Fred Couples explains the key to hitting the ball straight every time

fred couples swings

Fred Couples takes a swing during the U.S. Senior Open.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Swinging a golf club is not simple, but watching Fred Couples play, you could easily be fooled.

Few players in the history of the game have had the rhythm, balance and fluidity that Couples possesses. (And that’s not to mention his swagger.) If you were to ask professional golfers to list the best swings of all time, there’s a good chance Couples would make the list.

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That sweet swing led Couples to 15 PGA Tour titles, five Ryder Cups, seven Presidents Cups and a green jacket. But it isn’t the results that are the most impressive, it’s how easy he makes it look.

“As far as swing and techniques are concerned, I don’t know diddly squat,” Couples once said. “When I’m playing well, I don’t even take aim.”

As anyone who swings a golf club knows, it’s rarely that simple. But that seeming simplicity is what makes Couples great. His swing is as beautiful as it is efficient, and it’s what carried Couples to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Like a lot of people, I’m a Fred Couples fanboy. And in doing research on his swing, I stumbled across an old video where he explains the simple thought he has for hitting the ball straight.

“If I’m standing here working on my swing, a lot of times I just follow through,” he says. “I get the club going here, which is down my line.”

That move immediately post-impact is the key in Couples’ swing. As he explains, if he can get his club to release fully down his target line, he knows the ball will be going straight.

“I try to make my hands come back to the ball and then just let my hands go down the line,” Couples says. “I try to make it as simple as I can.”

Sometimes simplicity is the best. And as Couples has shown, it can produce one hell of a golf swing.

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Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at