Why did Fred Couples stop wearing a golf glove? It’s simple, really

Fred Couples watches a tee shoe during the 2023 Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla.

Fred Couples watches a tee shoe during the 2023 Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla.

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If you happen to turn on pro golf this weekend — between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the LPGA, there are lots of options — you’ll notice almost every pro wearing a golf glove.

There’s actually only few who don’t, and their reasons vary. One major winner who has been famously glove-less their entire career is 1992 Masters champ Fred Couples.

Why? The answer’s actually quite simple (which he explains below).

Couples grew up in Seattle and, in a way, the golf course was his babysitter. He said he’d get $5 a day and get dropped off at the golf course when he was about 9 or 10 years old. His parents always knew he was there, but if they happened to stop by and he wasn’t, “I’d be in trouble,” he said.

But it was growing up in that wet Seattle climate that led to his decision to go sans glove for his career.

“A golf glove cost like seven or eight bucks back then,” Couples said. “I would ruin them in the weather. I played every day, whether it was rain, sun, snow. So my parents said, ‘Listen, we can’t afford to keep buying you $8 golf gloves.’ So I just stopped wearing them. That’s the story.”

Although if you plan to take the Fred Couples route and go glove-less on the golf course, you’d be smart to make sure your grips are clean, fresh and tacky. Here’s an easy (and cheap) way to clean them.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.