trying on my third shot,” Couples, a two-time Players Champion, admitted years later (he shot a 77 in that opening round, by the way). “If I don’t make that shot, I think I shoot 80, 81 and probably miss the cut. Three days later, I was in fourth place.” (PGA.com)

Fred “Boom Boom” Couples is one of my all time favourite professional golfers. I enjoy watching his silky smooth swing and his patient approach to playing golf. He may not be the best-ever, however he is definitely one of the more entertaining players.

Who is one of your all-time favorite golfers? I would like to know!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!