Here’s how Fred Couples learned to save a shot per round

fred couples takes a swing

Fred Couples explains how he shaved a stroke per round, courtesy of a simple strategic tip he learned from a hall-of-fame golfer.

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Fred Couples admitted he’s no golf instructor, but take that with a grain of salt. This claim came during a lengthy, entertaining and educational short-game session on GOLF’s latest episode of Warming Up, in which the 1992 Masters champion riffed on all sorts of chipping tips and tricks.

He even explained a tip from golf legend Raymond Floyd, which Couples said taught him how to save a shot per round.

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They were teammates at the 1990 RMCC Invitational — which later became the QBE Shootout, which was recently replaced with the Grant Thornton Invitational — and cruised to a five-stroke win. Despite the large margin of victory, Couple said he “butchered” a few holes, and Floyd noticed.

“When I played par-5s I would try and go to the back left pin or go the right [in two], and I would short-side myself and make a par,” Couples said. “He looked at me and goes, ‘How many eagles you make this year?’ I don’t know, not many, maybe 12. He goes, ‘Yeah 12. You play 25 tournaments and you are making 12 eagles. You are trying to eagle every par-5 — make a 4.’ And it just stuck.

“So now when I hit a 2-iron from 230 and I don’t cut it to the flag and I hit it to 40 feet, I’m happy with it,” Couples continued. “Because sometimes a shot that looks pretty good can all of a sudden trickle over and you are in the rough and you have no green and you make par, and you are livid.”

Couples’ parting thought after explaining Floyd’s strategic tip? “I’m not a teacher.” Maybe not, but check out the 27-minute video below and you’ll find Couples still has plenty you can learn from.

Josh Berhow Editor

As’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 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