Fred Couples: Ready for Anything

Fred Couples' hair is real and it's spectacular. <span class="picturesource">Monte Isom</span>

I'm 45. If I knew at 25 what I know now, I would have worked a lot harder, not taken things so easy. But I was lackadaisical. I thought I was bulletproof and could play forever. Then you have some poor years and have to figure out how to turn it around. That's not easy.

I like vintage cars. My wife, Thais, and I have a silver 1970 convertible Mercedes and a 280SE. I had four Mustangs--a '70 Mach 1, a '68 GT 500 Shelby Cobra, a '68 GT 350 and a '66 Fastback -- but I sold them all to Bruce Leitzke. They were beautiful.

I'm a not a tech guy. I don't own an iPod and I can't use a computer. I'm so non-geeky that I'm a geek.

The major that got away? It's not the 1998 Masters that jumps out at me. It's the 1990 PGA at Shoal Creek. I birdied the 12th on Sunday and had the lead. I was cruising. But people were screaming and yelling on the 13th, and I got ahead of myself emotionally, didn't function well and missed par putts. That's a tournament I should have won.

There are golf groupies. Back when I got divorced, I got all kinds of mail. It's comical. Some girls sent pictures of themselves in different outfits. One girl was in the snow in Montana and said a week up there would help my game [laughs]. I imagined flying to Montana and having her pick me up at the airport.

I have a hidden talent: I can see greatness, not just in golf but in all sports, sometimes before everybody else does. Take Mike Weir. I played with him a long time ago in the Canadian Skins. He didn't hit it 300 yards but he hit it solid, with a nice cut. I thought, Man, here's the next great player.

The secret to my hair? I use shampoo, conditioner, and I'll use some of my wife's gel for a different look if we're going out. Not much bad can happen to my hair, knock on wood, except a lot of gray. I'd like to get it cut like George Clooney, but mine sticks out on the side, so I can't cut it that short.

I've won more than $3 million playing the Skins Game. My secret: a short attention span. I'm great at the quick-hit events. A regular event is a whole week long, and I don't always have the focus to hang in. I get bored. Sometimes I don't want to hit balls--I just want to go home.

I went to Catholic school. I don't go to church anymore, but when my ball hung up on the bank [at the 12th hole in the 1992 Masters], that helped me win. Someone was looking out for me. A little luck and wet sod helped.

Freddie's Faves

  • These are a few of his favorite things


  • TV Shows - "I like American Idol, Desperate Housewives and The OC. Though The OC seems like it might be a little much for the kids--GiGi's 14 and Oliver is 11."

    Music - "I'm into Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. And my wife's iPod is full of Frank Sinatra and Jack Johnson."

    Movies - "The Dead Zone with Christopher Walken. It's my all-time favorite. I've probably seen it 10 times. It's a real twisty movie. The Sixth Sense was incredible, too."

    Major - "Augusta National is my favorite course, and the The Masters is my favorite tournament. I still get charged up for it. It's my best chance for winning one more major."

 

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