Before he even sat down, Fred Couples offered a tip to the media: “Anyone who wants to get an interview,” he said. “I don’t do a lot of these anymore, but if we start out with a little cookie dough [ice cream], I’m all for it.”
The setting was earlier this month at the Berenberg Invitational, a tournament held at GlenArbor Golf Club in Bedford Hills, N.Y., and Couples was just about to join GOLF’s Claire Rogers for the latest edition of The Scoop. Couples, who went with the cookie dough option, riffed on how he got into the game (he played soccer growing up), his friendship with Tiger Woods (they text a lot) and more. One of the topics also focused on his college golf teammate, Jim Nantz.
Nantz, the famous CBS Sports broadcaster, went to college with Couples. They were both on the men’s golf team at the University of Houston, and they were even suite mates (meaning their rooms essentially shared a bathroom). Couples roomed with John Horn, and Nantz with Blaine McCallister.
Regardless, they got to know each other well. And while Couples focused on golf, Nantz, the voice behind the Masters since 1989, had other things in mind.
“We did everything together, and he kinda got us through school,” Couples said. “At night he would come back, and he worked. I didn’t really even know he was doing radio stuff. He’d come back, he interviewed Nolan Ryan when he was pitching for the Astros. He got Muhammad Ali. And you know, you are just sitting there as an 18 year old, [thinking] ‘unreal.’ And he would do stuff with us, and mine was always, ‘[He’s] gonna win the Masters.’ And so he’ll say one of the hardest Sunday events that he ever did was the year I won [in 1992].”
Couples said during his years on the golf team, Nantz was teased a little bit. It was all in good fun because they knew he had a bright future.
“Our coach used to say, ‘You might win a Masters. You might win a U.S. Open, but Jimmy’s going to be president of the United States one day,'” Couples said. “And I think he’s probably got a way better job with what he’s doing with CBS than president. But he’s an amazing guy.”
For more from Couples, and for a story on how Nantz even helped him write his Hall-of-Fame speech, check out the video above, or watch it on YouTube below.